The pilgrim icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa visited the Parish of S. Julião da Barra, in Lisbon, from the 29th of April till the 5th of May, Mother’s Day in Portugal.
The program included various moments of prayer and veneration to the Blessed Virgin Mary, having as special highlights the Via Matris and the Taizé prayer on April 29, as well as the recitation of the Rosary and the Marian Crown (Seven Joys of the Virgin) on May 1. On the following day, there was a conference with the theme: “The representations of Mary in Eastern Art (Marian Icons)”. On May 4th, there was 24 hours perpetual adoration and the celebration of the First Saturday’s devotion, as it was requested by Our Lady in Fatima.
The pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa is still in Portugal waiting to travel to the USA. In the meantime, the Orthodox Church of Russia in Portugal has requested to have Our Lady of Czestochowa visiting some of their communities. This was providential and shows that the Virgin Mary wants to be with all of us!
The Orthodox priest, Father Ioan Gherbovetchi, who had already welcomed the Icon in the South of Portugal, organized also a visit to other parishes in Setúbal, Sines and Cascais, from the 18th to the 21st April. Our Lady was welcomed and venerated with beautiful liturgies and prayers were offered also for the defense of Life.
On Thursday, April 25 2013 at 10 am. in Sala Rycerska (The knights` hall) at Jasna Góra a photo-exhibition “From Ocean to Ocean – the first stage of the peregrination of the copy of the Icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa across the world in defence of life” was opened. The opening ceremony was started by Ewa Kowalewska, the European coordinator, who briefly summed up the pilgrimage.
On the Sanctity of Life Day, celebrated this year on April 8, there was a historic moment when peregrinating Czestochowa icon from Vladivostok to Fatima stood on the shore of the Atlantic ocean in Nazaré Portugal.
CZESTOCHOWA ICON ALREADY IN FATIMA
On April 7 this year the Divine Mercy Sunday the Czestochowa Icon traveling the world in her copy in defense of life, "From Ocean to Ocean", stood in the place of the apparitions of Fatima. In the first stage of the pilgrimage - from Vladivostok to Fatima – she traveled 65 thousand kilometers visiting 24 countries.
The icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa that arrived in Algarve on March 25th, travelled back to Fatima on April 1, after having visited the Discalced Carmelite Sisters in Patacão, the Hospital of Faro, the Carmel Church and the Refuge Aboim Ascensão, in Faro. Also very important was the visit of Our Lady to the Orthodox community in Faro. A great number of people participated in these celebrations.
On March 24, Our Lady of Czestochowa was taken to the Church of St. Simon in Vila Fresca de Azeitão, after having being welcomed and venerated by the faithful in the Church of Seixal.
On that Palm Sunday, which was also the World Youth Day, the youth and the diocesan community gathered with the Bishop of Setúbal, H. E. Gilberto dos Reis, at 4.00 pm for the Lenten catecheses, under the maternal eye of Our Lady, Queen of Poland.
For Catholics in Britain, there can be no more important place to pray for life and for the family than at a shrine of which the history began nearly1000 years ago in 1061. It is 10th annual pilgrimage in thanksgiving for the gift of life on Monday, 8th April, next Monday week - and for the intentions of the Pope.
In the Middle Ages Walsingham was known throughout Europe as Little Nazareth - the home of the Holy Family. During that thousand years, there can never have been a greater peril to the sanctity of life, to marriage and to the family than there is today.
As Blessed Pope John Paul II said: “ ... a great prayer for life is urgently needed ... ”, Evangelium Vitae 100.
On the morning of March the 25th, the polish priest Fr. Dariusz, together with some people from Faro, travelled to the Diocese of Setubal to carry the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa to Algarve.
They arrived with the Icon at the Carmel monastery of Our Lady Queen of the World around 6pm welcomed by ringing bells. The Carmelite nuns enthusiastically welcomed our dear Heavenly Mother. During the celebration of Holy Mass at 9h30 pm there was a moment for spiritual adoption of unborn children.
During the whole day of March 23, the National Shrine of Christ the King, located in Almada, Diocese of Setubal, hosted the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, offering to the many visitors that passed by on that day the chance to pray next to her for the defense of Life and for Peace in the world.
The Shalom community, responsible for the activities of the Shrine, prepared a prayer time schedule so that during the day, various groups of people could always be in the prayerful presence of the Black Madonna, in the chapel of Our Lady of Peace.