The hometown of St. Maximilian Kolbe – Pabianice

In the beautiful church of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pabianice, a large crowd, together with Bishop Adam Lepa, awaited Our Lady of the Icon of Czestochowa.  After greeting Our Lady, the entire parish, with the choir leading, sang the Akathist in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Singing out loud in a crowd of other people praying and honoring the Mother of God is an amazing experience and gives a sense of strength and a sense of Church Community.  That is how it has been the entire time during this peregrination.

Bishop Adam Lepa directed the attention in his homily at the unprecedented event, which is the peregrination of the Icon of Czestochowa "from Ocean to Ocean."  "The meeting with the Mother of God, travelling the world 'from Ocean to Ocean,' is one of the answered calls which the Church calls us to, at this time.  In October, we will begin the Year of Faith and the Synod on New Evangelization.  The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, calls us to give witness of faith and love.  His Excellency, Bishop Lepa also recalled two great figures, the first one:  the Servant of God, Stanislawa Leszczynska from Lodz, who was a midwife at the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz and had tremendous courage in refusing Dr. Mengele to kill babies before they were born, as well as after they have been born.

His Excellency also recalled that right here, in Pabianice, lived the Kolbe family from where St. Maximilian came forth.  Here, he received the proposal of choosing a crown for himself from Our Lady – a white crown or a red one.  St. Maximilian chose both crowns and became both a priest and a monk, who fought for the freedom of Catholic press, but he also became a Martyr of Auschwitz.  He gave his life for that of a father of a large family.  This was an extremely important testimony of faith and love.  The modern world today needs witnesses such as these, especially because we have more and more "anti-witnesses", mainly driven by money:  religion is being mocked, the Holy Bible is being destroyed in public, and Crucifixes are being broken and desecrated.  Mary is the perfect witness of faith and love.  As the Bishop stated, this extraordinary peregrination is also the realization of the last Testament of the late Holy Father, Bl. John Paul II, who always defended life and called for its full protection.

The crowds were bidding Our Lady farewell with songs and great emotion.  Just after dusk had set in, Our Lady was beautifully illuminated and notably visible in "Her" Life Mobile.  People were gathering on the streets of the neighboring towns along the route, kneeling, making the Sign of the Cross, and waving their hands to say "good-bye."


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