COLOMBIA, Beatriz Cárdenas, Coordinator of Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign in Riohacha •
On 17 April 2016, the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign arrived in Riohacha La Guajira, a city located in northern Colombia on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. Since that day, the Blessed Mother has guided everyone’s steps that began the process of offering their service. It has been an honor to accompany such a distinguished and sweet visitor to these wonderful lands. She has participated in many activities, and she has received the affection of the devotees who feel attracted and come daily to accompany her when she requests their ministry.
Her arrival was through God’s will, because in Riohacha, we did not know anything about this devotion. It was a deserved welcome; she enkindled a fire in our hearts in an inexplicable way. Everything that happened that day was miraculous, including the unexpected and tempestuous rain in place it rarely rains. She proceeded without mishap to the place destined for her introduction to the community. At 5:30 pm, this 18 April 2017 anniversary celebration also included rain just like the previous year.
Torrential rain, again? No problem!
We began the anniversary celebration of Our Lady of Schoenstatt’s pilgrimage on Monday, 17 April 2017, with a Vigil and the Eucharist. Tuesday, 18 March, was the great first anniversary of encounter with the Blessed Mother. Everyone supported every activity with devotion, and as she likes it, with our hearts.
The day was very beautiful and little by little, the hours marked the time for the gathering. Unexpectedly and just like the previous year it began to rain torrentially. This was a surprise and in silence we repeated with love, “She is the great Missionary, she will work miracles.” At 6:25, many devotees and pilgrims were in the Church and the Holy Rosary began. Then the children from the Marcelo Graziosi School masterfully presented the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The families responded with great love despite the rain.
“Do whatever he tells you”
Surprisingly, Bishop Héctor Ignacio Salah Zuleta arrived just as the Eucharist was about to begin. The entire community was joyful; he con-celebrated with Fr. Heriberto Espinosa and three deacons. Bishop Héctor began the homily stressing the passage of the Gospel about the wedding of Cana where Mary said: “Do whatever he tells you”. (John 2:5). “That was advice from her lips. Do we lack wine? Mary is there, trust in her without limits, learn to open your senses to perceive her presence, to learn to have faith, to know how to do things and show results. Let us be loved by Mary, and let us respond to her love, let us fulfill strengthening evangelization and the prayer of the Holy Rosary. “Love is repaid with love,’ she calls us and moves in hearts. Let us answer her call voluntarily for love of her. Are we alone? Mary accompanies us, because we are her children. We are all pilgrims; let us follow her steps wherever she wants to go. She knows who she is going to, we should be her eyes, her hands, and thus, we say ‘use me as an instrument’,” the Bishop expressed.
Throughout the Eucharist there was an atmosphere of devotion, love and sweetness felt. The weather held, the hours passed without feeling it, and it was a blessing to be there with joy and peace.
You arrived in Riohacha to stay and what happens next is up to us
Thank you beloved Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt for establishing yourself in St. Jude Parish of Riohacha. Your step has been very fruitful and you continue the mission. Thank you for Fr. Heriberto Espinosa, who gives proof of his commitment daily; for Dr. Cristina (Principal of the Marcelo Graciozi School), where the Blessed Mother has received much love; for the Missionaries, who through you, arrive at people’s homes with your blessed picture; for the music group, for the missionaries and all the pilgrims who accompany us each 18th of every month to “fill the wide halls of our Holy Church of St. Jude Thaddeus in the Eucharistic encounter.
Thank you for Bishop Héctor Salah Zuleta, for your support of the Campaign and for your presence in the Eucharist this 18 April 2017, despite that your participation was almost impossible until the last minute.
Mother, we pray that you will look at us with kindness and that you will take care of the intentions we present to you as capital of grace. We need you at our side inspiring us in the fulfillment of our commitment with loyalty. You arrived at Riohacha to stay and it depends on us that is happens. “Nothing without you, nothing without us.”
Blessed Mother, I also thank you for the Chilean and Bogotá teams, that have supported me in this mysterious work you have entrusted to me, where mysteriously attract hearts. You are the great educator; the children have found opportunities in you, and they are actively participating in your campaign. In Riohacha, “She is the great Missionary, she will work miracles.”
Original: Spanish. 18 May 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA