A place of encounter with God and with Mary
Whoever comes to Schoenstatt as a pilgrim, is most welcome to
participate in the many holy Masses and prayer services for
pilgrims which take place in the Pilgrims’ Church.
This is a place where we encounter Christ in the sacrament of
the Eucharist and of Reconciliation.
This church is dedicated to the Mother Thrice Admirable,
Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt, whose image of grace
can be found in the church.
To come into contact with her, to kneel before the tabernacle
and pray, reveals the true significance of this sacred space.
Pilgrims may light candles in front of the image of the Mother
of Our Lord and bring Mary their own petitions and their
The altar has historical significance.
The founder of Schoenstatt celebrated holy Mass on this altar.
The cross – on the left side behind the altar –
is a sign of redemption through Jesus Christ, who on the cross
revealed his love for us. Its colorful design is a symbol for
the resurrection and for joy.
The tabernacle, the cross and the frame of the
image of grace were designed by the Chilean artist Fernandez.
The curved roof design catches your eye. The
laminated timber beams (carrier) are firmly grounded in the
earth. They run flat, then steep and in a curved shape to the
top. It is a symbol that God draws us to himself.
The large skylights illuminate the Church and
flood it in the light. This symbolizes Christ who is the Light
of the world. He brightens our life’s path.
The Pilgrim’s Church has around shape, similar to a tent. The
circular shapes repeat again and again. At the topping out
ceremony, the architect said:
"This earthly circle draws our glance up above: to the light,
the cross, to the top, into the infinite."
A small plaque placed in the exact middle of
the floor indicates that the church is dedicated to the MTA
(Mater ter admirabilis), the Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and
Victress of Schoenstatt.
On the threshold to the third millennium it was a gift to the
Triune God and to the countless national and international
pilgrims who come to Schoenstatt. With its 1350 chairs the
Pilgrim’s Church welcomes a great number of pilgrims.
The ecologically friendly structure helps
humanity and nature achieve harmony and unity with God. The wood
of the church makes it warm, gives a closeness to God’s creation,
brought about and sustained by him.
The cross on the rooftop collects the round
form of the church in one point. It is gold pleated and points
to the light and the Sun. These are symbols for the resurrection,
which we as Christians believe in. In its middle, the cross is
encircled by a ring, which has no beginning and no end. This is
a symbol for the eternal God. The foot of the cross ends in a
globe – the world – upon which we find a large “M” – symbol for
Mary, who stood under the cross and who stands at the side of
Christ as helper and associate.
The large doors remind us of the Psalm which
And now our feet are standing within your gates, Jerusalem:
Jerusalem, built as a city, walled round about … (Psalm 122).
We walk into God’s tent among humankind, we seek the nearness of
Mary, open eyes, ears and heart for the mystery, which wants to
capture us in this house of God.
Very close by is the large Pilgrim’s Amphitheatre.
It can seat several thousand people. It was rebuilt in 2005 for
the International Youth Festival which took place in Schoenstatt
before the World Youth Day in Cologne.
Architectural Features of the Pilgrims’ Church
Alshut, Anton -
Blum, Christoph Holzbau GmbH,
Neuwied in collaboration with
Mohr Holzbau GmbH, Trier
12.60 m to
to the cross
peak 23.50 meter
9.50 m diameter
90 cm high
34 cm thick
8.8 cubic meters of wood, the
heaviest part of the
Area of approx. 2500 square meters of the lower exposed panel,
32 half frames with 165 cubic meters of processed timber
the upper closure is formed by 16 roof lantern truss beams with 13 cubic meters of wood, laminated wood purlins with 31 cbm,
a total of 220 cubic meters of wood with a total weight of 110 tonnes (without sheathing and roof),
natural wood (construction and roof)
colorless ecological “Leimbauschutz”
Floor under the
chairs is oiled