Sunday evening in Vaudricourt, at the headquarters of the Polish Oblates in France

On November 25, at 8 o'clock in the evening, Our Lady in the Czestochowa Icon stopped at the Institute of St. Casimir, in the community of Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Vaudricourt.  The Icon had arrived from France, secured in a special, bullet proof chest.  The shrine on wheels – the Life Mobile – reached the French shore a few days earlier, via a ferry from England.  It was brought to France by Lech Kowalewski, who went to Great Britain with the purpose of making necessary repairs and technical checks of the Life Mobile, while it was not in use during the Icon's pilgrimage in Ireland.

Unpacking, putting together, and mounting the Icon with screws took only a few minutes.  Our Blessed Mother took a place of honor next to the altar.  The faithful French and Poles were crowding into the chapel. 

That evening, the Oblate priests and the Sisters Servants of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, from the neighboring town Fouquières, the scouts, the Little Sisters of the Lamb, and a large group of the faithful gathered around Mary.  It is rare to see so many people here.  Only a few faithful attend the Sunday Masses in this chapel.  Today, there were about sixty people gathered in this small church.

The prayers and the Holy Rosary with meditations were being led by the superior of the House, Father Stanisław Wódz OMI.  The time for some singing for Our Blessed Mother followed.  The Little Sisters of the Lamb began chanting the Akathist – the oldest hymn in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Afterwards, French songs were alternated with Polish ones.

The prayer vigil ended before 11 o'clock in the evening.  The faithful in attendance did not hide their joy and gladness which they derived from their meeting with Our Blessed Mother.  One could detect a spark of happiness in everyone's eyes.  A smalls group stayed praying by the Icon.

Mahir took the Rosary in his hand, saying:  It was Mary who brought me here.  I feel that She is still holding me in Her arms.  The violent wind was against Our Lady, against Her coming to us, and to France.  How beautiful and full of tenderness is the gaze of Mary which emerges through this Icon.

Mary!  Welcome to France!  You are so dear to Our Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, - and to us.  We love you so very much.  Grant, we implore You, that Our Lord may come to us!  Amen.

We sat with Our Blessed Mother until 1 o'clock in the morning.  A full moon and a starry sky forecasted good weather for the new day that would begin a few hours later.

Agata – Correspondent from France

Translation by Elizabeth Carlos

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