ROME – CUBA, Fr. Rolando Gibert Montes de Oca Valero •
I was not aware there was a Marian Jubilee. I found out about it from a friend’s invitation. So I thought: the Church wants to give Blessed Mother a gift… but surely she will give us something better, and I began to ask myself what would be the richest gift that Blessed Mother would want to give us…
In conjunction with the Jubilee, some friends from the Neo-catechumenal Way invited me to a “Catechetical Symphonic Celebration.” It was a musical opus entitled, “The Suffering of the Innocents,” dedicated to the Jewish community, but also to all innocent victims of injustices or natural disasters. The opus, which recreated the Passion, Death and Resurrection of the Lord, had its culminating point when by means of the music and singing, we were invited to accompany the Blessed Mother at the foot of the Cross, everyone singing as one voice with the symphony and the choir: “Mary, Mother of God.”
Mary and the pain before the Cross
The next day, a Vigil took place in St. Peter’s Square beginning with a pastor of a church and a community tested by pain– the Archbishop of Aleppo’s testimony. It impacted me to listen to this man speaking of hope and asking for prayers for his flock; here is the second sign.
Immediately afterward, to accompany this pain experienced by the Blessed Mother… she came with her children who made an extensive procession with images of different shrines throughout the world. Leading the procession was our Lady of Pompeii, so loved and inspiring, then came the Virgin of Coromoto from Venezuela, Our Lady of Guadalupe from Mexico, Our Lady of the Pillar from Zaragoza, Spain, one from Vietnam, from Fatima, from Lourdes, Chiquinquirá from Colombia… and so many more…
Where is the MTA?
I was lacking a representation of our MTA; I thought the procession was beautiful but incomplete. Lacking was that land so warm and dear… On my part, I waved a small Schoenstatt banner and I searched and searched… Mary Help of Christians is visible, also the Virgin of Lebanon, the Virgin of Suyapa from Honduras, the one from Aparecida in Brazil, the one from Luján in Argentina… and behind another group of Argentineans – I know because of the flag – there is a banner of The Shrine of Mary of the Rosary from St. Nicholas. It is carried by a priest and some laity… and there is, yes, a Unity Cross, there goes the Blessed Mother of Schoenstatt. I am filled with joy and shout, Schoenstatt! They see me and we shout as a chorus, “Schoenstatt, Schoenstatt!”
Then the Pope arrived to pray the Rosary with everyone. Almost at the end, my phone had not stopped vibrating. It unsettled me. Perhaps it is someone needing this prayer… it was an email with a series of photos showing the Hurricane Matthew’s destruction of the dear parish of Maisí at the eastern tip of the island of Cuba. The pain and Mary: the message was clear. My Rosary then turns into a contemplation of these images and thinking of so many who are now only left with life and the desire to rebuild… I kept my gaze on an image of Mary with the certainty that she was with them, and I was at peace.
Covenant with them and for them
On Sunday, at the Jubilee’s central celebration, Pope Francis invited us to give thanks to God, being aware that that all we have is a gift, and in the end, in the address previous to the Angelus, he asked for prayers for the many victims of the hurricane in Haiti.
Here I completed the message: The Jubilee the Blessed Mother wants from us should be an experience of the Covenant of Love that launches us into service of those who suffer the most: Covenant with them and for them. “Schoenstatt on the way” should have the flavor of commitment and surrender in favor of the many who now go through the path of pain.
For love for my Christ and my Blessed Mother: What am I doing for them?