Sir Knights from Bishop Flaherty Assembly #1678 carry the replica of the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa at a Mass at Holy Trinity Parish in Gainesville on August 29, 2013. Fr. Peter West, Vice President for Missions at HLI, is at left
September 1, 2013 - A replica of the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa is traveling through Virginia in early September, helped along by councils and assemblies of the Knights of Columbus.
The image of the "Black Madonna" has already traveled more than 40,000 miles through 24 countries since its pilgrimage began during the summer of 2012 in Vladivostok, Russia. It is the work of a group of Catholic and Orthodox faithful, and is the inspiration of a global campaign in support of life and family under the patronage of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The original icon is located at the Monastery of Jasna Gora in Poland, where it has been the object of pilgrimages since the 12th Century.
The replica was blessed in a special ceremony by the Archbishop of Czestochowa, Waclaw Depo, and the Archbishop of Cracow made a special act of enlistment to the cause of the defense of life and family to Our Lady of Czestochowa. It has been venerated by hundreds of thousands of people in 75 cathedrals, 60 Orthodox churches and in 400 cities since the campaign began. Its purpose is to bring Our Lady to the defense of the most vulnerable, and to ask her intercession for the protection of the family, and the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.
The original Icon long resided in Orthodox Byzantium and Ukraine before arriving in Roman Catholic Poland, and thus brings Catholic and Orthodox Christians together in a unique way.
The U.S. portion of the icon's tour - "From Ocean to Ocean" - is sponsored by Human Life International, which is headquartered in Front Royal, Virginia. Stops on the tour in Virginia include Holy Trinity Parish in Gainesville (Bishop Flaherty Assembly and Our Lady of the Rosary Council), St. Michael Parish in Annandale (Fr. Malloy Assembly and Fr. Scannell Council), St. John the Evangelist Parish in Warrenton (Fr. Watters Assembly and Fr. Veger Council) and St. John the Baptist Parish in Front Royal (Fr. Hickman Assembly and John Carroll Jenkins Council).
More information about the pilgrimage is available on the “From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage in Defense of Life” web site (www.fromoceantoocean.org).
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