Visit of pilgrim icon to St. Michael's Church in Annandale, Virginia for Saturday-Sunday August 29 - September 1, 2013

Our Lady was welcomed to St. Michael's Church in Annandale, Virginia with a beautiful ceremony before Mass led by a Knights of Columbus Honor Guard.  Perhaps as many as 800 people attended the Saturday evening Mass. Fr. Richard Carr who offered the Mass and preached about how we can learn true humility from Our Lady.  Pride leads man to try to build a culture apart from God which leads to the culture of death.  The sanctity of human life and the institution of marriage are under a continual assault.

The path to a culture of life is one of humility.  Jesus says "Learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart."  The Blessed Virgin Mary is the humble handmaid of the Lord.  As "Hodigitria" she points the way to Christ. She calls us to imitate her humility and the humility of her Divine Son who humbled himself by taking on human flesh and dying on the cross for our salvation.  The From Ocean to Ocean Peregrination in Defense of Life is a call to humble ourselves implore our Heavenly Mother to crush Satan's power, defeat the culture of death and help us build a Christ-centered culture of life.  It a reminder that we cannot overcome the culture of death by our own efforts alone.

Fr. Jerry Pokorsky, the Pastor of St. Michael's, was very welcoming and generous toward the icon and the peregrination. He opened the main church for all night adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with the icon.  St. Michael's has a large population of Vietnamese-Americans.  Their love and devotion to the Blessed Mother were truly edifying. They loved the holy cards and took many for family members.  Their genuine simple piety was a reminder that love for Our Lady of Czestochowa is not limited to Polish people.

After, the noon Mass on Sunday, the Blessed Sacrament was exposed.  As people prayed the rosary many came forward to take holy cards and venerate the icon.  Our Lady was again led  by a Knights of Columbus Honor Guard.  People continued to venerate the icon in the back of the Church until everyone who was there had an opportunity to honor Our Lady. Those who remained sang the Salve Regina as Our Lady was placed in the vehicle to prepare to take her to her next destination.

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