Black Madonna Saved from Fire; Pilgrim Icon Increases Faith and Devotion of Northern California Catholics

Arriving in the small, coastal town of Crescent City, California on July 24, Our Lady’s entourage was welcomed by Father Adam Kotas, pastor of St. Joseph Church. He and other pro-life faithful hosted a well-attended neighborhood procession and Eucharistic Adoration with the Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa prior to Mass that evening.

After I gave a presentation about the Black Madonna’s message in defense of life and invoked the final blessing upon parishioners, however, smoke suddenly began pouring out from the sacristy. Father Kotas gave instructions for all to exit the church, and Chris Morales was able to quickly retrieve the Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, relocating her to the community center across the street for veneration. By the grace of God, the fire was extinguished, and the church and the Black Madonna were saved!

Our next destination with the Black Madonna was St. Peter’s Eastern Catholic Church in Ukiah. We were invited to participate in a beautiful Akathist service, an Eastern church tradition whereby a hymn or prayer service is dedicated to a saint, holy day, or a person of the Trinity. This service, planned by Philip Gilbert, parishioner and Christendom College student, praised Holy Mary, Mother of God. Parishioners warmly received a presentation about Our Lady of Czestochowa’s message regarding the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.

Heading south on the evening of July 25, we brought the Pilgrim Icon to the Cathedral of St. Eugene in Santa Rosa, California. Over 1,700 parishioners contribute to the profound “respect life” message emanating from this holy place of worship. After celebrating Mass the next morning, I took part in a pro-life assembly of over 100 gathered with Our Lady for a procession and prayer vigil to end abortion at Santa Rosa’s Planned Parenthood “Health Center.” Participating in all of the cathedral’s Spanish and English Masses, I preached about the historic pilgrimage and encouraged veneration after every Mass. Associate Pastor Father Kris Lewandowski, our very generous host during our visit, joined the faithful in a solemn farewell procession to the Black Madonna. Many thanks to Betty Bjornstrom who helped organize these events.

Fr. Peter West with Chris Morales
Human Life International

>> Donate now <<