Our consecration gift to the Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt is the holy water stoup. (Note: The new holy water stoup was created by a Sister of Mary, the artist, Sr M. Sigrid, as has been recorded in a detailed report in the magazine “Am Schoenstattquell”, 1, 1951, p.24.) On 15.8.1950, the feast of the Assumption, it was solemnly blessed and placed in the chapel of grace. (Note: The old holy water stoup was taken to the daughter shrine of the Sisters in Koblenz Metternich.) To begin with it stood the whole day in the Pilgrims’ Church, and it was mentioned at all the functions. At 10 a.m. there was solemn High Mass. The sermon centered on the mystery of today’s feast. It reveals God’s faithfulness. He has upheld his plan from all eternity to save the world through the help and service of Mary, his Bride and Mother. He carried it out in the course of time and led it to its glorious resolution with Mary’s assumption into heaven. Through the feast the value and dignity of human faithfulness is emphasized. Mary remained true from the hour of the Annunciation in Nazareth until she stood under the cross on Golgotha. Each mystery of her life shows her as the “faithful” handmaid of the Lord, who surrendered herself totally to his will and placed herself at his disposal.
The holy water stoup testifies to God’s faithfulness to our community of prayer and sacrifice. Suffering is a severe trial of our loyalty, but if also reveals God’s love in a special way. We want the suffering we have to bear to become fruitful. The holy water stoup in its hiddenness offers the cleansing waters to all who enter the shrine, so that they may approach God reconciled; and to all who leave, that they may be able to live as sanctified people in everyday life. So the holy water stoup also bears testimony to our resolution to remain faithful through trusting in the graces given us.
That afternoon at 2 p.m. the festive address was given. It dealt with the gift giver, the meaning of gifts, and the purpose of gifts.
“a. The gift givers are our refugees. They have united to offer this gift to the Blessed Mother out of love. If we examine the holy water stoup more closely, and have the symbolism explained to us, we will find flowing lines at the foot and on the bowl. They indicate the unrestrained flood of suffering into which our refugees have been plunged. Involuntarily we ask ourselves where this tremendous suffering comes from. The bowl gives us the answer. It rests on three symbolic figures that emphatically point to the three addictions that have such a terrible effect on human nature: The addiction to power, possessions and pleasure. We will not find it difficult to understand the inner context. The source of the atrocities of which they are the victims is this threefold addiction in the human heart. There are background powers who are constantly fighting each other. On the one side is the devil and his followers, on the other, Christ and the Blessed Mother. So it is the devil who had espoused himself to the addiction to power, possessions and pleasures; it is the devil who has poured out the flood of suffering over our refugees, indeed, over the whole world today. Our celebration today is great and important because of the gift givers. We have already heard from the bible that the widow’s mite was so pleasing to God, so how much more pleasing must this gift be which our poor, homeless refugees are offering to the Blessed Mother, the Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt!
b. What is the meaning of the gift? The gift is meant to be a living profession of the covenant of love with the MTA; it means being counted among her corps of guards. We all know the concept ‘covenant of love’, and we rejoice that so many refugees from other countries have found the way to Schoenstatt. They have allowed themselves to be introduced into Schoenstatt’s history and mission, and have been guided to enter into a covenant of love with the Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen. As a result they have been incorporated into the huge army, the battle formation, which the Blessed Mother wants to train her and lead out into the present-day battle of minds. The old world is trembling and is shaken, a new world is coming into existence. Who is fighting to govern the world? The two powers in the background on the one hand, the devil with his followers, who make use of the three addictions in human beings as their instruments; on the other hand, there is the Triune God who with the Blessed Mother’s help and that of her servants, wants to lead humankind to salvation.
So the Blessed Trinity is depicted on the outer surface of the holy water stoup the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The outstretched hand indicates that even today God is willing to enter into a covenant with us human beings. The letters Alpha and Omega, in conjunction with the sign of Christ, reminds us that Christ is “the power, the strength and the glory” in time and eternity. The dove admonishes us that the Creator Spirit can and will create a new world from the chaos of our times if people do not fail. Father, Son and Holy Spirit know why they have allowed all this suffering. Suffering has to become a blessing. Through the hands of the Blessed Mother, suffering that is offered up with love is offered to the Blessed Trinity and transformed into grace. So the waters flowing down the holy water stoup indicate the source and waves of grace. By virtue of the covenant of love, God wants to unfold his victorious power in the world through the covenant of love with the Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt.
This gift is meant to be a permanent confession to all times that the Blessed Mother has chosen people from among the homeless who have given themselves completely to her, and who have offered up their tremendous, immeasurable suffering to her
c. What is the purpose of the gift? Of course, it is first of all gratitude, and as we all know, gratitude is the best petition. However, the purpose reaches further than this. The holy water stoup has to contain blessed water, and this blessed water is our transformed suffering. The floods that have poured over us have been transformed into blessed water with which everyone may bless themselves. For the sake of our sacrifice, God and the Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt, want to lead countless people along the same way to the covenant of love. And when the numbers of those who have understood the meaning of the world catastrophe is complete, may she lead us home to our ancestral home if this is in God’s plan.
So our holy water stoup is to be a monument for all time, a monument to God’s mercies to us, who have come to know Schoenstatt. Indeed, he has done great things for us … The language of the stoup proclaims this silently and extremely loudly.
And when we are allowed to return to our homes, we will take Schoenstatt’s threefold message with us: the message of the covenant of love, the message of practical faith in Divine Providence, and the message of endless spiritual fruitfulness.
So may the simple act be undertaken; may it be inscribed in God’s heart, and in the heart of the Blessed Mother, and in the yellowed pages of history. May God bless us all who are gathered here, and all who have entered into the covenant of love with the beloved Mother of God.”