Amélia Cabral Allessi

Born in 1956, married, three children and four grandchildren, secretary in the Legal Secretariat for Work and Family, lives in Curitiba/PR Brazil, belongs to the Schoenstatt Women and Mothers’ Branch.

What experiences have formed you as a woman?

I was fortunate to marry a very good Catholic who helped me to continue to work in Catholic movements. In these I had the most diverse tasks: secretarial work, catechesis, organizing events, chairing the CAEP (Conselho assuntos econômicos paroquiais = financial consulting in the parish).

My encounter with Schoenstatt also had an impact on me. I got to know Schoenstatt in 1987 in Curitiba, when a good friend invited us to a monthly pilgrimage. Singing and praying, we went from the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes to the Schoenstatt Shrine, carrying my youngest daughter in my arms. Only much later did I get to know the Schoenstatt Movement. I only knew that the 18th was the Covenant Day. No one explained anything to me. I loved the place, everything there attracted me; I did not know why, it was just something mysterious.

For several years I visited the Shrine in Curitiba and I was very eager to visit others. My family, friends and relatives were surprised about my faith. I gave away several novena booklets and all those who received them were abundantly blessed with graces. Whenever we came to any place on our travels, I would look for a shrine or wayside shrine to visit. During the 2001 Carnival I got to know the Shrine in Atibaia. After my return, I went to the hydrogym and in the changing room everyone told me about their experiences of the past few days.  I said: I have experienced heaven, paradise! Everyone wanted to know where I had been! I told them about Schoenstatt, that all the shrines around the world are the same, and I began to tell them about the change in my life, without knowing the special graces that are given to us at this place. I said that in everything I needed, in all my needs, I was always immediately heard.

An acquaintance who was also there invited me to a meeting that took place that same evening. I was very curious and invited four more friends to come along. We were very kindly received, but that is the custom in Schoenstatt, the mothers there were all friends of our families, from the Santa Felicidade district.

Since 2001, I belong to the Mothers’ League of Curitiba, in the Tabor group. That same evening, a mother I didn’t know arrived, who has been in our group ever since. Of the four mothers I had invited, one died and one is a committed member. The other two women weren’t interested, but one of them came back now because she saw how much I had changed and is now in another group. I identify with the group and I think the methodology is wonderful; it fits perfectly into every empty corner of my being. My husband, my children, family members and friends realized that there was a change going on inside of me. I was in the school of Mary and was educated by her. The Blessed Mother was in charge of everything; I gave her the reins. In 2001 we also got to know Father Kentenich and the pedagogy of Schoenstatt. In 2002 I sealed the Covenant of Love. Since then, I have belonged with heart and soul to the Movement.

Where have you experienced God in your life?

I experience him through the Covenant of Love with the Blessed Mother. I am sure that all the good things and all the difficulties that I would otherwise not have been able to bear became a light breeze with her, while for others they were like a hurricane. In 2015 I made my Blank Check, that is, I gave the Blessed Mother full authority over my life. Although some of the other mothers and even my family found it absurd, the Blessed Mother had already given me so many gifts of love that I sealed my Covenant of Love in the spirit of the Blank Check. Then I contracted an autoimmune disease – CHRON – which is fatal for many or at least very difficult to bear and live with, but for me it was as if I had nothing at all. We have received thousands of graces, often without having asked for them: material, physical and spiritual help, things that would be impossible without the heroism of the faith of our father and founder. I know that a mother does everything for her children, even the humanly impossible.

At the moment I am going through some unpleasant, negative things, but I know that the Blessed Mother is with me and will not let me down. In 2019 we have prepared and given her the scepter! Now more than ever, she guides, rules and directs our lives. Today I thought of the pandemic and remembered that on June 20, 1952 our father and founder also became isolated (exile) and 14 years later he returned to his work, victorious and strengthened.

At the moment, I have adoration in the shrine on Thursdays and participate in Holy Mass there on Sundays. The Mother Thrice Admirable and Queen is the pillar and support of my life and the life of my family. I am not afraid of bad times that might oppress us, because the Mother and Queen, who is venerated in my house as the Mediatrix of All Graces, guides and solves all difficulties. She has changed me in every way. She formed me; my heart, at first made of paper, as it were, became brass and then gold; an unpolished stone became a beautiful, shining one, as mother, grandmother, daughter, daughter-in-law, wife, as a personality.