August 2013 – November 1, 2014
The worldwide pilgrimage of the traditional Christian icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, also known as the Black Madonna, departed the United States for Mexico and the rest of Latin America November 2014. Human Life International (HLI) transfered custodianship to Father James Heyd, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago and well known advocate for life and family. The ceremony of transfer of custodianship was held at Our Lady of Czestochowa parish in Phoenix, Arizona, on All Saints Day – Saturday, November 1, 2014, where Father Peter West, HLI’s vice president for missions and custodian of the Pilgrim Icon of Czestochowa during the U.S. and Canadian pilgrimage, transferred the treasured Christian icon to Father Heyd at the special outdoor Mass presided over by Father Jacek Buda, OP.
In the summer of 2012 when a group of Catholic and Orthodox faithful began a global campaign in support of life and family under the patronage of Our Lady of Czestochowa (the “Black Madonna”). Starting in Vladivostok, Russia, the Ocean to Ocean Campaign in Defense of Life received the support and blessings of numerous bishops in Europe, as well as Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church, and is expected to circle the globe and enkindle a sustainable movement to build a Culture of Life.
The campaign is based on the pilgrimage of an icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa which has already traveled over 40 thousand miles, traversed 24 countries, visited 75 cathedrals and 60 Orthodox churches in over 400 cities; and has been venerated by hundreds of thousands since the campaign began. Along the way, bishops and priests have celebrated liturgies and have given talks to inspire greater devotion to the Blessed Mother and to awaken the faithful to the urgency of recovering a true Culture of Life. With these visits, local parishes, shrines and other venues have hosted viewings, celebrated Mass, and coordinated events around her visit.
The icon – a magnificent replica of the original in the Monastery of Jasna Góra in Poland, and per tradition liturgically united with the original – was blessed in a special ceremony by the Archbishop of Czestochowa. The Archbishop of Cracow made a special act of entrustment to the cause of the defense of life and family to Our Lady of Czestochowa.
The Ocean to Ocean campaign is a response of the faithful, uniting Orthodox and Catholic Christians under the patronage of Our Lady in 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. Russia was chosen as the starting point due to its sad legacy as the birthplace of abortion on demand, and its resulting severe demographic problems – problems that are now shared by many nations around the world.
When Our Lady of Czestochowa arrived on the shores of North America, she called all of her children to unite in the defense of life, in an effort to build a civilization of life and love – to remember that God can do what we can’t, to remember our faith.
This icon has come halfway around the world, inspiring hundreds of thousands to seek Christ, to deepen their faith, hope and love, and to defend the innocent. We ask for her intercession in this continuation of the ancient tradition of carrying the Ark of the Covenant into battle, of asking God for a miracle.
Reports from the Pilgrimage
- Pro-Lifers Attribute Closure of Abortion Mill to Prayers, Black Madonna Pilgrimage
- Black Madonna Covers 50,000 Miles, Concludes US Prayer Campaign
- Human Life International Announces Closing Events for Black Madonna’s Historic US Pilgrimage
- Pro-Lifers Credit Recent Abortion Clinic Closures to Lady
- Our Lady of Czestochowa Visits Las Vegas
- Our Lady Concludes Her Pilgrimage Through California
- Black Madonna’s Perengrination Continues in California
- Our Lady of Czestochowa Enters Southern California
- Black Madonna Inspires Religious in their Vocations
- Pro-Life Work Flourishes in Central California
- Black Madonna Saved from Fire!
- Coincidences? Series of Marian Events Points to Divine Providence in Abortion Mill Closure
- Pilgrim Icon Visits Portland’s Grotto
- Devoted Canadians Warmly Receive the Black Madonna in Vancouver
- Pilgrim Icon Strengthens Pro-Life Efforts in Washington State
- Our Lady Returns to the Pacific Ocean
- The Pilgrim Icon Comes to Big Sky Country
- The Black Madonna Welcomed in the Dakotas
- Lincoln, Nebraska Welcomes Our Lady of Czestochowa
- Kansas City Life Saved after Black Madonna’s Visit
- Pilgrim Icon Reaches Gateway to the West
- Icon Visits Catholics, Marian Shrines in WI
- La Crosse, WI: Black Madonna Visits Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- Thanks Given to Our Lady for Closure of Last Abortion Office in Corpus Christi
- Winona, MN: Black Madonna Visits Southern Minnesota on Pro-Life Pilgrimage
- Chicago, IL: Black Madonna Visits “Polish Capital” of US During Pro-Life Pilgrimage
- Omaha, NE: The Black Madonna at Carhart’s Infamous Abortuary
- Atchison, KS: Benedictine College Welcomes the Black Madonna Icon
- Cedar Rapids, IA: After the Flood, a Renewal: Pro-Life Pilgrimage in Cedar Rapids
- Rock Island, IL: A Time of Special Grace: the Black Madonna Visits Rock Island
- Rockford, IL: Pro-Life Black Madonna Pilgrimage Met with Enthusiasm in Rockford, IL
- Dyersville, IA: Pro-Life Black Madonna Pilgrimage Stops at Magnificent Basilica in Dyersville, IA
- Iowa City, IA: The Black Madonna Visits an Antiochian Orthodox Church in Iowa
- Toledo, OH: Beautiful Cathedral in Toledo, OH Hosts Pro-Life Black Madonna Pilgrimage
- Berea, OH: Pro-Life Black Madonna Pilgrimage Reaches St. Adalbert Parish in Berea, OH
- Lansing, MI: Pro-Life Black Madonna Pilgrimage Reaches MI Capital
- Grand Rapids, MI: Black Madonna Visits Grand Rapids on Pro-Life Pilgrimage
- Lapeer, MI: Police Called in MI at Pro-Life Vigil with the Black Madonna
- [VIDEO] Pro-Life Pilgrimage of Black Madonna Featured on ChurchMilitant.TV
- Lake Orchard, MI: Preaching About HLI’s Pro-Life Pilgrimage from Where Blessed John Paul II Stood
- Ontario, Canada: Black Madonna Visits Imprisoned Pro-Life Hero Mary Wagner in Ontario
- Montreal & Ottowa, Canada: Pro-Life Black Madonna Pilgrimage Comes to Montreal and Ottawa