The papal votive offering

On the occasion of the visit of the Pope on Septe

mber 11th, 2006, an unforgettable gesture of Pope Benedict made in the Basilica had a secret touch to it. Full of excited joy, the diocesan bishop Willhelm Schraml was graced to receive something very valuable and meaningful as votive offering from the hands of the Pope and lay it at the feet of the Mother of God transferred to the Church of St. Mary. Pope Benedict made very clear how dear to his heart the Shrine of Mary in Altötting is.

At the end of vesper he laid down the ring of the bishop worn up to the assumption of office as head of the Universal Church and representative of Jesus Christ on earth. The lain down ring is a sisterly gift on the occasion of his inauguration as bishop on May 28th, 1977 in the Liebfrauen Church in Munich. His meanwhile deceased very much loved sister Maria and his brother Georg gave him this golden ring.
The golden ring encloses an amethyst, showing a dove with an oil branch. The amethyst in the colour of red with a violet shimmer is said to have versatile powers. The Holy Scripture places it among the stones of the fundament of Jerusalem. The amethyst also represents the humility that directs the soul towards purely heavenly things.

The image of the dove indicates the dove sent from Noah’s ark that searches for saving ground after the Great Flood. At the end of the flood (Moses 8,11) the dove returns with a twig off an oil tree that shows that God is no longer angry and allows the peace tree of reconciliation to grow on earth once more. This announces Godly peace and the reliable union of God with the people.
The finger ring of the (arch) bishop, the Holy Father as successor of Saint Peter and as servant of God was replaced by the fisher ring. The votive offering has its place on the sceptre of Our Dear Lady of Altötting in the Chapel –close to the hands of Jesus and Mary. The rosary promised to the Holy Father every day on the chapel binds us to him. He offers us his hand every day with the view of the ring of the bishop on the sceptre of Our Dear Lady.