Above, the late Marie Czernin, of Austria, who passed away after a long battle with cancer on October 28, 2022, one year ago, at the age of 51. (link and link)
Below, the Japanese violinist Tomoko Mayeda, who performed a concert in Marie’s memory in Assisi, Italy, on October 29, two days ago. Paul Badura-Skoda said of her: “Ms. Tomoko Mayeda is one of the greatest violinists of our time. What assigns her playing, in addition to her immaculate technique, is her personal expression that speaks to the heart. rarely I have heard Bach played so affectingly (link)…
Tomoko was baptized in Assisi in 2018.
Marie was Tomoko’s Godmother, and her sponsor at her baptism…
Letter #151, 2023, Tuesday, October 31: Tomoko and Marie
In the days before she died, Marie’s friends began to pray a rosary for her.
Via Zoom, along with Marie — who was in her hospital bed in Vienna –at 8 p.m. each evening, first a bit irregularly, then, beginning on October 7, 2022, each evening, the group prayed the mysteries of the rosary.
The group soon numbered more than 200.
“Marie’s Rosary,” they called it.
They prayed for peace in the world, for unity in the Church, for the global charity work of the Austrian Church’s missionary society, Missio, where Marie worked as a writer and editor for the Missio newsletter.
And the group prayed for a miracle of healing for Marie.
Throughout those days, her friends and family marveled at Marie’s kindness and serenity in the face of death. They said that she never once grumbled or complained, thinking of everyone but herself.
She even finished a last book, together with a nun friend, from her hospital bed.
Just before she died, she told her sister, Sophia: “I know, now, that my death is near. The great miracle we have been hoping for, and praying for, will not be for me. But it will be for another.”
The rosary group learned of Marie’s death on the evening of October 28, 2022, when Sophia said to the group: “Marie died about 20 minutes ago.”
After that night, “Marie’s Rosary” continued.
Each night we prayed, for Marie’s intentions, and ours: for peace in the world, for unity in the Church, and for many sick and dying people, in diverse places.
And the rosary has continued until today, without interruption.
During this year, at least 10 people whom the group prayed for — children with cancer or seizures, older people with sudden strokes or heart attacks, family members and friends, and friends of friends, from almost every country of the world — all suffering from illnesses the doctors said were hopeless, have become healthy again.
On the occasion of the 1-year anniversary of Marie’s passing, some 40 of Marie’s friends gathered in her memory in Rome — first to join in the solemn and moving rosary for world peace with Pope Francis in St Peter’s Basilica on October 27, then, in a private chapel in Rome on October 28, the anniversary, to pray the rosary and to celebrate a Mass for the repose of Marie’s soul (a cardinal attended, one of Marie’s friends).
Then, on the 29th, about 20 members of the group traveled up to Assisi, the city of St. Francis and St. Clare, with the aim of continuing to pray for peace, since war has broken out cruelly in various places on our beloved, scarred earth.
And in Assisi, a friend of Marie, a Japanese violinist named Tomoko Mayeda, played a concert in Marie’s memory in the Basilica of St Francis, which is over the tomb of Francis.
Below is another photo of Tomoko, and here are links to two videos of the concert which Tomoko prepared on the train back to Vienna, and just posted…. (link and link). She plays Bach, and, very movingly, the Ave Maria… the rosary is a series of Ave Marias… and this one by Tomoko rises toward what is above, toward heaven…