On the Sanctity of Life Day, celebrated this year on April 8, there was a historic moment when peregrinating Czestochowa icon from Vladivostok to Fatima stood on the shore of the Atlantic ocean in Nazaré Portugal.
Our Lady arrived in her " Life Mobile " and warmly welcomed by the local fishermen stopped on a hill in the village of Sitio near the old chapel on the edge of the cliff. Mother of God and her escort, the representatives of pro-life movements from 12 countries, members of the Coalition From Ocean to Ocean ware very warmly welcomed by the local parish priest, Fr. Moises Erśes. Numerous women, dressed in traditional clothing characteristic of fishermen's wives (7 skirts reaching the knee) were very happy that the Mother of God after driving across Asia and Europe came to them.
Then the icon stood on the walls of old fortifications, where the locals along with members of the Coalition From Ocean to Ocean together recited the Rosary. Next they all went to the local baroque church of Our Lady of Nazareth, where there is an old statue of Our Lady of Nazateru. Once a year on September 8 on her feast day the faithful carry her to the shore of the ocean. Solemn Mass was celebrated by Fr. Moises Erśes and concelebrated by Monsignor Andrew Steckiewicz from Belarus and Father Vladimir Ogorzałek OSPPE - Poland, representing the Jasna Gora Monastery. Fr. Iorn Gherbovetcki representative of the Russian Orthodox Church from Lisbon also came to the church. He also participated in the ceremony at the shore of the ocean. Orthodox Feasts rarely fall at the same time as Catholic. However this year Catholics celebrated the Feast of the Annunciation, , almost simultaneously with the Orthodox Church on Sunday, April 7, and the Catholic Church on Monday, April 8. Yes Our Lady again joined us!
After the ceremony, everyone gathered together: both locals and members of the Coalition From Ocean To Ocean and traveled to the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean. The Icon was carried to the sandy beach on the very edge of the ocean, so that the waves even bathed the feet people holding the feretory. It was a very joyful moment. After reciting a short prayer of thanksgiving people spontaneously mentioned their feelings and experiences of the pilgrimage. Among those gathered were present two people who began this pilgrimage in Vladivostok - Igor Beloborodov, the Orthodox coordinator who traveled with the Icon 22 thousand. kilometers and Galina Maslennikowa. She had a rosary with her from Fatima, which she dipped in the Pacific Ocean in Vladivostok, now the same rosary was washed by the waves of the Atlantic. Of course, not without getting the feet wet. The water was not very cold.
Forecasts announcing a cloudy and rainy day. Meanwhile, the Icon of Czestochowa stood on the shore of the ocean with sunny water and beautiful turquoise color water in the background.
Despite the official end of the first stage of the pilgrimage the Czestochowa icon remains in Nazaré throughout the next week, and next Sunday will go in a procession through the streets, blessing the city and generations of fishermen living here. Then she will return to Fatima.
As Ewe Kowalewska the coordinator of the peregrination noted: Nazaré is a place, which for centuries missionaries journeyed from to the West in the direction of America. And this is the plan for further pilgrimage of the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa.