History » 1914 - 1919 » Love for Mary » Capital of Grace

Fr Menningen on the Concept “Capital of Grace”

Fr Eise, Max Brunner, Albert Langner, Fr Wilwers and others have become the representatives of the Sodality devotion to Mary, but not the Founding Document of 18.10.1914. The mystery of the Founding Document first broke through in the soul of Josef Engling through the contributions to the capital of grace of the MTA, so that the chapel could become a shrine.

We asked Fr Kentenich: “How did the concept ‘capital of grace’ originate? Did you have the Founding Document in mind when you mentioned the ‘capital of grace’ in your letter to Fischer?”

Fr Kentenich replied: “No, it was far more Grignion’s devotion that led us to the capital of grace. At the time Grignion’s devotion had captured the hearts, and according to it you have to collect merits and offer them to the Blessed Mother for others. So this devotion was more likely the inspiration for the idea of the capital of grace.”

Our next question was: “How did the expression ‘capital of grace’ come up? How did you hit on it?”

His answer: “When you look back, you no longer know. The expression was only mentioned in passing in the letter to Fischer. My only guess is Grignion’s devotion to Mary.”

Another question I asked Fr Kentenich: “In his preparation for the vacations in July 1915, how could Josef Engling arrive at the motto: Daily schedule during the vacations as contributions to the capital of grace of the Mater ter admirabilis, to motivate the Blessed Mother to take possession of the chapel, then it will become a place of grace?” His answer: “I can’t remember a definite event, or that I said something like that in a talk; I also can’t remember that I suggested the idea of the capital of grace in a talk. The only possibility is that the idea was mentioned in passing as a suggestion during a discussion with Josef Engling. This would have been in connection with Grignion’s devotion to Mary. This then got stuck in Josef Engling’s soul and grew to become the above practice.” Josef Engling made it into what might be called a system: The daily spiritual schedule as contributions to the capital of grace, which we transfer into the shrine.

This is how the spiritual current of contributions to the capital of grace originated. It was a breakthrough of the Founding Document although we did not know the name of the talk given on 18 October 1914. This was only discovered later. Josef Engling did not know it ...

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