History » 1939 - 1969

Third Period – 1939-1969

Individual Communities become Symbolically present in the Original Shrine

The third period, with its characteristic features, actually started with the black crosses (for the hero sodalists, Max Brunner and Hans wormer) in 1934 and 1938. In this years the boys in the College put up a memorial placque on the Engling Stone, not only to honour the heroes of the First World War, but also as a symbol of themselves. They wanted to be present near the original shrine in this symbol.

The history of the heroes’ graves

As has already been reported, in1934 the two sodalists who fell in the First World War, Max Brunner and Hans Wormer, were transferred from their graves in France to Schoenstatt (it was called “bringing them home) and reinterred behind the shrine. Although they searched for Joseph Engling, they didn’t find his grave and his remains.

There are extensive reports about this act of bringing them home and its preparation, as well as a series of photos.

The two were not moved again. A large and heavy stone was placed between the two graves for Joseph Engling. This Engling Stone remained there until it was replaced by a smaller stone in 1948 when the heroes’ graves were re-arranged to accommodate the urns of Fr Franz Reinisch and Fr Albert Eise.

The memorial plaque – later a memorial grille – and the permanently lit lamp

In 1938 the youth put up a memorial plaque on the Engling Stone.

It happened in this way. A retreat course was conducted from 6-9 October 1938 for the boys at the College, among whom were Julius Steinkaul and Heinz Schaefer. This had just ended when the announcement was made on 12 October that from 1 April the following year the College would be confiscated by the government and turned into a Nazi teachers’ training college. The 200 or more boys would have to be accommodated in other houses, e.g., in Rheinbach and elsewhere.

In this crisis they recalled the founding generation of the First World War and set about starting a new outer organization. At the same time they wanted to leave a symbol in Schoenstatt to remind the Blessed Mother continuously of their concern for her mission.

On 20 October 1938 the boys decided to put a stone plaque with the 16 names of the fallen sodalists in the First World War onto the Engling Stone. This plaque should at the same time include the motto: We safeguard your legacy.

On 31 October 1938, during a special celebration, the boys attached the stone plaque. In 1948 this stone plaque was replaced on a new Joseph Engling Stone by a wrought iron grille.

In the course of his biography of the leader of the “second founding generation, Heinz Schäfer, Fr Josef Klein described what happened in the time that followed. (This has not yet been translated into English). At the end of the Summer Congress of 1939, a “conspiracy” started.

When the young men offered the Blessed Mother this consecration gift, and lit the lamp on Old Year’s Night 1940/41, Fr Kentenich spoke to them and again interpreted the symbol. What he said had been preserved for us and to a large extent printed in the above-mentioned biography of Heinz Schaefer.

The men of the “Ver Sacrum” group were present in the shrine and took with them the admonition of the symbol into everyday life, and in particular to the fonts of the Second World War, where Heinz Schaefer, and Julius Steinkaus sealed their consecration gift with their death.

1945 - 1952

From Father Kentenich’s return from Dachau until his exile

In 1945 Father Kentenich and the survivors of the concentration camps and prisons returned. They thanked the Blessed Mother for saving their lives and the place of grace. This happened in particular during the 1945 October Week, which became a week of thanksgiving.

If we look into the chronicle of the 800-year history of old and new Schoenstatt, we will read how the Chapel of St Michael was often desecrated, destroyed and rebuilt. This history teaches us that we cannot take it for granted that during the Second World War this little chapel was completely unharmed. Indeed we may confess that the Blessed Mother had protected it with her mantle.

During the 1945 October Week, Fr Kentenich often returned to this reason for our gratitude The dangerous situation during the final years of the war were quoted from the chronicle so that it came to life for all present.

All the Schoenstatt communities wanted to express their gratitude not just in words, but also in symbols, which they wanted to present to the Blessed Mother in the shrine. This took place increasingly in the years that followed. A year after the October Week that was celebrated as a week of thanksgiving, this endeavour became clearly visible in the 1946 October Week, the so-called Crowning Week.

4 October 1946

The symbol of the Holy Spirit given by the Cenacle Generation

A few days before the 1946 October Week, that is, from 30 September to 4 October 1946, the members of the so-called “Cenacle Generation” of Schoenstatt diocesan priests and Pallottine Fathers met for the first time since the new year. At the end of their conference, early on 4 Octber, they put up the Holy Spirit Symbol and in this way immortalized their generation ideal.

We do not know of any brief report of this celebration, although a detailed commemorative brochure was drawn up by Fr Heinrich Kaiser. It includes not only a report on the whole congress, but also the history of the Home of the Federation in Schoenstatt during the war (1939-45) taken from the chronicle he had kept.

This brochure has 40 pages. In it we can find a transcription of the talks talks held by Fr Josef Kress, because Fr Kentenich could not be present. It raised many subjects that were acute at the time, as well as an interpretation of the generation symbol.

17 October 1946

The dedication of the bells and the brown crosses

(First report)

During the October Week 1946, which took place shortly after the meeting of the Cenacle Generation, two things happened that merit our attention: the dedication of the bells and the putting up of the two brown crosses.

The detailed documentation of this week, also known as the Crowning Week, mentions both events a number of times. We are quoting a summary that appeared in the book: Kastner, Heiliges Marienland, p.53f.

Another detailed report on the dedication of the bells, along with Fr Kentenich’s address, can be found in the periodical: Am Schoenstattquell. This magazine also published a detailed report on the interment of Fr Reinisch and Fr Eise.

In the framework of the crowning current, various communities and circles in the Schoenstatt Family worked for and gave their own crowning gifts to Schoenstatt’s Mother and Queen. The Institute of our Lady of Schoenstatt (Frauen von Schoenstatt) renewed the light frame around the MTA picture, as the following report recounts.

20 May 1947

The new light frame

A gift of the “Frauen von Schönstatt”.

31 May 1948

The new tabernacle

A Gift from the Womens' League

The new lining of the tabernacle was made of silver, while the outer doors were gilded. The plates lining the interior were made by the company Flach in Koblenz following a design by Sr M. Roswina Hermes and Sr M. Sigrid Teimann.

Chronology of the old tabernacle after 1948

Since the tabernacle until then was no longer in use, it was stored in the gallery of the Pilgrim’s Church (called the temporary church). The reason why it was not used again when the original shrine was re-decorated in 1948, was because the doors could not be opened wide enough. So it was not really suitable for exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the idea arose to have a new one.

On1 July 1955 the tabernacle safe without its paneling was given to the Brothers of Mary for their house chapel by Fr Josef Hagel, the Rector of the original shrine and leader of the Pilgrims’ Movement. The Brothers of Mary asked the Sisters of Mary in Haus Marienfried (which no longer exists. It had to make way for the extension of the Sonnenau.) where vestments were made, to make little curtains to line the interior. Their goldsmiths made a copper outer covering.

This old tabernacle was put to new use on 15 October 1995 in the Tabor shrine on the Marienberg. Before it was built into the altar of the Tabor shrine, the door hinges were altered by a firm that manufactured safes so that the doors could be opened wider.

20 October 1948

New layout of the heroes’ graves

In 1948 a new layout of the graves of those who had fallen in the First World War, and those who had died in the Nazi period, was required. The report on this can be found in the periodical, Am Schoenstattquell, No. 1, 1949, p. 17ff.

17/18 October 1949

A New Altar Stone from the Apostolate of the Sick

History of the altar stone

An altar stone with relics of the saints is let into every altar where Holy Mass is celebrated. In 1934, when the altar was replaced in the shrine, the old altar stone was placed into the new one. In 1949 the Apostolate of the Sick and Housebound gave a new altar stone so that they might be present in the shrine through this symbol. Fr Kolb carefully stored the old altar stone. He personally wrote a report on the replacement of the altar stone in 1949.

Later, when the daughter shrine in Kirchen on the River Sieg was being built, a request arrived for some sign from the original shrine. The old altar stone was offered and gladly accepted.

Fr Klein wrote a report on the later history of this old altar stone in the new snippets for the Schoenstatt Fathers on 5.5.1969, S. 213.

15 August 1950

New Holy Water Stoup given by the Apostolate for Refugees

1. The early history until 1950 of our apostolate for refugees
from the magazine: Am Schönstattquell 1950, page 110 ff.

2. Presentation of the holy water stoup by the apostolate for refugees on 15.8.1950
From a booklet by Fr Barton, “unser Büchlein”, Schönstatt 1955, page 59 ff.

5 Juli 1951

Eastern Crucifix for the Original Shrine

Memories after 50 years: The Eastern crucifix in Schoenstatt’s shrine of grace
Report on her experiences by Mrs Paula G. about the Day for the East, 1951

7 August 1951

Turning of the First Soil on Mount Schoenstatt

On 7 August 1951 Fr Kentenich turned the first soil for the Sisters’ Training Centre on Mount Schoenstatt. This started the settlement of the Sisters of Mary on their mountain, which later came to a climax in the erection of the Church of the Blessed Trinity (with the founder’s grave).
Removal of the chimney from the original shrine
In March1952, when Fr Kentenich had already left Europe and was staying in South America on the way to his place of exile in Milwaukee, the chimney of the original shrine, which had been there since 1914, was removed. In the meantime it had become possible to heat the shrine with an oil or electric heater.

This measure gave rise to a discussion in the background. The building of the Sisters’ shrine on Mount Schoenstatt in 1953 meant that a decision had to be taken on the question: Which changes may be undertaken in and around the original shrine? Fr Kentenich expressed his private opinion, but he was unable to intervene in the course developments would take. His standpoint, given both verbally and in writing was that the shrine should be left for the moment in the state in which he had left it when he went into exile. In a letter to Fr Menningen he repeated this opinion in connection with a number of other remarks.

A year after Vincent Pallotti’s beatification (22.01.1950), the statue of St Aloysius was replaced with a Pallotti group (22.01.1951). Its symbolism did not satisfy everyone, because it could give rise to a misconception that Pallotti had played a part in the history of the shrine, which he had not done in fact. A Sister of Mary had created another Pallotti statue at the same time, but it was never used in the original shrine. Fr Kentenich had this latter statue in mind when, in 1949 he sent back a record from South America on which he announced that a Pallotti group that better depicted the tradition of new Schoenstatt would be put up in the shrine in place of the statue of St Aloysius.

1. November 1954

The Shrine Flag

Report on the history of our shrine flag.

This report is taken form a 15 page letter from Fr Tick to the Family Movement in Advent 1954. It was entitled: Holy Schoenstatt Springtime in the Realm of our Queen. It also contained other reports on events that had taken place in 1954.

1958 – 1959

The Swiss Chain at the Heroes’ Graves

A report on the Swiss chain at the heroes’ graves can be found in a book by Fr Joseph Grass: The History of our Shrine, St. Gallen 1972, S. 427 ff.

In September 1959 the Brothers from Fribourg spent two week in Schoenstatt. The chain had been put up some time before this. Because of it the Brothers gathered at the graves in order to begin a celebration of consecration that would conclude in the original shrine. What follows is the document drawn up at the time (on 10 September 1959) and the consecration prayer .

Further memories of the history of the chain come from Fr Josef Gürber.

1959 – 1961

A New Door

The new door for the shrine was donated by the Apostolate for the Sick and Housebound. A number of months passed from the time the first plans were made until the door was finally installed. A number of reports appeared in this period in the magazine of the Apostolate for the Sick and Housebound.

The Memorial Grille

Symbol of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Water Stoup

www.urheiligtum.de - The Website about the Original Shrine of the international Schoenstatt Movement.

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