YOUTH SYNOD, Maria Fischer •
On the feast of Our Lady of aparecida on 12 October – also the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar – the Holy Father urged the Brazilian people to search for Our Lady “in the waters of their hearts, because she is Mother.” Lucas Galhardo, the impetus behind this greeting, said that the experience of this moment and the Synod as a whole, personally encourages him to pray more for the Holy Father.
On 12 October at the Synod, Bishop Vilsom Basso, the bishop of Imperatriz (Brazil) filmed the Pope, together with Lucas Galhardo from the Schoenstatt Boys’ Youth in Brazil, on the feast day of Our Lady of Aparecida, the patroness of Brazil. Pope Francis, with a small statue of Our Lady of Aparecida in his hand, said in Spanish:
“To the people of Brazil, my warm greetings on the feast day of Our Lady of Aparecida. May each of you find her in your heart, like the fishermen found her in the river. Search in the waters of your hearts and you will find her, because she is Mother. May she accompany you, and pray for me.”
On the evening of 12 October, after the Synod sessions had ended, we were able to speak with Lucas Galhardo. “It was very spontaneous,” he said. “We hadn’t planned it. It emerged from the attachment that the Brazilians have to Our Lady of Aparecida. Yesterday, we obtained this image from Fr. Alexandre to use it today in the Portuguese language working group. This image sits on Fr. Alexandre’s office desk…”.
It was during break time. “I was sharing with my bishop from Brazil about the image for today, when we saw that the Pope had returned to the assembly (we were at break time). Very spontaneously, we thought about asking him if he could send a blessing and some words to the people of Brazil.”
As we were joyfully reflecting on Our Lady’s help in sending the Pope’s greetings to the people of Brazil and not only to them, but to everyone, Lucas became thoughtful.
“You know, over the last few days, the first mission that touched me was to pray more for the Pope,” he said. “He needs it.”
Yes, Lucas, I replied, this Pope is a gift from God, but many do not make the most of it, but rather criticise him, even in Schoenstatt not everyone is with him. But we can change something and start to pray more and be open and available to his message.”
I commented that a few years ago, a lady in Germany – a Pilgrim Mother Campaign missionary – launched an initiative to pray for the Pope and many committed to pray for him daily, and that the Schoenstatt.org team in 2013 entered into and continues to live in covenant solidarity with the Pope, together with a large group from the Union Families in Spain.[Article in Spanish]. “What great initiatives,” said Lucas and then repeated: “We have to pray more for our Holy Father Francis.”
During these days, as we lead up to 18 October, we search for Mary in the water of our heart and pray and act in covenant solidarity with Pope Francis.
Original: Spanish, 15 October. Translation: Sarah-Leah Pimentel, Cape Town, South Africa