What Is the Schoenstatt Shrine?


Quick Answer

The Schoenstatt Shrine in Vallendar, Germany is where the Catholic spiritual Schoenstatt Movement originated. The Shrine is dedicated to Mary as the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen, and Victress of Schoenstatt, and was founded by Father Joseph Kentenich in 1914 with cooperation from the Pallotine Seminary. The shrine itself is a small white chapel with a hand-carved wooden altar and pews, as well as stained glass and symbolic art revering Mary.

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Full Answer

Father Kentenich originally renovated the small cemetery chapel on the site to serve as a chapel for the boys who attended the Pallotine Seminary high school. He began the Schoenstatt Movement in part because he wished for the boys to have deeper spiritual awareness in the midst of the horrors of the First World War. His goal was to inspire them to help the chapel grow as a site of Catholic Marian spirituality for the people of Germany and the rest of the world.

The Second World War interrupted Father Kentenich's work at the Shrine; during that time, he became a prisoner at Dachau. There, he spread the word about Schoenstatt among the prisoners. Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st century, replicas of the original shrine, known as Daughter Shrines, sprang up throughout the world. Smaller communities, known as Wayside Shrines, also began to grow as the movement gained followers.

Members of the Schoenstatt Movement seek deep relationships with Jesus through knowledge and understanding of Mary. They also try to strengthen their relationships with Mary and Jesus through their daily lives. In addition to their devotion to Mary, Schoenstatt pilgrims seek spiritual and moral growth through prayer, contemplation and community.

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