Black Madonna Covers 50,000 Miles, Concludes U.S. Prayer Campaign

PHOENIX, Arizona – November 3, 2014 –Logging some 50,000 miles across North America in defense of life, the Black Madonna recently concluded a 14-month global prayer pilgrimage in Phoenix, Arizona. An outdoor Mass attended by 1,000 faithful was held on Saturday, November 1, 2014, at Our Lady of Czestochowa parish in Phoenix, Arizona.

Father Buda, Father West and Father Heyd celebrate Mass with the Black Madonna in Phoenix recently.

Father Buda, Father West and Father Heyd celebrate Mass with the Black Madonna in Phoenix on Nov. 1.

The culminating event commemorated the spiritual gains for life and family through the treasured Christian icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa. Father Peter West, Human Life International’s vice president for missions and custodian of the icon, recalled the many tangible successes of the campaign in North America.

“Having traveled with Our Lady of Czestochowa since August 21st of last year and having seen the profound effect she has had across the United States and Canada,” Father West stated, “I can say that through Our Lady of Czestochowa, the Lord, as He has done so often in the past, is doing great things at many levels. Indeed, only God can heal and reverse the catastrophe that has befallen societies that have embraced abortion and other assaults on life. He continues to call us to join in the fight through the intercession of Our Lady.”

Father West recaps North American pilgrimage with the Pilgrim Icon. Father West, left; Father Hey, right.

Father West, left, recaps North American pilgrimage before transferring icon custodianship to Father Heyd.

Under his custodianship to America, Father West traveled with the Black Madonna to three Canadian provinces and 46 states. Thousands upon thousands venerated the Pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa in approximately 260 parishes, missions, shrines, cathedrals and basilicas; 15 Orthodox Churches, including Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in San Francisco; 12 convents; elder care facilities, schools, colleges and seminaries; and a prison.

HLI transfers custodianship of the treasured Christian icon in a final mass celebrated Nov 1, 2014.

HLI transfers custodianship of the treasured Christian icon in a final mass celebrated Nov 1, 2014.

At the ceremony, Father West transferred the custodianship of the pilgrim icon to Father James Heyd, liaison for pro-life ministries of the Archdiocese of Chicago. The global prayer campaign with the Black Madonna will continue in Mexico and Latin America after a short preparatory tour of Chicago.

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About the Ocean to Ocean Campaign in Defense of Life:
A group of Catholic and Orthodox pro-lifers, including representatives of Human Life International, began the Ocean to Ocean global prayer campaign in defense of life and family under the patronage of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Vladivostok, Russia in the summer of 2012. After traveling 40,000 miles through 24 European nations from Russia to Portugal, the Black Madonna icon arrived in North America at St. Clement’s Island, Maryland, in August 2013. Learn more about the history of the Black Madonna and the first ever worldwide pilgrimage with a sacred icon, launched for the protection of the most vulnerable of persons at the beginning and end of life, at the international website www.fromoceantoocean.org.

 



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