BRAZIL, Sueli Vilarinho •
The Schoenstatt Family League from Jaraguá, in São Paulo/SP held its traditional Home Shrine Day on jubilee Sunday, April 15. It was a gathering as a family with Jesus and Mary. —
Motivated by seventy years of the Santa Maria Letter (written by Fr. Joseph Kentenich and considered the Founding Document for the Schoenstatt Family Work and Home Shrine, the older couples opened their doors to younger League families. Besides celebrating the day in each home and thanking the Mother and Queen for all the graces, they shared this holy atmosphere with other families. For ten years, this ceremony has been held, uniting Branch spouses and strengthening the bonds with new couples from the Apostolic League.
At 7:30 pm on Sunday, 15 April 2018, thirty-seven families visited thirty-five Home Shrines: resulting in seventy-two families praying before the picture of grace of the Mother and Queen. Each individual group crafted their own prayer, the Santa María Letter was read, there were songs, and explanations about the mission of their Home Shrine. Jesus received one great current of prayer, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them” (MT. 18:20).
Current of bonds and of life
The families that have been in the Branch longer and have already instituted a Home Shrine are grateful for Mary’s presence in their homes. Thus on this day, they opened their doors to couples who were preparing to invite the Mother of God to dwell in their homes.
The exchange of experiences also strengthened the bonds with the Sion Shrine of Jaraguá and placed them in accord with the Branch ideal of the Brazilian Family League: “Living Shrine of Schoenstatt, a new Nazareth, Tabor for the world.”
The reality of every family goes through offering difficulties and all life’s circumstances to the Capital of Grace. With the certainty that Mary receives, welcomes, and transforms everything into graces, confidence that they are not alone is reinforced. Mary accompanies them closely, with her son, Jesus, within every home. A profound silence prompted them to acknowledge that “Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” (LK.2:19).
Inspired by Fr. Joseph Kentenich’s words in the Santa María Letter: “Take the picture of Our Lady and give her a place of honor in your homes,” every home becomes a radiating point of Mary’s graces for the world.
“Mother, let Christ shine in us more brightly, and join us in holy community, always ready for the sacrifices our holy mission may demand of us.” (Heavenwards, p.47)
Original: Portuguese. 29 April 2018. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA