ITALY, Gisela Ciola •
Faithful to our commitment, we, the missionaries of northern Italy, got to work on October 9. We prepared introducing our Queen to the Erba (in Como) community for the first time with a Mass in her honor:
A great deal of work was done; each one of us had a precise and important commission: making brochures to invite the people to participate in the Mass, coordinating with the pastor, preparing the presentation that would be made in the Church, and organizing our travel logistics from Trento to Como, etc.
That day we presented ourselves at St. Maurizion Church accompanied by our prayer group. After the Rosary and the first Mass, the priest called us to bring the Blessed Mother to the altar and to place her on the altar! We were very happy because we finally saw our Pilgrim Mother welcomed as a Queen in such a special place, surrounded by candles and the immense love of all the participants. People expressed how honored they felt to be there accompanying her, and they thanked us very much for bringing her.
Then I thought: “Mother, how beautiful to see where you are! I know that you still have many things reserved for us, and as your loyal instrument, I will take you wherever you want to go. Here I am! Here we are!”
In the following days, several people approached the missionaries, asking for a visit from the Pilgrim Mother! And all this happened because of your presence!
The morning after the Mass, we met a priest (in another church), who knew about Schoenstatt, and he had a picture of the Blessed Mother on his nightstand! He told us that he would gladly participate in the next Masses in her honor!
She is here! Again she responded to my prayers, right away she sent tangible signs that this is an important task that we are doing and that she is happy with our commitment, Thank you Mother for that shot of love!
The Pilgrimage raced on: playing catch up
After these two wonderful days together in Milan, the group of missionaries divided. It was evident that our Mother still had much for us to do and she wants to do it in haste!” We know our ways and times are not like heaven’s ways and times, consequently if she is in haste, we will be following behind. She put us into action again, giving each one a concrete task.
Franco stayed in the community of Como to organize the recent work initiated by the missionaries and with new people who wanted to receive the Pilgrim Mother. I returned to Trento to prepare everything for the October 18 celebration. Rosana and Milena (missionaries from Como and Trento) departed for the Belmonte Shrine, in Rome, for them it was the first time, this was another gift from the Blessed Mother– giving us instruments and to bring to the “Fount of Grace.” They met with Sr. Ivonne, who thanked them very much for their help and their work that is so necessary and indispensable for us. The great Blessed Mother continued to open the way!
And then? …It was October 18!
Some history of this small church, which is very beautiful and filled with love and humility:
Since Tavernaro is a small community, the church was destined to be closed because of a lack of priests; the Masses were celebrated in Cognola, the closest community. The people from this small little town wanted the doors of their church to remain open, and they organized themselves so this would happen. The took charge of the church, and now they gather every third Wednesday of the month for Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and a Rosary.
Coincidence? She wanted for this Wednesday of this month to be precisely the 18th, the third Wednesday!
When Milena proposed to the prayer group to have an illuminated Rosary for this special occasion, the idea was received with great enthusiasm!
On October 18, the Tavernaro community attended Mass at 8:00 pm in Cognola, and after Mass, they came to the Rosary in Tavarnaro with other people from the Cognola prayer group.
There were approximately fifteen people among the three groups who had gathered for the first time (Tavernaro, Cognola, and the city of Trento). Before the Rosary, Milena gave a testimony of our recent experience in Como, with the aim of sharing the Blessed Mother’s work with these communities. Then, I explained the importance of October 18 for us; we spoke about the Covenant of Love, the Shrine, Father and Joao Pozzobon, so many things!
Then the Rosary began. As usual we had prepared the meditations and the intentions for each mystery, but this time, in a spontaneous manner, every person who led a mystery added something about the Blessed Mother of Schoenstatt, a petition and expression of gratitude. It was really touching.
After the Rosary, Milena and I renewed our missionary commitment, and while we said our prayer, we felt very much accompanied by everyone, there was a beautiful atmosphere around us.
Following the prayer, everyone stood and prayed three Hail Marys for us, the missionaries, and for our task. It was all we could do to keep from crying…
In a word: Thanks!
Mother, I want to thank you for being in my life and for everything you give me. I have thought a lot about the road that both of us have traveled for so many years since 2001, when I made my Covenant of Love with you. I understood the reason for the journey and for all the wonderful people you have placed on my road to take me wherever you needed me, I want to thank you for each one of them.
To my beloved mother who allowed me to know you and who always accompanied and sustained me throughout my road, to Fr. Guillermo Carmona with whom I made my Covenant of Love and since then, I still receive his precious letters of reflection on the 18th of every month. To Fr. Riba with whom I began my first steps in the Campaign, to Sr. Ivonne who sustains me greatly and helps me on this journey, and a very special thank you with all my heart to Milena, Franco and Rosana, the missionaries that with great faith and devotion, offer their work everyday, in spite of the great difficulties they experience. They are Mary’s great instruments! Through them your Pilgrim Mother continues reaching new families and new communities, giving graces and conversions!