SPAIN, Carlos Martínez •
Upon entering the Schoenstatt Shrine at 97 Serrano Street in Madrid, Spain, one can read “Come and See”. A phrase from the Gospel of St. John. Everyday hundreds of people go on pilgrimage to this shrine in a noisy city. We are invited to place our gaze on Jesus and to follow him, even without knowing what we are looking for. A few days ago, hundreds of young people dared to fix our gaze on Him and let ourselves be led. —
A week after the end of Misión País España, Mission Country Spain, the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament on February 8 was a real explosion of emotions. It is always said that when you go on mission, you are the one who comes back “missioned.” Yesterday the Blessed Mother made it noticeably clear. Every Tuesday the Spanish Schoenstatt Youth celebrate Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the Serrano Shrine. Normally about twenty people attend. Yesterday there were more than two hundred youth who enjoyed an hour of prayer and exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
The decoration was so beautiful and at the same time so simple: banners, sheets, and the symbols of the mission (Pilgrim Mother, Missionary Cross, Smiling Christ, Capital of Grace, Missionary Telephones…).
It was very impressive to see the fruits that the Blessed Mother has given us. Most of us did not know each other since we came from different missions. But there was an extraordinarily strong and special bond. Anyone who passed by with the intention of going to the Shrine could breathe this sensation. Irresistible questioning. This is how to define what we experienced.
A choir formed by fifteen people (guitars, violin, and cello) allowed us to enjoy several songs (“Surge courage”, “In your hands”, “Let it break”…). In the youth we have great singers and musicians, but this time it was not their musical gifts that made our hearts vibrate. They played with so much emotion and passion that it was impossible to stop looking at the Blessed Sacrament, close your eyes, and simply let yourself be carried away by the emotions.
Be brave like Peter and jump out of the boat
In this year’s Gospel of Misión País España (“Jesus walks on the waters”), the Lord asked us to trust in Him, not to be afraid to recognize Him and to be courageous like Peter and jump out of the boat, knowing that He will always sustain us in our weakness. February 8 was an act of courage. Where the youth have decided to follow in the footsteps of Jesus instead of tying themselves to the mast of their boats. There was an incredibly special moment, where after consecrating ourselves to the Blessed Mother, and all embraced, the hymn of the mission was sung. A hymn that is sung with the voice of the heart, and in unison with the shaking of the youth, we heard “Mother, I want to be your instrument…”.
At the end, and improvised by the emotions, each mission formed a choir jumping and singing the motto of the mission. All kinds of songs could be heard, each one related to their mission and experiences.
Rekindling Spain and turning it into a land of Mary
From the youth, we are incredibly grateful for the fruits of Misión País. In the missions we never tire of saying that she works miracles, that she is the Queen of the Mission. And we have realized that when we go by her hand, contribute to the Capital of Grace, and place ourselves at her service as instruments, she acts.
At the end of the adoration, a dynamic was proposed so that during the whole week, we pray for the petitions and intentions of each one of us.
Those of us who know the Shrine know what it feels like to be in the Shrine; and we are incredibly happy to be able to bring so many young people closer to Mary, where she gives us her graces and brings us closer to Jesus. So, we can only thank the Blessed Mother and God. And ask them to continue to enkindle the hearts of young people with holy fire to rekindle Spain and turn it into a land of Mary.
Original: Spanish, 10.02.2022. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org