The Icon of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa has finally reached Portugal. Last Saturday, march 2, a Portuguese delegation representing the World Apostolate of Fatima travelled to Badajoz (Spain) to receive from the hands of our Spanish brothers the Icon that travels “from ocean to ocean” in defense of Life and Families.
The Icon left Badajoz escorted by the city police and arrived at Campo Maior (Portugal) at 5pm, where it was welcomed by approximately one thousand people, priests and civil authorities, who gathered at the central plaza. The crowd accompanied then the icon in a procession to the parish church.
In the church, dedicated to Our Lady of “Hope”, the Icon was placed next to the altar, where children offered songs, flowers and drawings to the Blessed Virgin of Czestochowa. After this moment, there was Holy Mass presided by Father José Augusto, a priest dedicated to the cause of Life, who came with two busses of parishioners from Alandroal, a neighboring parish that wished to participate in this initiative. During his homily, Fr. José appealed strongly to the collaboration of the families in the fight for the defense of the weakest, especially the children, the sick and elderly people.
A prayer card with the picture of the Icon and the prayer of consecration to Our Lady was distributed to everybody to mark the occasion. At the end of the celebration, the parish priest of Campo Maior, Canon Donaciano Afonso, knelt in front of the Icon and, together with the whole community, consecrated the families of the town to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.
On Sunday, March 3, the community of Campo Maior celebrated again Holy Mass in the presence of the Icon, which left the parish church at 3 pm to visit the Monastery of the Immaculate Conception. The group of 15 contemplative sisters exceptionally came out from the walls of their monastery to greet the Icon or Our Lady of Czestochowa and to pray, for a few minutes, in front of it inside the chapel, before the Icon continued its travel to Fatima.