Let’s celebrate the moment the MTA made its way into the Schoenstatt Shrine

We invite you to celebrate in April and May the 100th anniversary of the moment in which the image we know as the MTA providentially made its way into the Schoenstatt Shrine. Thank you Mother for choosing this home!

Mater de Schoenstatt

Mater de Schoenstatt


A former Jesuit, Huggle was his name, who sat next to Fr. Kentenich at table every day in the house of studies, became instrumental for the arrival of the image of the MTA in the Original Shrine. Father Kentenich relates:

“And as these things happen, during the conversation we came to talk about a picture of Mary and he said he had found a really nice picture in an antique shop in Freiburg. I asked him to send for it. I wanted to pay him for it. As far as I can remember, it cost about 23 German Marks and a few Pfennigs. Of course, he didn’t want me to pay. You can put it this way: it was helplessness. I always see these little things as the law of the open door. Those are the facts. No one liked the picture. However, since we had nothing else [we hung it up.] You can only understand [these] things if you understand our helplessness… What we wanted was so unfamiliar to the mentality of the community, but also to the mentality of the house. As you know, later on I took the opportunity to connect everything I said about the Blessed Mother with the picture, reading it into and then out of the picture. So as time went by this set up personal and profound emotional associations with the picture” (JK, 1963).

It was a color print of a Madonna and Child in an octagonal frame, a work entitled Refugium Peccatorum (Refuge of Sinners), by the little known artist Luigi Crosio (1835-1915). Its gentle features were not exactly what the boys had had in mind…, but a gift is a gift. The date when it was first hung in the Shrine is unclear. Father Menningen’s opinion is that the date was April 30, 1915, probably for a May opening ceremony (J. Niehaus).

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