On Holy Saturday April 19, Our Lady of Czestochowa returned to USA to spend the entire Easter holiday at St. Francis Borgia parish in the northeastern part of Chicago. She stayed also for Easter Monday, according to the Polish custom.
Father Richard Miłek, the pastor of the parish, being Polish, splendidly organized the visit, and because he invited Our Lady for Easter, he got ahead of the whole Chicago an route that the “Ocean to Ocean” pilgrimage was to take.
St. Francis Borgia, the patron of the parish, is a truly remarkable figure, found worthy of the sixteenth-century Church during the time of the counter-reformation. He occupied a high position in Spain, but after his wife’s death, he entered the Jesuit order. He was a good friend and advisor of St. Ignatius Loyola, the co-founder of the Papal Gregorian University that provided proper formation to the church elites as well as many missionaries. He became the third general of the order, thus greatly strengthening it. He also took part in the creation of the coalition of Christian countries that defeated the Turkish fleet at the famous battle near Lepanto, saving Western Europe from Muslim occupation.
After the celebratory welcome, the Czestochowa Icon was placed in the front of the church near the altar. The church was open all weekend, and adoration lasted until Monday evening. Polish people of Chicago arrived very abundantly, few days before the canonization of John Paul II, witnessing the great love to the Mother of God, especially in the Icon of Czestochowa, so close to the heart of the Polish Pope.
The parish of St. Francis Borgia was created in 1949, to take spiritual care of Polish immigrants and veterans of the Second World War.
Within the parish is the adoration chapel of the Prince of Peace. Also, every First Saturday of the month, the novena to Our Lady of Czestochowa is prayed. The sick and the elderly can not only take part in Eucharistic celebrations through the internet, but also every Thursday through the local polish catholic media: Radio Maryja.
After the exultant farewell celebration, Our Lady went to visit Eastern churches in Indianapolis. During the days of April 23-26, she visited the Byzantine-Ukrainian Catholic church of St. Athanasius, and the Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church.