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Historic Worldwide Pilgrimage
Historic Worldwide Pilgrimage Lands On American Shores
Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa will be received at site of first Catholic Mass in English colonies
FRONT ROYAL, Virginia – After traveling 40,000 miles through 24 European nations, the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, already viewed by millions and venerated by hundreds of thousands of Christians, lands on the shores of America this month for the next leg of an historic pilgrimage in the movement to build a Culture of Life.
Our Lady of Czestochowa, a replica of the original in Jasna Gora monastery in Poland, will be received at a ceremony on Saturday, August 24, 2013 on St. Clement’s Island, Maryland – the exact site of the first landing of Catholic pilgrims in the American British colonies of the 17th century. Tradition holds that the original icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa was painted by St. Luke on a cypress table used by the Holy Family.
The Human Life International-sponsored “Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage in Defense of Life” is expected to visit over 180 Catholic and Orthodox Churches, dozens of abortion clinics, and other prominent locations in North America before continuing to Central and South America. The pilgrimage schedule includes a ceremony of welcoming at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia, and a peaceful prayer service at Leroy Carhart’s embattled abortion clinic in Germantown, Maryland. Details and a short video about the pilgrimage can be found at www.hli.org/oceantoocean.
“The legal and political battles to defend life and the family in the U.S. and around the world are necessary, but building and sustaining a Culture of Life requires us to turn to God and hear His voice, and that’s why this pilgrimage is so important,” said Human Life International Vice President Father Peter West. “Orthodox and Catholic faithful are seeking Our Lady’s intercession for the protection of the family, and of all human life from conception to natural death.”
The peregrination of the icon began in the summer of 2012 after a meeting of Catholic and Orthodox pro-life leaders in Europe. Starting in Vladivostok, Russia, the Ocean to Ocean Campaign has received the support and blessings of numerous bishops in Europe, as well as Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church, and is expected to circle the globe in defense of life.
The icon was blessed by Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak of Czestochowa in January 2012 during a special ceremony at the Jasna Gora monastery. Fr. Roman Majewski, prior of Jasna Gora, said the pilgrimage has “enormous significance” in the struggle to protect the dignity of all human life.
“The pilgrimage of the Czestochowa icon ‘From Ocean to Ocean’ through the world is an unprecedented historical event and has enormous significance,” he said. “I am expressing my great joy and heartfelt gratitude to all those who arranged for Our Lady to travel through the world in the sign of the image of Jasna Gora and to remind everyone of the value and dignity of human life from conception to natural death.”
For more on the history of Our Lady of Czestochowa, on the tradition of pilgrimages with sacred icons (based in the Old Testament), and on the Ocean to Ocean Campaign, visit www.hli.org/oceantoocean.
About HLI: Human Life International: For the Glory of God and defense of Life, Faith and Family. Founded in 1981, HLI is the world’s largest international grassroots pro-life and pro-family organization, with affiliates and associates in over 80 countries on six continents. www.hli.org