From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage

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. 

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

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.

Planned Parenthood- Thousand Oaks, CA
Father West prays with the faithful and the Black Madonna to end abortion.

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.

pacific.O2OThe 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.

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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

Read more here.

37 thoughts on “From Ocean to Ocean Pilgrimage

  1. How can I know when there is more information on Houston. It is almost 400 miles but as close as it will be to where I live?

    1. Hi Nancy! We’ll be posting information on this page as it becomes available, and will give updates in our emails. If you’d like to try and schedule the Black Madonna at your parish, you can contact our coordinator by email at God bless!

  2. I just tried to call EWTN Live to
    invite Fathers Shenan Boquet and Peter West to come to Tucson, Arizona, but the phones were

    I was arrested, brought to trial and convicted due to my
    pro-life praying and protest at Planned Parenthood in

    Will you please bring your
    “From Ocean to Ocean Campaign in
    Defense of Life” to Tucson so that I can pray with the Mary icon
    and you?

    May the Holy Spirit and Mary guide

    Joel Fago

    10525 E. Cline Ave.

    Hereford, AZ 85615

    1. Joel,

      Fr. West does plan on being in Arizona in October/November of this year, but dates and locations are not set yet. Our scheduler will be in touch. God bless!

      1. We would love to have Father West and the Icon visit Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Green Valley, AZ, which is 20 miles south of Tucson. What steps do we need to take to insure this?

        1. Wishing you all the best with the visit of Our Lady. The updated schedule is located at Thanks for the request!

  3. I was looking to see when the Black Madonna visited the Diocese of Worcester,Mass.? Our Lady of Czestochowa Church at 34 Ward Street,Worcester,Mass.01610.

  4. The Blessed Black Madonna was here in Orlando for the past two days. We prayed at Planned Parenthood and the love and prayers will continue there as we return each time for pray for life. Thank you Father West for taking the Madonna to March for Life and also for bringing this treasure to us here at Holy Family. Do not miss her visit. She is traveling the world for Life–for us! You are in our prayers Father West… God Bless You and Human Life International for your work!

  5. Thank you for coming to Holy Family in Orlando FL. I had seen Fr. Pacwa welcome you to his show last month and was so excited to find out that you were bringing Our Lady of Czestochowa to my parish. Hearts are being opened to all God’s Grace through this blessed icon. Thank you and God bless!

  6. We are praying that the Icon of the Black Madonna can come to Columbia Mo. We have an abortion clinic that has not done abortions for 20 months (since 6/25/12) and we are praying for it to close so it will never do abortions again. The seventh abortionist stopped in June of 12, but they still refers for abortions. We have only one operating clinic in Mo in St Louis. I see you are coming to St Louis, could you come to Columbia as well? What a blessing. I too have been falsely arrested for my prayerful witness. Still awaiting the outcome!
    To God be all the glory! We honor the Blessed Mother and thank her for her intercession!

  7. I hope the organizers at other parishes where this will appear will do a better job than Holy Cross in Maspeth NY who didn’t even have enough common sense to provide specific information on their phone line.

  8. Wisconsin was truly blessed this past week with our special visit from the traveling Black Madonna! Many hearts were deeply touched by her presence within our midst. Thanks to Human Life International, and specifically Fr. Peter West, for making this journey and sharing so many graces with others throughout America. We pray for God’s guidance and protection for you and our entire country as you continue this amazing effort to transform souls. God bless you all!

  9. I believe many prayers have been answered. On January 15th 2014 Oral Arguments were being heard on the Mass State Buffer Zone Case. On January 22nd I snapped this photo as Our Lady circled around to the back of the U.S. Supreme Court. Yesturday June 26th 2014 the high court announced that it struck down the state law as unconstitutional.

    1. The pilgrim icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa is traveling in North America. This fall, the pilgrimage continues to Mexico. Please call 1-800-549-LIFE to find out if the Ocean to Ocean tour will visit the Philippines. God bless you!

  10. I would like to have this pilgrim Holy Icon in Youngstown, Ohio at St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church, where we have just 5 parishioners.
    Fr. George
    a pro-life priest

    1. Thank you for your interest in inviting the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa to your parish. Dates are limited through November 1, but please call 1-800-549-LIFE or write us at to find out if this is possible. God bless you!

  11. Today, on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Sorrows, the National Catholic Register published an article I wrote about my pilgrimage to the National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Grotto in Portland. My visit coincided with the visit of the pilgrim image of the Black Madonna and Fr. Peter West.
    Watch for it next month also, in the print edition of National Catholic Register.

  12. We are so excited to have Father West and Our Lady visit us in Green Valley, AZ at Our Lady of the Valley Parish on Oct 28th! What a wonderful blessing!

  13. how do i request to bring Our Lady’s presence to the local abortion facility in our area? please help me. i’ve been trying for 2 years now!

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