ROMA BELMONTE, Maria Fischer •
May, Mary’s month in Italy as well as in many countries, had a celebratory touch at the Belmonte Schoenstatt Shrine. The penultimate day of the month also ended with a touch of celebration.
This 30 May was celebrated on the eve of the Feast of Mary’s Visitation, with a Mass with Bishop Guido Marini, the Master of Pontifical Liturgical Celebrations. Approximately fifty people among them Belmonte Shrine pilgrims and Schoenstatters from Cor Ecclesiae Shrine, Rome, gathered in front of the Shrine, decorated with a host of red flowers anticipating the fire of Pentecost. It was a multi-purpose time: Holy Mass with Bishop Marini, closing of Mary’s month, and twelve pilgrims sealing their Covenant of Love. As one can imagine, there was a great deal of preparation, filming, a small choir under the direction of Maria Congiu, some nervousness…and great joy on this hot and sunny afternoon.
Missionary activity is essential
In his homily, Bishop Marni, who already had two encounters with Schoenstatt in the Cor Ecclesiae Shrine, spoke about the importance of the missionary spirit, stressing that our enthusiasm for Jesus is measured by missionary activity. Mission is not option, he said, something that can be done or not, but rather, it is an essential part of Christianity. We are called to be missionaries of joy, mission, and Mary – an inseparable trio with the seal of the Holy Spirit.
Covenant of Love
As a highlight, after the Mass, twelve Italian pilgrims sealed their Covenant of Love in the Matri Ecclesiae Shrine, and they emotionally signed the Covenant Book on the altar.
While outside, the chairs were being removed and the stage taken down, inside the Shrine however, there was a devout atmosphere of joy and emotion. Rector of the Shrine, Fr. Marcelo Cervi commented that there were several preparation meetings, and that it was the first time that pilgrims at the Belmonte Shrine had sealed their Covenant of Love here.
The celebration continued with a dinner shared in a real family atmosphere.
Special moments during the month of May
Every month, every 15th, a Mass is celebrated with prayers for the canonization of Fr. Kentenich, Founder of the Schoenstatt International Movement in the “Matri Ecclesiae” Shrine of Belmonte Rome. As part of the special program of the Shrine for the Marian month, Fr. Thomas Widmer, chaplain of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, celebrated Mass on 15 May; he encouraged and enriched everyone with his presence.
On 18 May, Bishop Gino Reali, the bishop of the diocese where the Matri Ecclesiae Shrine belongs, came to celebrate the Covenant Mass with the Belmonte pilgrims.
Original: Spanish. 11 June 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA