The “Segenskreis“ commenced on 4 August 2009, the memorial day of St. Jean Vianney, the Curé of Ars. It was the idea of Fr. Gabriel Hüger that God’s blessing should pour out far beyond the pastoral area of the Brüder Samariter FLUHM and reach as many people as possible; thereby not only the priest brothers of the “Segenskreis“ should bless but also all members should feel called to receive the blessing (in place of others, too), to hand it on, to bless themselves and possibly also invite other people to join the circle (registration forms can be ordered with us free of charge!).
Not only lay persons joined the “Segenskreis“ (overall approx. 10.000 members) but also many religious sisters and brothers as well as more than thirty priests, who regularly accompany the “Segenskreis“ with blessing and prayer; our Cardinal Christoph Schönborn OP also accompanies us with his daily blessing.
The members do not have any special obligations but have the opportunity to receive the priestly blessing daily in the morning (at approx. 7:00 a.m.) and in the evening (at approx. 6:00 p.m. (it is not mandatory to receive the blessing at an exact time). Every Thursday, mostly in Klein-Mariazell, a Holy Mass is celebrated for all the members (7:00 p.m.).
Every new member a.o. receives a personal confirmation (name, admission date and prayers to receive the blessing as well as donations) and the yearly circular by the Brüder Samariter FLUHM. In the case of very serious concerns any member may turn to the brothers (please do so in writing to the address indicated on the last page: describe the problem as briefly and concretely as possible; also call unpleasant things by their names).
GOD’S BLESSING AND OUR CONTRIBUTION
The word “Segen“ (blessing) (Old High German a.o. “segan“, borrowed from Latin “signum“ = sign, badge, mark, sign of the cross) in our Christian usage denotes a prayer or a rite through which persons or things receive a share in God’s power and grace. “Segen“ (blessing) or “Segnen“ (to bless) corresponds to the Latin word “benedictio“, derived from “bene“ (well) and “dicere“ (say), thus: to wish somewone well (from God).
God wants to give us abundant gifts through His blessing, but respects our free will. Therefore we should again and again ask Him with childlike faith and thus open ourselves to His mighty help, which He wants to communicate to people particularly through His priests: Our priests administer God’s blessing through the Authority of Jesus; when they bless, Jesus Himself blesses. In His power we are called and invited to bless our families, friends acquaintances, but also our enemies. Every Christian has received the power of blessing through baptism and can open to it even more by frequently receiving the Holy Communion and through the Holy Confession!
In our largely godless world (without trust in God’s power and grace) very often (also unconsciously) curses, negative words and ties are thought and/or expressed. All the more can and must we as active Christians consciously set signs and comply with God’s request to us to break those ties (cf. Lk 6:28 and Rom 12:14); let us bless vicariously in particular those persons who curse us and others, who whish us/them evil (spell) or even persecute us/them. Of course, the priestly blessing is to be distinguished from that of a layman – the mandate to bless, however, was given to all: thus the mottto of the “Segenskreis“ is:
“Do not return evil for evil or reviling for reviling; but on the contrary bless, for to this you have been called, that you may obtain a blessing.“ (1 Pt 3:9)
The purpose of (the) blessing is to restore the lost communion with God. The prerequisite for this is our unreserved trust that God only wants the best for us. When blessing, we thus place our own will under the will of God. The blessing can be administered only with words but also with signs (e.g. laying on of hands, gesture of blessing, spreading out the hands, anointment and sign of the cross – without or better with Holy Water).