ARGENTINA, Esther Rígoli-Claudia Echenique •
Under the motto “Mother, thank you for your love,” the Thirtieth Pilgrimage of Gratitude was held on Sunday, November 20th, from Crespo to Boca del Tigre, in the Archdiocese of Paraná. The Blessed Mother showed her great closeness to each one of her covenant partners, who were grateful for her presence and responded to the call to be part of the road. —
This year we perceived an incredibly special grace because more communities, villages and nearby cities joined us. In addition to the main group that departed from Crespo, there were also groups from Seguí and Santa Rosa, rural towns near Boca del Tigre.
This experience leads us to see in all that we have experienced a great sign in which Mary asks us once again to make ourselves available to be trustworthy instruments of her great love, sheltered, transformed and sent to nurture and radiate this encounter of brothers and sisters, but above all, an encounter of people in need and grateful for Mary’s great work as a Mother.
On the road at dawn
It was a blessed pilgrimage of almost 13 km. From each place we left at 5 a.m., it was still dark. At dawn (although it was cloudy) we walked with the Auxiliary in the lead. With her maternal presence, she radiated the graces of the shrine to each one, revealing to us once again, “Nothing without you, nothing without us.” Among those who went there were missionaries of the Rosary Campaign and many people who receive the visit of the Pilgrim MTA in their homes.
They all agreed that she always comes at the best time. “Mother, I needed you; I missed you, and you came at just the right time”. Some were grateful for her closeness in all circumstances, others trusted that she will always help them, manifesting her strength and great love in everything, in health, in work, in spirit and in solidarity.
We received so many gifts, so many details of a Mother who, in her great love, wanted to go with us and be with us again, to be with us, with this little community, with the Church.
Along the way, people joined in. It was very moving to see small groups of people waiting at each corner to join in or just to touch the picture of the Blessed Mother and in this way, we were all united together in prayer, songs, and contemplations.
The distinct groups arrived at the Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes, where we celebrated Holy Mass at eight o’clock. The picture of the nearby wayside shrine, where everything began 30 years ago, was also brought.
Opening the door wide
After the Eucharistic celebration in the chapel, we all made a pilgrimage of about 500 meters to bring the picture back to the wayside shrine, which is located in the yard of a country house.
When they tried to put the picture in its place, the corresponding door was opened, but no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t find a way for the picture to get in, and then they said, “It seems that Our Lady doesn’t want to stay here!”
As I approached to help, I saw a detail that was the obstacle. The door was open, but it was not completely open. I discovered the message she wanted to tell us: For Mary to come into our heart, into our home, we must open the door ajar so that she can reign and work.
With this moment full of grace and prayer, we concluded a new Crespo-Boca del Tigre pilgrimage of gratitude.
Mary, Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt, we were able to say to you: Thank you, Mother, for your love and for your closeness during these thirty years!
Original: Spanish, 04.12.2022. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org