Between Latvia and Lithuania – a blessing on the bridge

On Sunday, August 5th, the Icon of Our Blessed Mother participated in the feast celebrations of Our Miraculous Lady – the Protectress of Latvian Families in the shrine in Skaistkalne that were led by Bishop Eduard Pavlovski from Jelgava. The Sacrament of Baptism and Confirmation (received by a few younger and older people) was given during the Holy Mass there. Four different groups of pilgrims from different dioceses of Latvia participated in this Celebration.

After the celebration of Holy Mass around 3:00pm, the Icon was carried in a procession to a bridge on a river bordering between Latvia and Lithuania. Due to the delay of the Lithuanians, there was time for individual good-byes to Our Lady of Czestochowa. Whole families were walking up to the Icon, touching and kissing it reverently.

Bishop Jonas Kauneckas from Panevėžis came with the Latvian group. Both, the Latvian and the Lithuanian, bishops blessed the gathered faithful on both sides of the border. The Icon was carried into the Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene in Germaniskis, where Father Pavel Andżejevski celebrated Holy Mass. Following the celebration of the Holy Mass, Our Lady arrived with a two-hour delay via the “Life Mobile” to the Church of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary, as usual, had given priority to her Son – as the Pastor Pavel remarked half-jokingly – and had arrived right after Mass. All gathered had been patiently awaiting her while reciting the Holy Rosary. Many faithful gathered of whom many were young people and families with children were praying without ceasing until midnight. It is worth noting here that only 25 years ago a battle ensued for the recovery of this church, after it was turned into an art school and warehouse by the Communists.

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