The archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schonborn, said this week he hopes the Pope’s visit to Austria in September will mean a “profound strengthening of the Church in Austria” and of the faithful’s bond with the Holy Father.
In an interview with Kathpress, the cardinal warned, “With all of the euphoria prior to the visit, it’s good not to lose sight of what is central to the faith.”
Speaking about Our Lady of Mariazell, whose shrine celebrates its 850th anniversary this year, Cardinal Shonborn said he also hopes the visit of the Holy Father will serve to “deepen Marian piety reflected in a greater devotion to Mariazell, a Marian pilgrimage site not only for Austrians but for many Catholics of European countries.”
Cardinal Schonborn pointed out that Mariazell is “the pilgrimage site that is most related to the Austrian spirit, more than any other. As with many other Austrians, Mariazell inspires a sort of magnetism in me,” he said, noting that he visits the shrine frequently to receive “consolation and strength.”
Referring to Benedict’s 2004 visit to the shrine before being made Pope, Cardinal Schonborn said that during his homily on September 8, the Holy Father would probably “speak about what touched him so much during that visit in 2004.”