Posted On 2015-08-30 In Original Shrine

Beside me a Syrian, a Muslim, holding a candle…

Schoenstatt, Fr Franz Widmaier/Maria Fischer •

“I could never have dreamed it possible …” Fr Franz Widmaier exclaimed as his dream came true on Sunday near the Original Shrine.

On 22 and 23 August an international Festival with live music, an international market, typical food specialties and a concert of world music took place at the Pilgrims’ House in Schoenstatt. … The aim of the festival is to bring together the whole variety of different nations. There is a colourful programme of art and culture, live music and culinary offers”, the announcement stated.

“This afternoon I was in our house where the refugees are living and invited the young men to attend. The Syrians and some friends who were visiting, and most of the men from Afghanistan, went along. Abedin (not his real name) played his instrument and sang.” Right in the middle of the festival, they were simply there as though they belonged. It was no pretence; they did belong. They also wanted to be there and in this way show their gratitude. When friends celebrate it is a sign of friendship if you join in.


At the Original Shrine

“The festival ended when we went in procession to the Original Shrine with a big picture of the Blessed Mother, so that we could pray for peace there”, Fr Widmeier continued. “Beside me a Syrian, a Muslim, holding a candle. So were the others in the group. They were with people from many other nations – from Africa, Latin America, Philippines, Indonesia … at the Original Shrine. I wonder what our Muslim friends were thinking …”

In my Father’s house there are many dwellings, Jesus said. In the house of the Blessed Mother it is the same. The house of the Father must be a single, huge apartment-sharing community. However, in this Father’s house the apartment doors are not locked.


Photos: Gaspary, Schw. Lisane, Morfín

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1 Responses

  1. Sarah-Leah Pimentel says:

    This is so beautiful to read. These are people who have left dreadful conditions in their homes . Their homesickness is mingled with fear, with nostalgia, with loneliness and longing for their families and friends. This event offered a small oasis for the many immigrants living in this corner of Germany, most of whom are here not out of choice but circumstance. Here, for a few short hours, they were able to be a family, form community. And then the MTA invited them into her shrine to join them in praying for peace in their homelands. This is solidarity. This is reaching out. This is living the Covenant of Love for others, with others.

    I continue to pray for all those working with the refugees in Schoenstatt, that you will be able to give these people, real people a home away from home as they rebuild their lives. Through your care and generosity, may they meet the Blessed Mother who will walk with them during their exile and pray that they will one day be able to return to their Nazareth, to their friends and family.

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