Schoenstatt is a place in the town of Vallendar near the city of Koblenz, Germany.
In October 1914 Father Joseph Kentenich and a group of boys sealed a “covenant of love” with the Blessed Mother in a little chapel. A new place of pilgrimage developed. Today people from all over the world make a pilgrimage there. Globally there are more than 200 copies of this very first shrine - the original shrine.
"If the Church seeks Christ, she always knocks at our Mother's house and asks, 'Show us Jesus'." (Pope Francis in Aparecida, 24th July 2013)
The founder of the Schoenstatt Movement, Father Joseph Kentenich (1885-1968), had the vision of a renewed Church where people believingly proclaimed the image of Christ and His mission.
The founding of the Schoenstatt Movement took place at the beginning of World War I.
"In this heavy confrontation of the mighty ones of the earth, the event, the covenant which Joseph Kentenich sealed, appeared totally insignificant, concealed, a personal course of action that could never have changed the way in which the world had begun to destroy itself. But it was just this covenant that created new life. The power of the mighty ones, as I said before, had foremost the power of destruction; but a union of love has the power to generate life... It generated life, the family of Jesus Christ which grew beyond the borders of those nations who mutually threatened each other. It created a family over the entire globe, weaving a net of love, a net of goodness right across the boundaries which still separate us today." (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, 1985)
Schoenstatt is a new spiritual movement within the Catholic Church. It is a worldwide network of more than 20 communities for men and women, families, youth and priests. It works at a very broad level from religious to educational and social initiatives and projects.
Schoenstatt is a new way in the imitation of Christ. Its aim is to live faith today in the covenant with Mary, to work towards a civilization of love in all forms of life.
Schoenstatt stands for character, freedom, living in the covenant, enjoyment of God.
“The covenant of love with Mary – these words contain within themselves one of the key concepts of the Sacred Scriptures: the word covenant, which contains the entire hope of Christendom, because it implies that we have not been left alone in the world with unknown forces and powers we cannot understand and ultimately control, but that He who holds everything in His hands, who knows us and love us, has initiated a connection with us. ...The covenant of love you enter into as followers of Fr Kentenich is nothing else than making personal the great covenant events of salvation history." (Josef Kardinal Ratzinger, 1985)