BRAZIL, Ruy Kaercher/ Maria Fischer •
“And we finally arrived at 1977, the year of the construction and inauguration of the Shrine of Santa Cruz, the sixth shrine in Brazil, the diocesan shrine of this land. We began this year with new enthusiasm and great conviction that this would be the year marked by heaven for special graces to be worked in this land.” Father’s footsteps generate life. “Precisely three days before the 30th anniversary of the Founding Father’s visit to Santa Cruz, construction work began on the shrine. The anniversary was to be May 5, and the work began on the second of May.” —
With these words the third day of the Triduum of the 45th anniversary of Santa Cruz (Mother of God Chapel) began, an anniversary that this shrine would not have been able to live, if it were not for the perseverance of its pilgrims, to rescue it from the determination to destroy it, or to “replace” it as if it were an old slipper that is no longer in fashion.
Not just Schoenstatters
On the day of the blessing, December 11, 1977, a historic date, there was a large pilgrimage to the shrine:
“And at 9 a.m. the pilgrimage began, starting from the clover, from where a real crowd moved slowly, while many other people waited around the shrine. When the procession of the Pilgrim Mother arrived at the shrine, Holy Mass was celebrated, presided by Monsignor Alberto. The entire celebration was printed and distributed to those present. It may seem a pride, a holy pride, but it was the most solemn celebration of the time.”
This December 11, 45 years later, there were not as many people. But as then, there were Schoenstatters and people from Santa Cruz do Sul, people who love this shrine, as Schoenstatters love it (actually, just because of that, they are Schoenstatters, without knowing it).
Hymn of the Shrine
At the end, a group of singers sang a refrain of the hymn of the Shrine (now Mother of God Chapel). This hymn was composed (written) especially for this small chapel and was sung at the dedication of the shrine 45 years ago, on 11/12/1977.
Once again in these days, all the participants, with strong emotion, greeted the Mother and Queen, and surely the heavens were shaken by this great demonstration of loyalty and love to the Mother and her Divine Son.
We have to kindle our love for the shrine, and more will happen. We have to pray always. Prepare the soil of your heart; it must be sanctified because the Blessed Mother and her Divine Son want to remain in our midst. Let us trust in Divine Providence, let us remain faithful. Even with the refusal of the local Church, we continue to firmly believe in God’s plans, and we will achieve the divine victory… As long as there are souls who remain faithful to the shrine and its mission, the Work will be fruitful.
We are builders of a great future.
Through the Covenant of Love, we are Instruments of the mission of our Shrine!
After the pilgrimage and commemoration, with the renewal of the commitment, the Holy Mass was celebrated presided by Father Leão and animated by the young Thuenso.
A great people of God around the Shrine…
Original: Portuguese, 12.12.2022. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org