In the year 1965, the founder of Schoenstatt, Father Joseph Kentenich, addressed a few members of the Schoenstatt Family that gathered in the Schoenstatt Shrine in Milwaukee in order to say goodbye before he was leaving for Rome. He had spent close to fourteen years in Milwaukee in obedience to the Church, as the Church tested and studied the Schoenstatt work during those years. The result of this time of separation, sacrifices and much trust in God’s guidance was a greater confidence in the Blessed Mother, a deeper awareness of being instruments in the hands of God, and a greater conviction that our Schoenstatt Shrines have a particular mission for our times.
His parting words centered on three phrases that sounded like a last will and testament. They are an invitation to constantly live in the awareness that God’s love surrounds us regardless of hardships, trials, hard blows.
The following three days reflections are inspired in these words from Father Kentenich. Since they focus so much on the mercy of God and of the Blessed Mother, it is fitting to pray these reflections as a Triduum anytime during the jubilee year of mercy. Most of all, these reflections are meant to be prayed on the three days in which the Blessed Mother visits homes and families as the Pilgrim Mother of Schoenstatt.
Day 1 – “CHILD, DO NOT FORGET YOUR MOTHER”
On this day we pray for the first pilgrimage grace from the Schoenstatt Shrine, the grace of being at home.
As you welcome the Mother Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt into your home, make room for the graces which she brings directly from the Schoenstatt Shrine. Those graces are a powerful stream of life and love flowing from this place of grace, as a fruit of the Holy Spirit’s working…
When she visits us in the image of the Pilgrim Mother, she brings with her this special grace of being at home. When we visit her in her shrine, physically or spiritually, she pulls this grace directly from the merciful heart of our Lord and makes it available to us. Therefore,
Do not forget that Mary dwells in the Schoenstatt Shrine as Mother of Mercy…
Day 2 – “CHILD, DO NOT FORGET YOUR MISERY”
On this day we pray for the second pilgrimage grace from the Schoenstatt Shrine, the grace of inner transformation.
As you greet the Blessed Mother on this second day, once again make room in your heart for the graces she wants to give you. These are the graces which the Pilgrim MTA brings from the Schoenstatt Shrine. This time it is the grace to be inwardly transformed into a living image of Christ.
The letters MTA stand for Mother Thrice Admirable. It stands for Mother of God, Mother of the Redeemer, and Mother of the redeemed. It is the title of the image of Mary that is venerated in the Schoenstatt Shrines all over the world. Schoenstatt is the name of the place where the Schoenstatt Movement was founded. Schoenstatt means beautiful place. The word pilgrim refers to the fact that the image rotates, circulates, pilgrims among the people.
In the Schoenstatt Shrine, Mary, as the Mother Thrice Admirable Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt, makes God’s infinite mercy available to us through her motherly presence, and her transforming power.
Day 3 – “CHILD, DO NOT FORGET THE MERCIES OF THE ETERNAL GOD AND FATHER!”
On this day we pray for the third pilgrimage grace from the Schoenstatt Shrine, the grace of apostolic fruitfulness.
On this third day of Mary’s visit to your home as the Pilgrim MTA, you may look back and thank for the many graces you have received. These are the very same graces she distributes from the Schoenstatt Shrine, and which she makes available to many people through her visits. But, just like God depends on the Blessed Mother’s kindness to give of his graces to many people, so Mary depends on us, her instruments, so that many others may know all about the blessings awaiting them in the shrine – besides those that she wants to bring into the homes in each of her visits. This is the grace of becoming an apostle, a missionary of Mary’s love. This is the third grace we receive in the shrine, the grace of apostolic zeal.