A procession through the center of Graz

On Sunday, September 30th, at about 2:00 p.m., Our Blessed Mother arrived at the beautiful Church of Holy Trinity run by the School Sisters of Notre Dame.  It is located in the very center of the city, right next to the entrance of the clock tower, a landmark of Graz.

An estimated one thousand faithful came to the meeting with Mary in the Icon of Czestochowa, even though the program did not include Mass.  The veneration of the Icon lasted several hours.  People were standing in an endless line just to approach the Icon closer and to pray individually.

Father Florian Parth CM, with the faithful gathered, addressed the Mother of Life with faith and hope, by renewing the Act of Entrustment of the Protection of the Civilization of Life and Love to Our Lady publicly and asking Her for assistance in overcoming the attacks on human life.  A large group of Orthodox Romanians also participated in this celebration.  They sang the Akathist, the oldest hymn of the Church honoring Mary.  At the end of the prayer vigil, the Sisters recited the Vespers in honor of the Mother of God.

In the afternoon, Our Blessed Mother walked in a solemn procession led by eight priests through the main streets of Graz, across the city square, to the main parish of the city - the Church of the Precious Blood.  The gold statue of Our Lady, located on top of a tall column near the church, makes for a symbol of this city.

The city parish church was filled with a large crowd of the faithful.  Our Blessed Mother, Mary, was greeted by the Provost, Fr. Christian Leibnitz and by Fr. Martin Rauch SJ.  The Icon stopped on top of a pedestal next to the altar, in order to be visible to all in the church.  Father Leibnitz presided over the Holy Liturgy of the Eucharist, assisted by nine priests.  A wonderfully arranged music accompanied the Liturgy.

During the Marian veneration of the Icon that followed, many petitions were entrusted to Our Blessed Mother by placing them inside an urn, which the Austrian representatives of the pro-life movement have committed to take along with the Icon to Fatima.

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