ARGENTINA, Astrid and Matías García Samartino •
We are filled with endless gratitude for all that we have experienced and felt last February 20, 2021 at the Blessing of our Shrine of Los Olmos, Pilar (Buenos Aires, Argentina). —
Our Mother, our beloved Blessed Mother, descended to her new throne and became present in our midst; we felt her close, with us: She was there and will remain there forever. Like St. Peter after contemplating the glory of God on the Tabor, we exclaimed: How well we are here! Let us establish here! This is our favorite corner!
She chose this land to dwell in from now until eternity
The day of the blessing was a day of joy, of graces, of glory. It was a true feast for everyone. It has been approximately 20 years since a shrine was built and blessed in Argentina. She, our Mother, chose this land to dwell from now until eternity.
Today we can say: Take off your shoes, for the place where you are standing is holy ground…
“Yes, it is holy, and it wants to become holier—holy ground. Holy ground because the Blessed Mother has chosen this little place for herself; holy ground because this little piece of earth is where saints canonized and uncanonized shall be allowed to prosper, grow, and become fruitful for years and decades and centuries to come; and finally holy ground because here is where holy, i.e. sanctifying tasks will be placed on weak human shoulders.” (Fr. Kentenich, May 31, 1949).
Handing over the keys of the Shrine to the Bishop
Words are not enough to express how our hearts are burning; this feast day continues and will continue to be present within us for a long time! We have experienced a day of heaven, and She made sure that it was so, everything that we prepared humanly turned out divinely… a day of celebration that has touched our hearts forever.
The celebration began with the praying of the rosary, in an atmosphere of peace and joy. The solemn ceremony was presided over by our bishop, Monsignor Pedro María Laxague. With a spirit of faith, emotion and immense joy, the celebrating priests made their entrance procession; jubilant songs accompanied our prayers and with great fervor we enjoyed every moment of the celebration.
The keys of the Shrine were presented to Monsignor Pedro Maria, who proceeded to open its doors. The water was blessed and sprinkled on all of the participants and on the walls of the new shrine, as a sign of purification; we continued with the liturgy of the Word and, later, the rite of consecration of the shrine was performed, preparing us for this moment with the solemn singing of the litanies of all the saints. The relics of St. Cura Brochero, St. Joseph of Calasanz, St. John Bosco, St. Dominic Savio and St. Mary Mazzarello were placed on the altar, according to the ancient tradition of the Church.
The entrance of the Blessed Mother in a cart
Before the consecration of the Shrine we invoked the Holy Spirit and we felt how it blew; incredibly we noticed how a breeze flew stronger just at that moment. The bishop prayed the consecratory prayer and then anointed the altar and the walls with holy oil, as a visible expression that this place is consecrated to God. The altar and the Shrine were also incensed and then it was the great moment of the entrance of our Mother and Queen, in a cart as she did in Luján, in 1630 (Virgin of Luján, Patroness of Argentina). We were waiting for her… We carried her to her throne, brimming with happiness and glory. We greeted her waving white handkerchiefs, clapping our hands, playing the clarinet, singing… Everything was jubilation and joy. She walked with us, we felt her so present… Thank you Mother for choosing this land and this family.
Her picture was enthroned in the Shrine and we prayed our consecration prayer, so much ours, so Schoenstatt. We continued with the celebration filled with emotion. The incredible songs accompanied each moment to pray and elevate our spirit, creating a unique and inexplicable atmosphere.
Hope for Argentina and for the world
Our Mother dwells in her new home forever. In this time of prolonged pandemic, she brings light and hope to our days, to our country and to the world. She shows herself victorious. A new time awaits us and she will be there to accompany us, as she always does. Nothing and no one stops her and we receive her, we are here, we are yours. In the Shrine she gives us her graces, to each one who comes here: no one feels alone, she transforms our hearts and impels us to the world, in Covenant. Nothing without You, nothing without us.
Willing to follow your path, dear Blessed Mother, we entrust ourselves to you and we entrust all of those you bring to this holy place, we want to be faithful to you always.
Thank you Mother for this immense gift that we experience with so much joy.
Original: Spanish 2021-02-26. Translated by Maria Aragón, Monterrey, México