PORTUGAL, Sr. M. Paula. Last Wednesday, about 100 teenagers and young people walked to the Schoenstatt Shrine to ask our Lady for a miracle. Their 13-year old peer and friend, Rafael, is in a coma following two emergency operations to the brain. This group gahered to support Rafael. There was nothing else they could do except to pray and be united in his pain, and so these teenagers and young people came to the Shrine despite the stormy afternoon.
They arrived at the Shrine and immediately joined hands and formed a circle in front of the Shrine. Because it was raining so hard, they agreed to meet in the hall for a few minutes of prayer. They cried, sang and prayed. They then divided themselves into groups and went to the Shrine where they made a personal commitment to the Blessed Mother, asking for Rafael. The Rosary that was being prayed in the Shrine was interrupted so that the young people, in a moment of silence, could offer up their prayer. One of the smaller children, went up to the altar, to Jesus exposed in the Blessed Sacrament and remained there in prayer. One by one, the others followed his initiative and repeated this gesture.
A deep silence
There was a deep silence, a powerful atmosphere of prayer among these teenagers and youth who needed help to deal with the pain of events they could not understand and, especially, to accept their powerlessness in the midst of this situation.
It as a beautiful gesture of solidarity, of support for the family, especially Rafael’s sister who was also present and for whom a decade of the Rosary for our Capital of Grace was offered. The markings left on the windows of the hall clearly expressed what was happening inside of them. They wrote phrases such as: “Be strong Rafael”. In some way, they left the Tabor Centre feeling better than when they arrived: they cried, they spoke about their friend’s good qualities and were consoled by our Mother and Queen who welcomed them in the Shrine.