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.

The three of them at the border

After several hours of waiting at the Belarusian-Latvian border, the Czestochowa icon arrived in Latvia as planned on July 28, in the company of Fr. Andrew Steckiewicz of Minsk. Orthodox Archpriest Pawel Serdiuk, coordinator of the pilgrimage in Belarus, was especially helpful in facilitating the border crossing.

Our Lady with catholic youth of Belarus in Ivianiec

Several hundred young people from all the  Catholic dioceses of Belarus came to Ivianiec on July 27 for the meeting of Catholic Youth of Belarus. This year the theme of the meeting is: "I am a knight of the Gospel" in reference to the 90th anniversary of the visit to Grodno by St. Maximilian Kolbe, who is a patron of Belarusian youth.

Letter from Prior of Jasna Góra

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am writing to you from the Monastery of Mary, Mother of God at Jasna Gora, to officially express support for the great pilgrimage of the copy of the miraculous image of Our Lady of Czestochowa.  This image has been venerated unceasingly by people from all over the world at Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, where it is cared for by the Pauline Fathers and Brothers.

Under divine inspiration, pro-life leaders from 18 countries made an "Act of Entrusting to Mary the Protection of the Civilization of Life and Love" before the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa on Saturday, 28 January 2012.  The same day, Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak of Czestochowa blessed the copy of the miraculous icon designated for the pilgrimage through the world "From Ocean to Ocean"--from Vladivostok to Fatima--in defense of life.  That copy was ceremoniously applied to the original.  In the East, in Russia, the Czestochowa icon was hosted mainly by the Orthodox Church, in the West and in Poland, by the Catholic Church.

With police escort Our Lady crosses the streets of Kiev in a pro-life car rally

On Wednesday, July 25 the Czestochowa icon arrived from Sum - eastern Ukraine to Kiev. Our Lady is in Ukraine at the invitation of the Orthodox Metropolitan Vladimir Moscow Patriarchate.

At approx. 15:00 for the first time organized in Kiev, a car rally in defense of life started. It was attended by approximately 40 cars and about 80 people who have for years been involved in the defense of life.

Visiting in Ukraine

On July 23, the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, crossed the border of Ukraine. There were problems. Belarusian customs did not want her to leave Belarus for several hours despite of the fact that all papers were OK. After several interventions, and nerves in the end at 17:30 the Icon entered Ukraine.