Pilgrimage to Schoenstatt

What does it mean to go on pilgrimage?

  • To set off - 
  • Leave old things behind me -
  • Follow my longing -
  • Take difficulties into account -
  • Open myself for God -
  • To pursue the questions about the meaing of life -
  • To meet people and make new friends -
  • To make my home at a place of grace -
  • To reach a goal -
  • All this and much more...

Ever since I go on Peregrinación
, my life has changed

To come into contact with places, where one feels well and returns as reborn to life again, is a longing which urges pilgrims on their way. People set off and experience, with every step something happens. “Ever since I go on Peregrinación
, my life has changed”, is the experience of one young man, who for a long time could not understand why his father every year would take upon himself to go on a difficult foot pilgrimage.
But this “setting out on one’s way” does not suffice. The goal is decisive. That is a holy place, where the presence of God can be perceived in a particular way. Places of pilgrimage radiate the closeness of God and take the pilgrim into a healing atmosphere.

The Small Schoenstatt Shrine – the Place of a New Beginning

The emergence of Schoenstatt as a place of grace can be traced back to a concrete date: October 18, 1914. God’s grace binds itself to the little chapel, which at that time was being used as a storage place for garden tools. This transformation could take place thanks to the fact that human beings opened themselves to God’s plan. They went along. The chapel, a meeting place for the Marian Sodality of the House of Studies in Schoenstatt, became a place of a new beginning.
World War I was the external, unmistakable sign, that a new beginning was needed. Times of armed conflict, of terror and destruction, calls for people who will commit themselves to inner freedom, to truth, to justice, people who want to do what is great and good and who will open themselves for Christ. Father Kentenich introduced these young men and later people of all ages and walks to his vision of the new person in the new community. The chapel in Schoenstatt became the place of the covenant with the Blessed Mother and with one another.

The Covenant of Love Calls for Departure from Indolence

According to God’s plan this happens in Schoenstatt through Mary. She is the one who is deeply bond to God and to people. She loves. And those who unite themselves with her, is drawn by her into her love. The covenant of love is the original and permanent expression for this process, which has inner and outer dimensions. The personal identity is strengthened and the engagement for a better world increases. Love has always something to do with commitment, surrender, witness. It calls for departure from indifference.
The pilgrimage to Schoenstatt is in this sense not another “highlight” among others. It is not meant to be a feast and afterwards everything remains as it was before. To go on pilgrimage means to bring one’s own life, the needs of people and of humanity into dialog and into prayer. It is to be openly perceived and it should have an impact on public life.
Just as in 1914 – with a generation which put everything on one card and on whose shoulders everyone else stands, so too those who come to Schoenstatt today and experience the activity of God through the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt.