Today Sunday, September 18 2011, I joined a Catholic procession in Vienna, the annual celebration of the Nameday of Mary, between Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the statue dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Mariensäule) in the first district and headed by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. The mass and procession in honor of the Nameday of the Virgin Mary was attended by many of Austrians as well as many tourists. This prayer initiative was founded by Franciscan Father Peter Pavlicek in 1955 and is currently headed by Father Benno Mikocki.
I listened carefully to the theme of the prayers spoken this year. The prayers were themed around the issue of “confidence in the future”, and Cardinal Schönborn spoke several times about peace during his prayers honoring the Mother of Jesus (PBUH). I wished from all my heart that the Cardinal would also have prayed for Peace and Justice for the whole world, especially for Palestine and its people, that small and holy part of the world where Mary gave birth of her Child Jesus (PBUH) at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and which is today occupied and walled up behind a giant apartheid wall.
The procession part of the ceremony went from Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral and through Graben Street until the square “Am Hof”, where the followers of the procession stood before the statue in form of a bronze column dedicated to Mary in the year 1667 for prayers. Everybody on the streets was happy to watch the passing procession on the streets. Many people sitting in coffee houses stood up to join the ceremonial procession and watch the prayers before the Mary statue.
The celebration was organized by the dedicated employees of the “Rosenkranz-Sühnekreuzzug – Gebetsgemeinschaft für Kirche und Welt“ (RSK). Read more.