Augenblicke der Besinnung

Die Reinheit ist ein Geschenk des Himmels.
Man muss sie von Gott erbitten.
Wenn wir darum bitten,
werden wir sie erhalten.

Johannes Maria Vianney - Pfarrer von Ars

I received miraculous help

When approaching the chapel, we feel the secret power of the votive images already from far away. Pained testimonies of deep faith and adoration of Mary! Many eyes rest on these quiet witnesses yet today, which are at the same time very eloquent.
How many thousands of votive tablets often lead a secret life. We often discover them in the twilight of back church rooms, often laid behind the altar – hidden – forgotten – faded – in poor condition- longing for reawakening – hoping to be woken up from apparent death, often hung in the stairway to the upper sacristy or to the side of the staircase to the gallery.

We are thankful and glad that in our chapel – on the inside and outside a faithful heart full of living belief honour these touching testimonies of human need and the hope for healing.
The votive pictures are by all means aesthetic kindness and witnesses of faith at the same time. The simple beauty and the simple testimony of faith.
Votive pictures are documentations of old pilgrimage traditions, welcome testimonies for period costume research and appearances of people from earlier times, they give insight into local history and versatile events, are source of folk medicine and give insight into life’s habits of people, usually simple farmers, and recount unlucky circumstances in house, farmhouse and stables, illnesses – accidents – war – natural catastrophes – and everything else life must endure, because people were almost crushed by mental and physical need.
Thus, the votive tablets – we like to call them "ex voto" – become testimonies that are open to anyone that keeps his eyes glued to the walls in peace and quiet while walking the corridor around the chapel. The experienced answer to prayer that is testified on the votive tables awakens to new life in the soul of the beholder and continues to reawaken again and again over years, decades and centuries.

When looking at the votive tablets it become clear how people have dedicated themselves to pilgrimage from their very most inner strength. Three moments always move us over again:
For one, the holy picture – Our Dear lady of Altötting – keeps reappearing. We feel how people back then and today turn to her full of hope and love. On the other hand, the supplicant portraits himself. The simple pictures breathe with hope of prayers being answered and at the same time show the certainty and trust. All pictures are interesting, because life is suspended between the longing of hope and the fulfilment of hope. Usually the reason for the votive offering is also displayed.
Therefore, every votive image is an expression of faith. The lower area of the image usually shows the worldly, human misery. The heavenly glory and the place of calling shine down from above. And in the middle – between top and bottom / between the heavenly glory and the worldly misery – is the supplicant.
There we stand and approach the Chapel. Every one of us could probably paint such a votive picture in honest and clear view into the asking heart with the spiritual gift of the mind and faith.