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Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement

Last modified: 2020-09-12 by rob raeside
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[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

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Description of the flag

The Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement (short, Schoenstatt Movement) was established on 18 October 1914 by Father Joseph Kentenich (1885-1968), as a Roman Catholic Marian movement.
Kentenich joined the Pallotine Society in 1904 and was ordained priest in 1910; in 1912, he was hired as spiritual director by the Pallotine High School of Schoenstatt, a village part of the municipality of Vallender, close to Koblenz. Kentenich met with some students in a chapel, sealing the "Covenant of Love" with Mary. The modest Schoenstatt chapel was the Original Shrine of the movement, which would subsequently build some 200 shrines in 31 countries, all modeled on the Original Shrine.
From 1941 to 1945, Kentenich was jailed in Koblenz, then in the Dachau concentration camp because of his strong opposition to Nazism. After the Second World War, he traveled to South America, Africa and Africa to spread the Schoenstatt Work.
Schoenstatt Movement website

In August 1951, a Decree of the Holy Office removed Kentenich from his work, forced him into exile to the United States, and ordered him to sever all connections with Schoenstatt. The sentence was commuted in 1965 by Paul VI, allowing Kentenich's return to Germany. The movement says that Kentenich was "separated from his work by the church", without giving more detail on the cause of the separation.
Alexandra von Teuffenbach, former professor of theology and Church history at the Pontifical Lateran University and the Athenaeum "Regina Apostolorum", recently discovered in the archives of the Holy See the reports of the apostolic visits that motivated the Decree. The files contain reports of Kentenich's manipulative and coercive behavior, including nun's subjugation and sexual abuse. The Schoenstatt Movement strongly rejected the historian's conclusions, which are quite disrupting for the ongoing beatification process of Kentenich.
On 7 July 2020, Stephan Ackermann, Bishop of Trier, announced the appointment of a commission of historians to review the beatification process.
Von Teuffenbach's letter, L'Espresso, 2 July 2020
Schoenstatt statement, 2 July 2020
The Catholic World Report, 9 July 2020
Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

The flag of the Schoenstatt Movement is white with a yellow horizontal stripe in the center and the movement's blue emblem all over.
The emblem features the stylized facade of the Schoenstatt "Original Shrine", surrounded by a broken circle protruding on the four main compass directions.
The flag is used, seemingly, in three main versions.

1. Flag with stripes of equal width

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

2. Flag with the yellow stripe narrower than the white ones

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

3. Flag with the yellow stripe narrower than the white ones, the emblem outlined in white on the yellow stripe

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020
Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

The flag is also used vertically, with the yellow stripe wider than the white ones.

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020
Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

Schoenstatt University Men

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

The flag of the university's branch of the Schoenstatt Movement, Schoenstatt University Men, is blue with the branch's emblem, composed of a black cross patty fimbriated in yellow and charged with a vertical orange lozenge featuring on top a yellow star and on bottom a yellow flame.

Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

Schoenstatt France - Mouvement Apostolique de Schoenstatt

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

The French branch of the Schoenstatt Movement uses a white flag with the branch's emblem.
The emblem is derived from the movement's generic emblem, the broken circle being blue-white-red. A circle of blue Marian stars is added above the Shrine, whose entrance is charged with a red Sacred Heart of Jesus (a heart surmounted by a cross). Three blue slanted lines are added on each side of the Shrine's base and "FRANCE" is written in blue beneath the shrine.

Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

Movement's members also used a French tricolor flag charged in the center of the white stripe with a specific Schoenstatt emblem, the Unity Cross.

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020


The Unity Cross has become one of the most characteristic symbols of the Schoenstatt Movement. Three symbols can be seen on it: the image of Christ, the image of Mary and the Father Symbol. The Unity Cross expresses the bi-unity that Schoenstatt wants to proclaim: Christ is inseparable from Mary and Mary is inseparable from Christ. The Father Symbol at the cusp of the cross illuminates everything: Christ and Mary rest in the Father, in the cross that the Father has determined in his plan of love, as the way of redemption. Moreover, Christ and Mary have a unique posture: they are alive and they are mutually looking at one another in a profound dialogue of Mother and Son. The blood that Mary gathers with his chalice emanates from Christ’s side. The fact that they are alive is not only symbolic; rather, it further makes a truth of faith evident: On the cross, Christ and Mary, as well as in reality, are presently alive in a glorious body.
The Unity Cross is the image itself of the ‘Christ of attachments’, whose most profound desire is that “all may be one,” as He and the Father are one. It shows Christ, the Son, deeply and intimately attached to Mary his Mother, permanent Helpmate and Companion in his mission to redeem mankind. It is the Christ of Unity, in the strength of his sacrifice and giving of self, extending his arms widely, uniting heaven with earth and earth with heaven.

This cross was conceived as a symbol of the first generation of Chilean priests, who studied in Brazil and Switzerland. Between 1958 and 1959, when the first Pallotine seminarians were about to be ordained as priests, they wanted to give something to the Shrine of Bellavista, which had given birth to and nurtured their faith, a cross that would express the image of the “priestly Christ.” This is how the idea emerged to represent Christ in the “Christ of Attachments”, that is the power of the Holy Spirit which is profoundly and intimately attached to the Father as a Son, and also to Mary, his Mother as permanent Helpmate and Companion in his mission to redeem mankind. It is the “Christ of Unity” who unites heaven and earth; it is “Christ, the Good Shepherd” who, reflecting the Father’s love unites man with God and man with fellowman making them sons and daughters of the same Father. (Fr. Benjamin Pereira, The Unity Cross Comes to the Original Shrine, p.7). The original cross is a Trinitarian Cross: as well as the symbols of the Father and the Son, the background is red, symbolizing the Holy Spirit.
On the back of the cross there are three phrases in Latin that express ideals and reality:
“Unum in sanguine”: One in the blood (of Christ)
“Tua res agitur”: It is your redeeming task.
“Clarifica te”: Glorify yourself (in our smallness and helplessness) (Ibid)

The Unity Cross was born at a time of great tensions in Bellavista, when mistrust and misunderstanding reigned among the members of the Movement. Father Humberto Anwandter placed the original Unity Cross in the Shrine of Bellavista on Christmas of 1960. This event was called the “Miracle of Unity”, beginning a new period of unity in the Schoenstatt Family in Chile, after a time that had been marked by difficulties in the internal relationships.

On November 16, 1965, when Father Kentenich celebrated his 80th birthday in Rome, the children from Bellavista gave him the original Cross as a present, with the desire that it would be returned to the Chilean Shrine. Father Kentenich already knew it because a wooden replica had accompanied him for almost five years in Milwaukee. When he received the “original” one and the intention was manifested, he asked: “Is it a present or not?”, and when an affirmative response was given, he said: “A present is a present,” and he in turn gave it to the Province of the Institute of Our Lady of Schoenstatt in Stuttgart, Germany.
The Unity Cross for the Original Shrine arrived as a gift from the international Schoenstatt Family in 1997, during the “Year of Christ”, after it had traveled to the shrines on the five continents, gathering the life that flourished in them.
Connecting Schoenstatters website
Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

Another French flag used by the movement is charged in the center of the white stripe with another specific Schoenstatt symbol, the image of Mother Thrice Admirable, Queen and Victress of Schoenstatt.

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020


In 1915, students of the Schoenstatt High School in search of an image of the Virgin were offered by a professor a lithography a painting by Luigi Crosio (1835-1915). The students did not like too much the image, but Father Kentenich recommended them to keep it since it was a present. Since then, the image has been set up in all Schoenstatt shrines.
Originally called "Refugium peccatorum" (Latin, Sinners' Refuge), the image was renamed by the Jesuit father Rem, from the Marian congregation in Ingolstadt, who asked the intercession of the Virgin to find a suitable name. This happened while he was chanting the Loreto litanies, which repeat thrice "Mater admirabilis" (Latin, Mother Admirable). The image has been venerated since 1916 under the name of Mater Ter Admirabilis (Mother Thrice Admirable).
Subsequent interpretations of the title present Mary as thrice admirable since she is the Father's Daughter and Servant, the Savior's Mother and the Holy Ghost's Temple, or because of her faith, love and hope, or Mother of God, Mother of the Redemptor, and Mother of the Redeemed.
Vierge Pélerine website
Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

Schoenstatt Brazil - Movimento Apostólico de Schoenstatt

The Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement was established in Brazil in 1935 in Jacarezinho (Paraná), from which it spread to Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul, and, subsequently, to the rest of the country.
Official website

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

The flag of the Brazilian branch of the Schoenstatt Movement is green with a yellow lozenge - similar to the Brazilian flag - charged in the center with the branch's emblem, which is similar to the movement's generic emblem.

Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

JUMAS (Juventude Masculina de Schoenstatt do Brasil)

JUMAS (Juventude Masculina de Schoenstatt do Brasil) was established on 8 July 1956 by 29 young men from Santa Maria, Porto Alegre and Santana do Livramento (Rio Grande do Sul).
JUMAS website

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

The flag of JUMAS is white with the movement's logo.


The logo appeared on the shirts of the Brazilian delegates in the meeting of the South American Schoenstatt Youth organized in Chile.
The flag was officially adopted in 2005 during the JUMAS 1st National Forum held in Itaara.
Green recalls the Brazilian national flag.

Joseph Engling's pyre is a typical symbol of the Men's Youth [Joseph Engling, 1898-1918, was a student of Father Kentenich in Schoenstatt and one of the main founders of the movement; he was killed during the First World War near Cambrai, France]. The pyre's tripod represents the Holy Trinity, the three "contact points" (Mater Ter Admirabilis, the Shrine, and Father Kentenich), and the three Shrine's Graces (welcome, transformation, and raise). The flame raises like an offering of love and sacrifice to God, therefore it is shaped like a paten used during the mass. Together with the Earth, the pyre forms the All-seeing Eye of God, a symbol of God's care and affection ("God is Father, God is good and whatever he is doing is good", said Father Kentenich).

The fire represents JUMAS as an apostolic movement. It symbolizes the Holy Ghost's new Pentecost inundating the coldest hearts with torrents of love in order to ignite the inner world, like a sea of flames dedicated to the glory of the Holy Trinity (see Father Kentenich, "Towards Heaven", 499-500). It recalls a sentence always repeated by the founder, "Ite incendite mundum" (Latin, "Go ignite the world").

The Earth represents both the inner world, as the new man's heart, and the outer world to be revocated to a New Society based on love, justice and the Gospel. The Earth represents a heart burning with love and consuming (the Earth's inner part), also burning with zeal, fervor and enthusiasm for Schoenstatt's mission to "ignite" the inner word (outer part), as Christ and Mary's fire.

The stars represent JUMAS' comminatory dimension and friendship among its members. The stars recalls that unity and lack of egoism will help to make God's light shine brighter, the members being not isolated stars but forming a constellation. The stars recall also the national flag, where they represent the union of states forming Brazil.
JUMAS website

The logo of the movement was amended in 2019 by the Communication Team. The new logo was unanimously approved during the National Forum held in Maringá. Standardization was required since the original logo, not available in any official archive, was subjected to several variations.
JUMAS website
Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

Pioneiros (Pioneers)

[Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement] image by Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020

The flag of the (Brazilian) Schoenstatt Pioneers is blue with a white disc bordered in yellow and superimposed with the Original Shrine in red surmounting a black cross-sword. The Shrine is charged with a white triangle and a white crown.


The flag was designed in Chile in 1985 during the celebration of Father Kentenich's centenary.
The blue background represents for the Pioneers the small "sky" to be conquered, and Mary's cloak, under which they will always be protected. The pioneer has to establish on earth a "colony of the sky", that is a new world that should resemble at most to the Kingdom of Christ. There should reign love, purity, liberty, glee, justice and concord.
Blue also recalls the greater ideals the Pioneers aspire to conquer. The Pioneer should head to higher things.

The yellow unity circle placed in the flag's center recalls the solid and permanent unity of all Pioneers. The circle shows endless unity and the alliance uniting all the members of a same group.
Yellow symbolizes gold, stressing that unity should be noble and not corroded by time. The Pioneer is "worth gold".
However, the circle should never be closed on itself. The cross-sword that opens it in top and bottom stresses that the Pioneer should always be open to growing in the search of God and willing to receive all who wish to be incorporated in this big family.

The white filling of the circle represents a hew world, as the world built by Pioneers. This is a world in which Mary's purity is shining. The Pioneers pave the way to this world. This new, transformed world Pioneers dream to conquer is signaled by the white color of peace, for which they have to struggle.
White and yellow are also the colors of the Pope, of the Holy See, and, therefore, of the Church.

The crown is a symbol of royalty, nobleness and greatness, to which honors should be paid and our lives should be offered for its defense. "Our life for our Queen" was the battle cry of the noble knights who
fought to defend Queen Isabel of Castile's realm.
For Pioneers, the crown also means that Our Queen, God's Mother, is also crowned on the flag. All for Her. For Her we fight, we pave the way and we can shout like the noble knights, "Our life for our Queen".
Mary is crowned as "Mary Thrice Admirable of Schoenstatt". . Accordingly, the crown is placed in the center of the Shrine, indicating her presence there.
The shining, pure white color and the crown also emphasize Mary's triumph. It indicates to the Pioneers the direction for their life, "to the sky", to the height. The three points of the crown represents Mary as "Thrice Admirable" and guiding people to the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

The triangle represents the All-seeing Eye of God, of the same white color as the crown to show that Mary guides us to the Holy Trinity. The All-seeing Eye of God is triangular to represent the three personifications of the Holy Trinity: Father, Son and Holy Ghost, but a single God. The Pioneer's scarf is triangular for the same reason.
All-seeing Eye of God is placed in the Shrine's upper part to recall that the Father of Heaven is constantly monitoring his children. He is constantly seeing, caring and leading each of the Pioneers. The Father's symbol also recalls Father Kentenich proper, who guides us through Mary on the way to God.

The Shrine is inscribed in the cross-sword's blade, in the upper part of the cross. The Shrine uses the sword's power to open the way and build a new world. The sword is not a tool of destruction but of defense of the Kingdom of God's Mother.
The Shrine's red color invites the Pioneers to offer every day their Graces' Capital, love and force to faithfully live under the Pioneer's law. Red is also the symbol of the sacrifice of Christ, God's Pioneer, who offered his blood, demonstrating his love for the whole mankind, and open ways to meet the Father.

The cross-sword has different meanings.
The heroes of the first Schoenstatt generation, buried around the Original Shrine, have their names written on black crosses; accordingly, this generation is known as "Black Crosses". The expression is now used to define the sanctity ideal aspired to by the first Pioneers during the movement's foundation. Joseph Engling, a vivid example of total dedication to God's mother, belonged to this generation.
The sword conveys the ideal of "opening ways" for the next generation on Mary's way.
The emblem's four points highlight the four fundamental dimensions of a Pioneer's life:
- Top: God;
- Bottom: The world (study, work, nature etc.);
- Sides: The neighbor and yourself.
Each arm of the cross ends with three points, each representing one of the 12 Pioneers' Laws, which are the effective way for a Pioneer to grow in the four fundamental dimensions.
JUMAS website
Ivan Sache, 20 August 2020