BRAZIL, Ruy Kaercher / Maria Fischer •
“With the gift of the Spirit, Jesus wants to free the disciples from the fear that imprisons them in their homes, so that they can go out and become witnesses and proclaimers of the Gospel.” Thus, Pope Francis at the Regina Coeli on Pentecost 2023. Where there is fear, where the doors are closed, the Holy Spirit is absent. Despite much suffering and many a threat, the lay people of the first Schoenstatt Shrine in Santa Cruz do Sul never closed their doors, never gave up, and never abandoned their Shrine. What a good idea to place the new symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Shrine on this feast of Pentecost. —
During this month of May, there were many Masses, rosaries and meetings of the “Men’s Rosary” in the Shrine – once even with the wives! On this Pentecost Sunday, everything culminated in the Pentecost Mass in the Shrine decorated with flowers and red cloth, with the symbols of the Unity Cross, the Pilgrim MTA and the jar.
“Today we offer the symbol of the Holy Spirit,” was the message early on the morning of Pentecost Sunday. “We are with you,” says Paz Leiva, speaking for many of us who have followed the “contributions of the strong to the capital of grace” with admiration and solidarity for the past two years.
A “warm” Holy Spirit symbol made of wood
The desire of the strong Schoenstatters of Santa Cruz do Sul is clear: to recover, step by step, the elements and symbols of the Shrine (we recall that the original symbols, including the door, the windows, and the flowers and shrubs outside, were removed from this Shrine by night and fog, kept for several months in the house of the Sisters of Mary, and then moved to the new Shrine that was blessed a few weeks ago in another part of the city).
In the midst of their sadness, the Schoenstatters of the first Shrine initially thought of replacing the symbols in exactly the same form and materials as the originals. But in the meantime, “we opted for simplicity in replacing the symbols,” says Ruy Kaercher.
So now there is a wooden Holy Spirit symbol – very similar to those we know from Paraguay, which are found in various shrines, and also in home shrines.
Come, Holy Spirit, come!
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org