History » 1914 - 1919 » Reflections on the Chapel » Letter from Schaefer

Idea for the Future –
The Shrine as National Shrine

Assembly point:

Thank you very much for your letter. I have discussed your questions with Brunner. You are quite right about the chapel: It has to be a monument of our gratitude for Mary’s protection in difficult times. But tell me, shouldn’t it be more than that? Wouldn’t we Sodalists, and the extern Sodalists, want to erect a sort of national shrine? There has to be a point where everything is concentrated. In the long run you can’t do this with people, because they don’t live forever. But to connect it to a shrine of the MTA would last for generations.

Think for a moment of the ancient Greeks. They gathered at their national shrine. For centuries. They felt they were brothers there. In noble competition they placed art and literature in the service of their national shrine. If they were divided by civil war, love for their common shrine brought them together again.

Misunderstandings could also arise among later Sodalists, but love for their common shrine of the MTA would unite them again.

Now the financial question has naturally to be raised. Would our gratitude be great enough to erect a worthy monument for our MTA? We will be forced, if something is to come of this, to turn to others. However, you have gone before us with your good example. We want to be worthy of our brothers.

Now for the question as to the organization of the soldier Sodalists. I can assure you without being arrogant that we have worked hard for this plan.

(24.9.1916) Andreas Schäfer, sod. Mar

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