Imri Ozsvári

Born 1959, Hungary, studied graphic arts at the Academy of Arts. Currently works as the head of a parish office. Belongs to the Family Federation in Hungary, since the death of her husband to the MenTA (Mint/Healing Plant) Community, a circle for widows.

Text of the video:

Since the death of my husband more than ten years ago, I live my life as a widow. In the meantime, only one of my children (twenty years old) lives at home and studies.
In our Schoenstatt Movement, eight of us have founded a circle for widows (“MenTA” circle = mint circle) together with other women who also lost their husbands at an early age. Four or five times a year, we spend a weekend together at our Hungarian Schoenstatt Center in Óbudavár. We are also in contact during the year. We write to each other, we know about each other. We live in the awareness that the relationship with our husbands lasts beyond death, and that our love has an eternal dimension. One of our circle told us that she receives communion during Holy Mass and meets Jesus and her husband. We strengthen each other and exchange good experiences and habits. Sister Gertrud-Maria Erhard and Mrs. Rozi Zajkás organize our meetings in such a way that several groups meet at the same time at our Schoenstatt Center. In this way, Sister tries to spend time with us. We also read texts from Father Kentenich together and draw strength from them. We go for walks together; we laugh and cry together.
I grew up in a large family, my mother was a woman of deep faith. My father was an ambitious, God-seeking, honest man, but he had a difficult disposition. He could ask for forgiveness and loved my mother and us children very much. This helped my mother to get through the many difficulties.
My first experience of God is related to my mother. She never argued or said bad things to my father, she prayed a lot. Her faith has helped me in all the difficulties of my life so far.
I owe it to her that I have never questioned the existence of God. After the death of my husband, I could always share my worries and joys with her, and experienced a feeling of complete, unconditional acceptance. This year, in May 2020, we lost her. I miss her very much, but at the same time, I feel intensively that she is always with us.

In my marriage, too, I was able to experience full acceptance through my husband, which was a great grace for me. My husband Csaba did not grow up in a religious family, but was always searching for a relationship with God. He was an artist. When he had found his way to the faith, he decided to create only sacred works. In doing so, he often went through battles. He eventually came to a deeply lived faith. He loved God passionately and was very attached to the Church. His epitaph is: “Dilexit Ecclesiam!” (I chose this sentence – influenced by Father Kentenich’s epitaph).

Csaba’s life has also been a tangible experience of God for me. He died in our midst at the age of nearly 46 years at the Hungarian Schoenstatt Center in Óbudavár directly after the consecration Mass of our Family Federation Course. Father Tilmann Beller was also with us and wrote the following day: “We have experienced an inbreak of graces. It’s almost unbelievable, a man – a great artist of religious art – dies after the consecration next to the Shrine. We live in the divine.”
I owe it to my husband that I was allowed to experience my womanhood. He loved me as I am, also my appearance (which I appreciated very much about him), and he encouraged and confirmed me in my work. He encouraged me when I worked on drawings as a graphic artist. It was important to him to ask my opinion about his work. He made it possible for me to stay at home with our five children. He alone provided for the sustenance of the family, which is not easy as an artist.

As a young couple,we joined the Schoenstatt Movement through the invitation of my brother. One of our children remembers: “For me the relationship between Mom and Dad is a beautiful memory. Of course, Schoenstatt plays a prominent role in this. Schoenstatt forged them together completely. They have always turned to one another with such love – whether in constant love or in love that is always renewed, I do not know.

I see it as a great challenge that no value is attached to the work of mothers at home today. You have to have a job in order to gain appreciation. Often there are no grandmothers or grandfathers around the grandchildren, because they also work. In my Family Federation Course, I see in several families that children who had moved out during their studies come back, close to home, after their wedding, but living in separate houses. This way they are able to support each other as siblings when their children are little. I think this is very good.

I find it important to discover in my own life how much joy and how many possibilities are hidden in the “monotony” of everyday life. I can pass this on to my children, their families and grandchildren. I have the great desire to find time to paint in nature.