“She is the Great Missionary; She will work miracles.”

Vincent Palotti


What’s it all about?

The pilgrim mother is an apostolate within the Catholic Church, with a modern pastoral method and a specific objective to evangelize people in these new times.  It is part of the Pilgrims’ Movement within Schoenstatt. It reaches out to everyone, promoting Christian values and providing deep encounters with Christ through Mary.

The blessings and graces from the Schoenstatt Shrine are made available to all those who open their homes to Mary. Prayers and reflections are provided to make this possible. This apostolate is supported  by the spirituality and pedagogy of Schoenstatt. Its organization allows both, the missionaries and those who receive the image of Mary to gather regularly or occasionally, as they see fit.

Why should I join?

When the image of the Mother Thrice Admirable is blessed and sent out from the Schoenstatt Shrine, it is similar to Mary who went to visit her cousin Elizabeth bringing the presence of Christ with her. Mary, too, carries Christ into our homes, serves our spiritual needs, and works miracles by interceding for us before the throne of God. She wants to make your home the place where she comes to serve and bring Jesus there.



Answers to frequently asked questions about the Apostolate

What's the Method?

The image of the blessed Mother rotates every three days among the homes, families or individuals committed to the one particular image.

The regular visits of the  Schoenstatt Pilgrim MTA to families, schools, jails, hospices and hospitals gives to this apostolate its unique character.

What is the biblical origin?

These visits remind us of three biblical scenes:

  1. at the Cross, when John received Mary and took her into his home
  2. at the Visitation, when Mary arrived at the home of Elizabeth, bringing the presence of Christ into that household
  3. the Cenacle, when the apostles united in prayer with Mary, awaiting the coming of the Holy  Spirit, became apostles for  the world

How did it start?

On September 10, 1950 Sister Mary Teresinha Gobbo, a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary, gave Joao a large picture of the Blessed Mother of Schoenstatt to take to the people of the parish, he was supposed to take it to a different house each day to encourage the people to pray the rosary, but he did not have to participate in the prayer. Joao strictly carried out his task to take the picture to the homes. As he began to daily pray the rosary shared with these families, and with each visit of the Blessed Mother, he saw how the hearts of the people were being transformed. This task changed his existence.

At this point, this apostolate has had a profound impact in the hearts of millions of persons in the whole world. As always, God uses the most humble instruments for the greatest tasks. Joao Pozzobon traveled close to 140, 000 kilometers visiting families, hospitals, schools and jails in southern Brazil, carrying the picture he received the first day which weighed 11 kilos on his shoulder, and he also carried a bag with materials for the apostolate which weighed about seven kilos. Nothing could stop him!

He was the father of seven children, and he dedicated himself to his family with remarkable responsibility. His humility was very impressive. He called himself “the Blessed Mother’s little donkey”, because he took the Blessed Mother everywhere, and he had a special preference for the poor people. He went to the houses in the poor neighborhoods, and he founded a villa, helping to build houses for those in miserable or very poor conditions.

In the year 1984, the Apostolic Movement of Schoenstatt was preparing for the centennial celebration of the birth its founder, Father Joseph Kentenich (1885-1968). At that time, there were 99 shrines replicas of the Original Shrine in the whole world. At that point, the Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign had developed especially within Brazil with some 2,570 Pilgrim MTAs that traveled to the homes daily, mainly in the south, where Joao had most actively worked. Between the years 1984 and 1986 it was brought to the USA. The results have been outstanding. Since the first presentation of this apostolate in EWTN in 1993, it is active in all states of the USA. 

What are the intentions of this initiative?

In the strength of the new evangelization, people are sent out from the Schoenstatt Shrine

  • to bring the message of the gospel, as we find it contained in the mysteries and prayers of the Rosary,
  • to inspire hope in times of worries and needs, by bringing the blessed image of Christ and Mary,
  • and to reach out into the homes and parishes with the three pilgrimage graces of the Schoenstatt Shrines:
    • the grace of being at home,
    • of inner transformation and
    • apostolic fruitfulness.

How can I contact you?

This beautiful mission is coordinated from Waukesha. Its main office can be found in the Father Kentenich Hall of the International Schoenstatt Center.

For further information, you may contact us via






W 284 N698 Cherry Lane

Waukesha, WI 53188

Am I the Coordinator?

A coordinator is the person who helps to organize the circulation of the images of the Pilgrim Mother in a particular area. He or she becomes a liaison between the missionaries, the Schoenstatt Movement leadership and or the parish priest in the particular area. This person may consider him or herself an instrument of the God and of the Blessed Mother in a special way. Without having to coordinate the rotation of each individual image, this person makes sure that the necessary formation and information is provided as needed. This refers to newsletters, dates of special events, or workshops.

Who are the Missionaries?

 The missionaries take the image of the Pilgrim Mother to homes, families, schools, nursing homes, jails or wherever she may be received worthily.  They seek families who will receive it, schedule the visits, trying – if possible – to schedule homes which are not far apart from one another.  This makes it easier for the Pilgrim MTA to travel, thus strengthening the faith community in the area. It is very important that the parish priest be informed of the work which the Pilgrim MTA missionary is doing.

The missionary makes a commitment for one year.  This can be renewed as many times as the person wishes to do so.  This is done within the framework of a rite. The state or area coordinator can provide the missionary with the information regarding the moments to renew the commitment. Otherwise, find on this website a page for:

Renewal of Annual Commitment. 

If you would like to become a missionary of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother, watch  these videos and complete your process of preparation and training for this apostolate.

School of Missionaries

What do I do when the Blessed Mother comes?

The image rotates with a number of flyers, prayers, and manuals. The missionary may also include information pertaining to the life of the local faith community, the parish, the diocese, and our Catholic faith in general. Schoenstatt literature is also provided in order to make the visit of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother much more meaningful.

At the end, thank her for the blessings received, contact the missionary who coordinates the visits, and pass the image on to the next person.

Click Here for some tips on how to receive the image.



Let the Missionaries speak to us

[In 2016] I went home from the convention with the desire to share Mary’s picture of grace with my family and with my parish. I wanted to share the experience of being surrounded by warmth and love, that God and the Blessed Mother are not ideas but persons who address me personally, who give content and meaning to my life. I wanted to share with courage, confidence, and faithfulness the awareness of the presence of the Mother of God in the picture of grace so others could experience her blessings too, so she could bring her Son and the three pilgrimage graces of the shrine anew to our world.

Carol Mechler

Among the fruits of the visits of the Pilgrim Mother, I especially remember that after my mother passed away, I would feel a bit sad at Christmas until I was able to have the Pilgrim Mother for the 23-24-25 of the month. Suddenly it hit me: My mother—the Blessed Mother—was with me for Christmas! This was a special blessing!  

Judy Harlow

We have five Pilgrim MTAs routing throughout our parish and one MTA for nursing home visits. We started in 1993 after a visit from Sr. M. Elizabeth. So many blessings have come from our MTA’s visit…  Our Blessed Mother brings me much comfort through her presence at home.  She is someone I turn to in time of need.

Phyllis Schicker

During this Christmas with Covid, it has been a great blessing for our people to receive the image of the Pilgrim Mother. It has been a time of preparation and a time to give shelter to Mary and Joseph. We had the shelter seeking nine days before Christmas and a beautiful celebration for the birth of our Lord. It has brought much joy, peace, hope, and light to each home we visited.

Lydia Concepcion