First visit on German soil

The representatives of the German pro-life organizations just did not make it for the celebration of the Eucharist in St. Gallen on the Swiss side of the border, even though they greatly desired to be there.  It began with a breakdown of their car engine, which simply just "did not start."  Frustrated, they had to rent the right type of vehicle which they used to drive directly to the cathedral in city of Constance (Ger. Konstanz).  This was the initial location of welcoming Our Blessed Mother – already on the German soil.  The Icon was brought there by Alexandra and Hans, the representatives from the Swiss pro-life movement.  Constance is a very old city in the state of Baden-Württemberg, located on Lake Constance (Ger. Bodensee) in a spot where the Rhine River (Ger. Rhein) begins.  The city was founded as a Roman fortress in the third century by Constantius I Chlorus, the Father of Constantine the Great.  In the Middle Ages, it was under the direct rule of the emperor and was the capital of the largest Catholic diocese north of the Alps at the time, which has been in existence since the fourth century.  In the years 1414 – 1418, the Council of Constance was called, during which a conclave took place, the only one that took place in the North in the Church's history.  At that time, Pope Martin V was elected, ending the great Western Schism.

In the afternoon of the 24 October, Our Blessed Mother arrived at the cathedral basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Constance.  Many people came with the sole intention of greeting the Black Madonna, whom they called affectionately their "Black Friend."

Rev. Dean Dr. Mathias Trennert-Helwig, together with the pastor of the Polish Catholic Mission of Freiburg, Fr. Stanislaw Stec, welcomed Our Blessed Mother at the main portal of the basilica and solemnly brought the Icon into the church.  Georg Fleischman, the coordinator of the peregrination of the Czestochowa Icon in Germany presented the assumptions and the intention of the pilgrimage "From Ocean to Ocean."  Afterwards, the Liturgy of the Holy Eucharist was celebrated, during which Our Blessed Mother was solemnly greeted in Her journey through Germany.  After a solemn veneration, the Icon was accompanied on Her way to the ferryboat on the lake.  The crowds were so vast that day that the arrival at Lindau was delayed by half an hour.

The group "Youth 2000" prepared the devotional prayers in Lindau.  Unfortunately, we had to hurry because Wigratzbad was already waiting for Our Lady.  Currently, Wigratzbad is a well-known center of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP) – a community of traditional Roman Catholic priests, faithful to the Apostolic See.  True to the schedule, the custodian of the shrine, Fr. Nikolaus Maier welcomed Our Blessed Mother in the Icon of Czestochowa as She was carried in a procession into the shrine chapel.  Vast numbers of faithful attended the celebration of the Holy Eucharist – the church was full.  In his homily, Fr. Maier very unambiguously touched on the problematic of the protection of the human life.  He said that in current times – in the so-called progressive, western world – human dignity is being treated with a tremendous disregard.  After the Holy Mass, veneration was continued, but the time for departure came all too soon, as Our Blessed Mother was still being awaited that same evening – or rather, that night at 11:00 pm – at the Polish Mission in Munich (Ger. München).

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