The Life of John Pozzobon


First Narration – Taken from the video A Pilgrim Named John


The life of John Pozzobon is like that of many who leave a mark on those they touch and encounter. He was the shopkeeper of a small business in town, in Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul. He became enthused about Schoenstatt’s spirituality and participated in some of the events of the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement. In 1950, he began an apostolate that is now seen in all continents of the world. His apostolate of the Schoenstatt Pilgrim Mother along with the Rosary Campaign which he initiated in Santa Maria has brought the image of the Mother Thrice Admirable to millions of people to this date.

 John’s pilgrimage began in a small place called Ribeirao, which now belongs to the township of

John do Polesine, close to the city of Santa Maria, Brazil. His family were among the Italian peoples that arrived in southern Brazil at the end of the 19th century. The life of the Italian migrants was marked by hard work, profound religiosity, and strong family bonds. All three also characterized John’s personality. The Rosary was prayed every night with the family as an expression of the tender love of Mary that reigned in the Pozzobon family – which also saturated the younger generation.

 As a child, when John began to grow and mature, he had a great aspiration to reach beyond himself. He expressed it saying:

 “I was then eleven and I felt a yearning that I could not satisfy. On our land there was a bit of a hill, in fact a slight elevation. I used to gaze at the horizon where the sky appeared to penetrate the earth to feel somehow that the void in me could be filled. This yearning lasted for thirty-six years.”

 John continued his pilgrimage and life with an unsatisfied, burning desire in his heart. Each of his steps marked the path of a pilgrim going toward a blessed land.


… to be continued.