Pilgrims Seek Victory Over Russia’s Culture of Death

By Fr. Peter West

(Zenit.org) – As I write this, a small band of pro-life missionaries is driving through the vast desolate plains of Siberia, on a historic pilgrimage across Asia and Europe.

On June 14, the pilgrims left the port city of Vladivostok on the Pacific Coast of Russia with a replica of the famous icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

Mobile belfry and “Night Wolves” brought the Icon to Homyel

To Homyel on July 21, Our Lady came assisted by the road service, motorcycle club "Night Wolves" and a portable bell tower on an open car. She was personally welcomed by the Orthodox Bishop of Homyel and Żlobin - Stefan, who presided over the solemn singing of the Akathist to the Mother of God in the Orthodox Cathedral of Peter and Paul (Sobor Kafedralnyj Petropawłowskij).

Mogilev – with the Icon of Czestochowa and fervent prayer around the hospital, where unborn child are being kill

On July 20 the Czestochowa Icon, escorted by column of cars drove to Mogilev. This time the people met her in front of the municipal hospital, which houses an abortion clinic where children are killed in their mothers’ wombs. Carrying the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, a group of about 400 people, together with representatives of the hospital administration and physicians, circled around the entire hospital building praying fervently for the pro-life intention.

Borisov – on the main town square for all

Borisov hosted the Mother of God on Thursday, July 19. The city and district authorities, the priests of the Orthodox Church and a great crowd of people, children and youth greeted the Czestochowa icon at the main town square before the Municipal Palace of Culture. The car with the icon was preceded by a pickup truck equipped with portable bells and a group of people playing on them.

Famous Russian singer “Pelageja” with her concert supports the pilgrimage “From Ocean to Ocean”

On the next day, 18 July, during a stop in Minsk, the famous Russian singer Pelageja (Pelageya) and her band gave a concert to celebrate the pilgrimage through the world in defense of life “From Ocean To Ocean”. A meeting was opened by Father Pawel Serdiuk, who coordinated the pilgrimage in Belarus.

“Black Madonna” at home, in the church and on the streets

The next step of the pilgrimage on July 17 was the stay in Baranovichi. A large crowd awaited the arrival of the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa both in the street and in the Orthodox Church of the Protection of God (Pokrovskij Sobor). The Archbishop of Pinsk and Luninec - Stefan personally presided at the Divine Liturgy.

People brought household icons with them in order to apply them to the traveling one. It turned out that in some houses images of Czestochowa icon were preserved, and were closely guarded and hidden during the communist persecution. It is very moving--people were losing their lives, but protected that which was most sacred to them--the Czestochowa Icon of Mother of God.



Letter from Wolochowicz

Letter from Wladek Wolochowicz en route with the Blessed Mother through Belarus

Dear Friends,

The international pilgrimage of the Czestochowa icon "From Ocean to Ocean" is currently traversing my country, Belarus. We have already been in Polotsk, Lida, Grodno, Brest, Baranoviche, and in countless villages. The icon is currently in Minsk.

Young People greet in Brest

On July 16th the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa reached Brest in Belarus. On the outskirts of the city young people from a Belarusian Orthodox youth fraternities organization was waiting for her. With great joy they formulated a column of cars, marked with colorful pro-life banners and flags.

„Rhinoceros” on bikes brought Our Lady to Grodno

Grodno hosted solemnly the Czestochowa icon on July 15 and 16. Back 20 kilometers before the city motorcyclists from Grodno motorcycling club, "Rhinoceros" waited for her. It was really something new. The participation and enthusiasm of these young men and women on bikes were moving. Everyone wanted to attach a flag with the slogan against abortion. Unfortunately we run out of them.

From meeting under the cross to a conference in Lida

On Saturday, July 14 the Czestochowa icon reached Lida. The news of the arrival of Our Lady spread widely. People stopped working, changed their plans, just to greet the Mother of God. At the town border a little surprise. A large group of people gathered by the cross there. Not so long ago the cross was not there, because the communists cut it down.