Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Peregrination of the Icon

“The Peregrination of the Icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Defense of Life”
The spiritual center of Poland is the Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, and the heart of it is this icon of Mary, the Mother of God, with the Child Jesus. There are many 'black' Madonnas, this is a very famous one. This copy was blessed there, and began a peregrination (pilgrim journey) from Vladivostok on the Pacific; from there she crossed Eurasia, visiting twenty-four independent states. This icon is venerated in both the Eastern Orthodox and the Catholic Church in its Roman and Byzantine rites, although it is particularly loved by Poles. Human Life International is sponsoring the replica's travel in America.

At six p.m. Tuesday, the 22nd of October the icon arrived in the church of St. Stanislaus Cleveland with a procession. A rosary service was held with some Knights of Columbus as an honor guard.
Procession before Mass
St. Stanislaus is Cleveland's co-cathedral (and almost no one knows about this). It is a visually and physically impressive building. With grand ceremony, in a filled church there is a sense of solemn grandeur.
 organist, liturgical director David Krakowski
What you do not see, is the shot i missed. Immediately before, the percussionist in the balcony was dramatically drumming both tympani, and the boy in blue was slowly vibrating both his uplifted fists. The woman, to his right, instantly ended that, and this is the moment after.
After Mass people lined up to have a quiet moment before the icon. Through the night, and the small hours of the morning people occupied the church, until the daytime's Mass. After that, the icon is travelling to several places in Pennsylvania. A return to the area will be at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lorain on November 2nd.
Postscriptum: well after Mass, there were over two hundred people, maybe three, in the church. A friend of mine, went to the narthex and began calling the four local television news stations. He told them the story of the visit, and that people will be in vigil in the church the whole night through. All the stations have morning programmes. The channels have between two and an half, to four and an half hours of morning news to fill, and then noon programmes, and late afternoon programmes. One of the television stations told him directly that they can not come and film without the diocese's permission. It would not surprise anyone that IF this is true, for the local bishop wishes to control the reporting of news. He has been embarrassed too many times, often by his own hand.

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