WYD, Roberto M. González •
For those of us who have the grace of living in Schoenstatt, or as in my case, 80 km from Vallendar, we know how beautiful it is to be able to visit the Original Shrine, but we are also witnesses that after the pandemic, the number of people and groups that pass through here has decreased. —
But that has changed in the last two weeks, since a few months ago, group after group of boys’ and girls’ youth have been requesting lodging in Schoenstatt, before WYD in Lisbon, reaching about 450 young people.
As a result of this, the Original Shrine and the Pilgrims’ Center have organized the different guides and meetings for the different groups. There was an international Mass with most of the groups present and a music and dance festival to close the night, but not before renewing the covenant of love in the Original Shrine.
As if it were 1914 all over again
Particularly what has called my attention, and in a very positive way, is that many of the youth who have passed through here, are the new Schoenstatt generations, many of them in high school and beginning of university age, whose eyes were shining with joy and emotion upon encountering the Original Shrine for the first time.
The excitement was and is so great that not even the rain and the storms of these days of the German “summer” prevented them from visiting each shrine, asking about the different stories of the known and less known corners of Schoenstatt.
They have truly been on the way, on the way to encounter the origin of the movement and to leave their capital of grace full of hope, joys, doubts, and petitions, as if it were 1914 again.
On the way to the encounter with the Pope
Today the Masses and the houses have returned to their normality and tranquility, but for those of us who cannot go to WYD, we are left with a beautiful image and taste of what will be experienced there, wishing of course that a new encounter will take place here in the place of origin, where we will be waiting for everyone with open arms and above all with open Shrines.
During these days the farewell corner that Father Kentenich walked with those who were leaving Schoenstatt for the war, became a reality again, but this time in the shadow of the Original Shrine, from where they have left without delay, to go to the encounter with the Pope, and to sow the seeds that will fall in this encounter.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org