On time at Mass in Gietrzwald

We were late!  The road turned out to be under construction, some stretches of the road very uneven and it was impossible to drive faster, even with the escort of the motorcade and the police.  Several times, people stood by the road greeting Our Lady with tears in their eyes, flowers in their hands, kneeling on the ground as She passed by.  These were touching moments, but the time was passing mercilessly, and at last, we were a whole hour late arriving in Gietrzwald.

Our Blessed Mother in the Icon of Czestochowa visited Her favorite place on August 13th, 2012, where She had appeared to two girls in 1877.  The Vatican had approved those apparitions as authentic.  The peregrinating "from Ocean to Ocean" Icon was greeted at the foot of the holy hill and was carried up numerous steps straight into the church, where it was placed on a stand next to the altar.  The Archbishop Wojciech Ziemba, the Metropolitan Bishop of Warmia, greeted Our Lady at Her arrival.

The Holy Mass was supposed to be celebrated at 6:00 o'clock in the evening, but it looked like it was going to be majorly delayed.  There was no possibility of making any plans, meanwhile, without calculating the time, the Bishop Adam Balabuch from Swidnica, who was the main celebrant together with fourteen concelebrating priests, was approaching the altar in an entrance procession precisely as the clock struck 6:00 p.m.  Our Blessed Mother showed once again that She is treating Her Son with great seriousness and reminded us that we should never be late for Holy Mass.  During his homily, Bishop Adam appealed to Mary who, as Mother, always leads to Christ.  God is the Giver of Life and only He can give it and take it away.  We, on the other hand, are always obligated to serve life from conception until natural death.

After the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the bishop personally renewed the Act of Entrustment of the Protection of the Culture of Life and Love to Our Lady.  The words of prayer and entrustment, being read out loud, along with the description of the current situation facing the world, were very moving.  Many of the faithful present began to become aware of how great the attack of the culture of death is in the modern world today and how vast the number of the innocent that continue to perish constantly.The Jasna Gora Appeal was led by the Pauline Father, Wlodzimierz Ogorzalek OSPPE, from Jasna Gora, the custodian of the traveling Icon "from Ocean to Ocean," who keeps Our Lady company the entire time she is visiting Poland.  Afterwards, he led the singing of the Akathist in honor of the Most Holy Virgin Mary - the oldest hymn of the Church, praising Mary.  The prayer vigil lasted through the entire night.

The following day, the 14th of August, was the 40th day from the time the peregrination of the Icon began at Vladivostok.  In Poland, the Icon will visit Gdansk and Wejherowo.


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