ARGENTINA/SYRIA/IRAQ, by Cristina White •
Sr. María Guadalupe, from Argentina and missionary of the Incarnate Word has carried out her apostolate in the city of Aleppo, Syria for five years. During the past few months, she has been in Argentina in different areas giving her testimony. It is very difficult to hear the heartbreaking reality of the war, from the protagonist role at the service of the sorrow, and the atrocities that she defines as genocide. To hear her provokes a tremendous inner quivering, and one cannot be indifferent to her message, to her request for prayer and collaboration for the end of war.
On 5 July, in a message to the world, the Holy Father asked us to pray for the peace in Syria, within the framework of this year of Mercy. The Fatima Shrine immediately welcomed this call and they will dedicate the international day of pilgrimage this weekend. “The two Pilgrim Mothers for Syria should already be in Aleppo,” Mercedes MacDonough reported, “or they will arrive soon”.
June 1, Confidentia Shrine, Isa Ubierna with the Pilgrim Mothers
Isa Ubierna’s request:
It was something providential, when in mid-May, Isa Ubierna, a member of the Movement, asked us, in Buenos Aires, for two Pilgrim Mothers and two smaller pictures (for children) to give to Sr. Guadalupe, to be taken on pilgrimage where they will mission in the wars of Syria and Iraq. On 1 June, at the Confidentia Shrine, Buenos Aires, these founding Pilgrim Mothers were commissioned to Isa Ubierna.
Cristina White, Fr. Manuel Lopez Naón
Commissioning on 27 June, the anniversary of João Pozzobon’s death
Since that day and until 27 June – the anniversary of João Pozzobon’s death – these pictures for Syria were in the Mater Dei Sanatorium Chapel, where they were “filled” with prayer and contributions to the capital of grace. That day, after a talk that Sr. Guadalupe gave at St. Martin Tours Chapel, the Pilgrim Mothers were presented to her, without knowing that the date coincided with the anniversary of João Pozzobon’s death. The Third International Pilgrim Auxiliary was present and the presentation was very touching.
Conquest of solidarity
A network of hearts anchored in Jesus and Mary’s hearts
Often we are saddened and we feel impotent before the catastrophes provoked by war. Fr. Kentenich always said that “Schoenstatt is a child of war.” When he came to Latin American, between 1947 -1952, he did it seeking “allies who who would pull the Blessed Mother’s triumphant chariot.” In the great struggles, he saw opportunities so that she, the Great Victress, would manifest her power of Victorious Queen, confirming the reality of the Covenant of Love that is tested in: the magnitude of the difficulties, the smallness of the instruments and the magnitude of the supernatural fruits.
Today, through the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign, we have the opportunity to prove this universal fruitfulness, of being protagonists, collaborators of this crusade of love and of peace and to support its victorious march with our prayer and commitment. “Mother: nothing without you, nothing without us.” If, we, from our hearts, are going to consecrate daily those who she visits in the places of war, if we include them in our daily offering, if we consciously embrace them in our heart, “She, the Great Missionary, will work miracles.”
João had his heart open to the world and to the Church. He lived the mystery of the Communion of the Saints in all its dimensions from his Covenant and his mission. As Fr. Esteban always repeated, it is about forging a network of hearts anchored in Jesus and Mary’s hearts; an inner network that, upon being supported and nourished by God’s Love, is invincible and through it, we are all connected.
Our suffering brothers and sisters need us in order to receive the graces from the Shrine, to be educated as strong, free and supernatural men, women and children and to be able to transform that hell into a Heaven within our hearts. The heart does not have borders or distances. João’s heart was open to the world and to the Church. He lived the mystery of the Communion of the Saints in all its dimensions from his Covenant and his mission. As Fr. Esteban always repeated, it is about forging a network of hearts anchored in Jesus’ and Mary’s hearts; an inner network that, upon being supported and nourished by God’s Love, is invincible and through it, we are all connected.
Living in this attitude, the solidarity of destinies becomes so real, that it impels us to continue to discover that in the thousands of brothers and sisters, who are and will be visited by Pilgrim Mothers throughout the world, a field of apostolate, which in the strength of the Covenant of Love, of the union of our smallness with the Divine Omnipotence, will generate a true revolution of heart, a triumph of Love and of the Father’s Mercy.
May these Pilgrim Mothers, which departed for Syria and Iraq, move our hearts to accompany them in Mary’s new Visitation in these lands.
“With hope and joy and confident in the victory we go with Mary into the newest time!” (Heavenwards, p. 179)
Complete text of Pope Francis’ video message
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today I want to speak to you about something that saddens my heart a lot: the war in Syria, now in its fifth year. It is a situation of unspeakable suffering that the Syrian People are victims of, forced to survive under bombs or to find escape routes to other countries or areas of Syria that less war-torn: to leave their own home, everything…I also think about the Christian communities, which I give my full support to for the discrimination they have to bear.
So I want to turn to all the faithful and those that are committed, with Caritas, to the construction of a more just society. While the people suffer, incredible quantities of money are being spent to supply weapons to fighters. And some of the countries supplying these arms are also among those that talk of peace. How can you believe in someone who caresses you with the right hand and strikes you with the left hand?
I encourage all, adults and young people, to live the Holy Year of Mercy enthusiastically to overcome indifference and proclaim with strength that peace in Syria is possible! Peace in Syria is possible!
For this, we are called to embody this Word of God: “I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord. “They are plans for peace and not disaster plans to give you a future filled with hope.” (Jeremiah, 29,11)
The invitation is to pray for peace in Syria and for its people at prayer vigils, at awareness-raising initiatives in groups, parishes and in communities, to spread the message of peace, a message of unity and hope.
Works of peace then follow prayer. I invite you to call on those who are involved in peace negotiations to take these agreements seriously and to make every effort to facilitate access to humanitarian aid.
Everyone has to recognise that there is no military solution for Syria, but only a political solution. The international community must therefore support the peace talks heading towards the construction of a government of national unity.
Let’s join forces, at all levels, to ensure that peace in beloved Syria is possible. Now that really will be a great example of mercy and love lived for the good of all the international community!
May the Lord bless you and may Mary Most Holy protect you.
(Vatican.news, July 5, 2016)