THE HISTORY OF THE COMMUNITY OF CHARITY SERVICES OF THE BLESSED MOTHER

V. THE PRAYING PLACE OF THE COMMUNITY OF THE CHARITY SERVICES OF THE BLESSED MOTHER MARY


The question of the people appeared (22 December 1995), “Is it possible that the house of Agnes Sawarno is regarded to be a pilgrimage place? ”Firmly, Mother Mary does not agree. The house of Agnes is used just for gathering and praying together. The people were asked to take care of the blessed praying place. When the people come for praying, they will receive the salvation, but this house (the house of Agnes) is not a pilgrimage place.”

On 9 September 1995, the Community came for praying at Baturetno - Wonogiri and on 27 April 1996, the blessed Mother asked that they went there for a social visit. On March, a month before, two men were requested to make a preparation. The report said that there are two sacred places, the Grotto of Mary (Gua Maria) at Giriwoyo, under St Yusuf Baturetno parish, St. Ignatius, Danan, and the sacred place at Giriwoyo (meaning the revelation hill) has existed since 1959, called Sendang Ratu Kenya (Eng. = the Spring of the Virgin Queen) the title of Mother Mary, chosen by the local people.

The historical background said that thanks to the Novena prayer conducted by a catechist and the group of catechumens at that place, they succeeded in chasing away the evils. The Novena prayed by the people through the mediation of Mother Mary was a real success. The old name of the place was Sendang Growong (Eng. = The Spring with the cave), which was formerly the place of the meeting of the streams flowing inside the land, but then the place was covered by a huge landslide, and finally considered to be a sacred place. The disturbance caused by the devils was considered to be the main reason for the catechist to have the ‘novena’ over there. Because the location was in a remote area, this place was only known by people of the local place. The distance of the church and the parish at that time (St. Yusuf, Baturetno) was about 9 km, located between Giriwoyo and Giritontro at Ngampohan village.

The location of St. Ignatius church is located for about 500 m from Sendang Ratu Kenyo, to Giritontro, at Danan village. (Since 24 August 1998 it had officially been declared to be a parish). The sacred place is very difficult to reach, so it has not been taken care of too well. The statue of Mother Mary that was placed in the grotto broke on its nose.

At that time The Community of the Charity Services of the Blessed Mother Mary was introduced to Danan station and the environments. And to prepare the Holy Mass and praying together with the community, the Grotto was prepared to be cleaned together by the local mass. And at that time, more than one thousand people came to have a Eucharist celebration and to pray the abandonment to God together on 27 of April 1996. In this prayer, Mother Mary gave a message to beautify this sacred place, because Mother Mary had chosen this place to be the symbol of Her coming in Indonesia.

It turned out that to restore and beautify the cave needed quite a lot of fund. The difficulty to collect the fund had caused the restoration a little bit stagnant. At the first stage of Novena in 1997, on the second day of the Novena, Mother Mary gave the message that the sacred place should be finished hurriedly. This message was repeatedly in the first and the second Novena in 1997. It was more emphasized that it should be finished before the change of the year. Mother Mary knew already what would happen in Indonesia. In July 1997, the Indonesian economics sharply dropped and it was going to be worst.

On 18 June 1997, at the third stage of Novena, Mother Mary gave a special message to be delivered to the priests who were still finishing the place of prayers. Both the priests who coordinated the place of prayer were: Father Alex Dirjasusanto SJ (at that time the Parish Priest of St Yusuf Baturetno) and Father HP Bratasudarma SJ, (at that time the assistant priest of administrative parish of St. Ignatius, Danan):

“Please do it! I ask all of you, to make this place a praying place in your country. I come to give the praying place for my children in your country. I have given a place in another country where I always come. And now I come to your country, and I have chosen that place to be a praying place in your country”

My beloved children don’t be confused to give the name of the praying place where you need to beautify. Give a beautiful name to it, but think of me, your Mother; the Mother for my children that come to me to ask for my blessings; that is what I asked.

“So Mother, what Mother meant is that the former name of the place should be changed?” asked a man.

“My beloved son, make it the praying place ”The Heart of The Blessed Mother”
“ That is it, please let the priest know, I had given that name as a sign of my affection to your country. Hey my children. Please do what I ask you! Please do it, don’t worry! What I ask to you God has approved, and He blessed this place as a praying place. Over there, my children will get the affection of God, which they hope for... they will get it.

The first stage of reservation and construction of that praying place is to beautify the grotto that was finished in September 1997. On 30 September 1997 the place was blessed with the celebration of a solemn Eucharist. The blessing was preceded with the triduum by the parish of St Ignatius - Danan. The procession of the new Mary statue started from the parish church to the grotto. The old statue of Mary was kept at St Ignatius church - Danan.

On February 1998 Mother Mary sent another message to complete the praying place with additional means so that her children who pray there are able to meet her Son, Jesus. Mother Mary asked to build a chapel in that place in order that her children would not just come for Mother Mary, but especially for God (per Mariam ad Jesum).

For the completeness of the sacred place, it needed water that was difficult to get in that place. In praying to Mother Mary (February 1998) the people asked to be given the source of water and Mother Mary answered that they should try with the human being effort, but Mother Mary convinced that they will get the source with the blessing and overflow of water. Digging artesian well as deep as 92 meters, around 100 meters from the grotto, people got the water. (Since October 2003 the well was deepened)

“I said to you. I give this water to you. The water that I give you is the fully blessed water and blessed by God; Whoever get the water, whoever take it, whoever use it with their heart and pray, with their abandonment, will get it. This water is for you. This water is flowing for you. Take care of it”. (6 October 2003)

The beginning of the chapel construction and the blessing of the source of water were carried out on 30 September 1998. The community was longing to finish the construction of the praying place to fulfill the request of Mother Mary.

“I know that you almost finish the praying place that I asked you. I prayed so that you are able to finish it well, to be the praying place of my children. Anywhere they pray, they are united with God. There is the gathering place for my children with God and with me, your Mother...........”
“ If the place has already finished, give it to your highest priest in that place (the Archbishop of Semarang) as my present to your country”. (the message of Mother Mary in the end of novena 1998, 31 August 1998, Cimahi)

“ The praying place is the sign of my affection that I gave you to your country. In this place my children will be united, will be gathered, I will bring them, I will ask forgiveness from God
Through this place there will be a lot of people converted, there will flow the mercy of God to His children, because the gate is still open for whomever that want to be redeemed. I will make this place a happy place for my children” (Message 7 January 1999)

In May 1999, the praying place of the Heart of The Blessed Mother has been finished. The chapel is blessed and named the chapel of John, the apostle, in order to follow the examples of the life of John, the apostle, who also is the spiritual counselor of the Community of the Charity Services of the Blessed Mother.

Mgr V Kartosiswoyo, RD and other priests did the blessing of the chapel on 15 May 1999 and all the complex of the sacred place was blessed, and on the next day, they were declared officially by Vicar General Mgr Johannes Pujosumarto RD. The Committee of reconstruction of the praying place of the Heart of the Blessed Mother formally handed over the sacred place to the Archbishop of Semarang just as Mother Mary asked to be the sign of her love and presence in this country.