The Pilgrim Mother Campaign originated in Brazil in 1950. It was a Holy Year, during which Pope Pius XII declared the Dogma of Our Lady Queen assumed into heaven.
As a special gift to Our Lady, a Schoenstatt Sister of Mary entrusted a layman, John Pozzobon, with a 10kg picture of the Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen of Schoenstatt, encouraging him to take it into the homes of families and to pray with them. It was the beginning of a long walk over thirty years during which John Pozzobon covered 140,000kms of dedicated service to his Mother and Queen carrying her picture on his shoulders in every kind of weather into every possible situation.
Families requested John to return time and again with the picture. New requests were made for it to be brought into other homes. Single-handedly, John could not meet the demand; hence smaller replicas of the picture were made and placed in wooden chapel-shaped frames. Families were organized into groups of 30, enabling each family to have the picture for one day per month. Each group was given one Pilgrim Mother which was circulated in the group on a regular basis, hence the title “Pilgrim Mother”.
Our Lady was the first ‘Pilgrim Mother’ or the first ‘Christian missionary’ when she visited her cousin Elizabeth. She brought Christ to her cousin and the grace of redemption to John.
The aim of the Pilgrim Mother campaign is to make the same graces of redemption available to the people of our time through the picture of the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt.
Not everyone can physically visit a Schoenstatt Shrine, but its three-fold grace of a spiritual home, of transformation into Christ and of being a zealous apostle is made available through the acknowledged picture of grace. Our Lady ‘visits’ homes, families, schools, prisons, offices, hospitals, communities, wherever she is wanted or needed, so that Christ may once again be ‘born’ in the hearts of all whom she meets or who welcome her into their hearts.
The Pilgrim Mother Campaign has been established on all continents and, according to testimonies, is a source of rich blessing, comfort and hope to individuals, families and communities in a world still awaiting its fullness of redemption.
The Campaign is active in and around our Shrines in South Africa, Cathcart (E. Cape), Johannesburg, (Bedford View) and the Shrines in Cape Town, Constantia, Tamboerskloof and Hanover Park.