Our Lady in Żemaitija

The city of Panevėžis said good-bye to Our Lady of Czestochowa, as the faithful formed a large and noisy crowd with their bishop Jonas Kauneckas at the forefront.  Our Blessed Mother began her pilgrimage through little old towns in the Diocese of Šiauliai.  The first such quaint town was Šeduva.  The Icon was greeted there by the Pastor.

To a Hospice via Panevėžis

On Monday morning, the 6th of August, on the Feast of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Icon of Czestochowa stopped at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The small church was already full at 8:00 o’clock in the morning. Father Pavel Andżejevski celebrated Holy Mass and also gave the homily. After Mass, many of the faithful gathered had remained in quiet, individual contemplation before the countenance of the Black Madonna. Afterwards, during the devotional prayers, Father Rimantas Kaunietis reminded the faithful about the history of the Icon of Czestochowa.

In the afternoon, the Icon was carried in a solemn procession about 2 km through the city of Panevėžis to a hospice chapel, wherein Bishop Jonas Kauneckas solemnly received and greeted Our Blessed Mother in the Icon of Czestochowa.

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 all, we all are serving one cause!

Early morning, on August 4th, Our Lady travelled almost 150 km along the Baltic shore and arrived in the third largest city of the Latvian Courland – Liepaja, known as the “Windy City”.  The beautiful St. Joseph’s Cathedral is located in the heart of the city, close to the market and the tram station. 

Morning in Orthodox Churches of Riga – evening in Kurland

On Friday, 3 August, the Orthodox Church in Riga, at the invitation of Aleksander, Metropolitan of Riga and all of Latvia, hosted the Czestochowa Icon. The Icon visited three Orthodox churches in the center of Riga. A constant stream of people who wanted to venerate the Mother of God, came to the churches.

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.

Only Our Lady can gather such crowds - Latvia

As the pilgrimage of the Czestochowa Icon continued in Latvia, we are observing increasing interest. The meetings are drawing crowds and there is growing interest in the media. The Mother of God was greeted in the Roman Catholic Church of The Holy Trinity in Riga on Wednesday morning. The pastor, seeing the church full of people, although it was early morning and a work day, joked that only the Mother of God could bring such crowds to the church. Indeed, the church was full. Long lines formed before the confessional.

Life mobile put to a test in Riga

The altar on wheels, the "Life Mobile ", which was hastily built over the past three months, arrived in Latvia. Our Lady of Czestochowa can now travel comfortably and safely under the cover of reinforced glass-windows.

The final touches took extra time. We yet had to wash the glass, install flowers and the folding construction for the tarpaulins, which was necessary because of the long journey.

A Day of Pleasant Surprises in Latvia

Despite the oppressive heat, the Mother of God in her icon is traveling through Latvia. On the third day of the pilgrimage we encountered our first surprise in the village of Gulbene. Although this is a small parish, nevertheless Our Lady was greeted by three priests in addition to the pastor, but also to our amazement, one other priest joined us in prayer later.

Large crowds in Latvia

All were astonished by the huge crowds of the faithful, who for half the night were standing in a huge queue in front of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Daugavpils to individually pay respects to the Mother of God. In the morning, on the second day of the Latvian peregrination on July 29, the icon visited another parish in the city.