Wejherowo – the spiritual capital of the Kashubian region

On Tuesday evening of August 14th, on the Eve of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa had arrived at the Passionist Marian Shrine in Wejherowo.

The indulgence festivities of the Solemnity of the Assumption, which became a great part of the Visitation of Our Blessed Mother at the Shrine, began with the celebration of the Holy Mass at 19:00 (7:00 p.m.), celebrated in the vicinty of the chapel of the House of Mary at Calvary by Reverend Dr. Ernest Siekiera, definitor general at the Franciscan Monastery in Rome, [Italy].

After the Eucharist, celebrated for the intention of the protection of life, amidst the beautiful scenery of the Calvary chapels illuminated by the light from the candles held by the pilgrims, the sirens of the patrol cars and the orchestral fanfares heralded the arrival of the Distinguished Guest in the Icon of Czestochowa.

With trembling hearts and great emotion, both, Father Daniel Szustak, the custodian of the shrine, and Bogdan Toklowicz, the vice mayor of the city, directed their words of welcome to Our Lady.

"At the feet of the Kashubian Jerusalem, we welcome You, Mary!  Our Mother and Queen!"

In this manner, families greeted the Icon on behalf of all present and those who joined in spirit, especially the sick, who couldn't be there.  They donated a Marian chasuble to the Shrine, as a visible remembrance of this historic event.

Following the welcoming ceremony and the singing of the Jasna Gora Appeal, Father Kustosz recited the Act of the Entrustment of the Protection of Life and Love to Our Lady.  Afterwards, all, together with the Icon that was being carried by various groups (men, women, youth, clergy, religious sisters - among those were sisters who were giving their perpetual vows the next day, the delegations of the Kashubian-Pomeranian Association and the Family Counseling group), set out in a traditional procession, with candles in their hands, meditating on the stations of Our Lady – the way of dormition and burial, in order to arrive [next] at the church of the convent.

The faithful, who were gathered in large numbers at Calvary on the streets and inside the church, kept watch during a prayer vigil until the next morning.  At midnight, the Sacrifice of the Holy Mass was celebrated by Father Tyberiusz Nitkiewicz, who did everything he could to have Mary in the copy of the Icon of Jasna Gora come and visit Wejherowo.

At around 7:00 the next morning, with great emotion and sorrow, the watchmen of the Wejherowo Shrine, together with the faithful, walked the Icon to the Life Mobile which, piloted by the police, the firedepartment and the motorcade, departed for Koscierzyna.

At 10:00 a.m., Mass was celebrated under the direction of Father Ernest Siekiera for the intention of our fatherland, for the sanctity of life, and for the blessed fruits of this holy time of Visitation.


Interpretation by Elizabeth Carlos of the original Polish text by Bartłomiej Muński – Master of Shrine Ceremonies


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