Around the old town and bridges on the Daugava River

The pilgrimage of the "Black Madonna" continues through Riga. She spent the night of 1-2 August in the church of St. Mary Magdalene in the Old Town. After Mass, the pastor announced that the church would remain open as long as people continued to pray. It was open all night; adoration lasted the whole time and the number of people did not diminish.

Somewhat earlier, the Czestochowa Icon, transported in the "Life Mobile," continued its pro-life pilgrimage through Riga. The image, which was illuminated and decorated with flowers, was visible from afar as it drove over two large bridges crossing the river Daugava and through the center of town, circling the buildings of parliament, the city hall, government buildings, the hospital and train station, blessing the city.

On Thursday, 2 August, the icon arrived in the very heart of Riga, the so called Old Town, where it was carried in procession from the church of St. Mary Magdalene to Our Lady of Sorrows and to the cathedral of St James. Many of the pedestrians, including tourists from the around the world and local natives, were surprised by the sight and joined in the pilgrimage.

In the evening, Archbishop Zbigniew Stankiewicz, Metropolitan of Riga, and Senior Archbishop Janis Pujats celebrated Mass in the cathedral. Fr. Janis Dravant, representative of Aleksander, Orthodox Metropolitan of Riga and all of Latvia, attended the ceremony. Over the next few days, the Icon will also visit three orthodox churches in Latvia.

To the sound of bells ringing, the Czestochowa Icon was carried over the bridge on the Daugava to the church of St. Adalbert, where prayer continued through the night.

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