Leaders of pro-life movements from 18 countries met on Saturday May 5th in Czestochowa to discuss the near future when the Czestochowa Icon of Our Lady will travel across Asia and Europe from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean - from Vladivostok to Fatima.
In the morning, Archbishop Metropolitan of Czestochowa Waclaw Depo invited all guests at the Mass in the chapel of Jasna Gora to pray for the intention of this pilgrimage.
The meeting was held at the House in Memory of Card. Stefan Wyszynski. This is not a random place, as it is cardinal Stefan Wyszynski who in hard communism times repeatedly with great faith and hope, predicted that the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa will pass through the world, starting in eastern countries which experienced programmed atheization.
The meeting had a working character and its main purpose was to determine the route and timing of passing through all the countries. After the ceremony of dedication in January this year led by Archbishop Stanislaw Nowak, the icon went to Minsk in Belarus, where she visited the newly built Orthodox church of St. Nicholas of Japan - missionary of the Country of Cherry Blossoms. The pastor of the Orthodox parish, Father Paul Serdiuk, with emotion showed slides and told how the presence of the Mother of God in his parish has mobilized the people to build the church. In the parish there is an active organization that helps pregnant women in difficult situations, "Matula," which at that time organized a pro-life symposium.
The participants subsequently discussed the possibility of passing of Mother of God in their countries. Exchange of ideas was very moving, as we realized the enormity of this project. The route of the pilgrimage will include 23 countries. The journey through Russia and Kazakhstan alone will be a drive of about 12 thousand km, which does not including transit through successive cities. From the border of Russia through Europe the route will be about six thousand km. and will run through Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal. We will probably reach Fatima before Christmas, and in spring will go to America.
The icon will come to Czestochowa August 22 at the feast of Our Lady the Queen.
We already know that the Mother of God will arrive in Vienna on 4 - 7 October, because at that time there will be the VI World Pro-Life Prayer Congress.
In the coming days, the Mother of God in her icon in the company of the Belarusian delegation and the representative of the Russian pro-life movements will travel to the East: from Minsk to Moscow, where a car rally in defense of life is planned. Such pro-life demonstrations have been held there for several years. A column of dozens of cars with poster displays and flags rides through the city. This time it will be accompanied by the Mother of God in her icon.
The organizer of the pilgrimage are pro-life movements from different countries. In Russia are Orthodox movements, in central and western Europe - Roman Catholic. Volokolamsk Metropolitan Hilarion sent a letter to the International Committee expressing his support for this blessed work. There is support from metropolitans of the Orthodox Church in Belarus, Lithuania and Kazakhstan. In Russia the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa will travel by decorated car. A reliable car is absolutely necessary given the poor condition of roads in the Far East and Siberia, where many sections are dirt roads. In the European Union specially constructed altar on wheels will be used, towed by a car, which is currently under construction in Gdansk, with the support of many friendly people.