At the airport in Quito - the capital of Ecuador - Bishop Danilo Echeverria, surrounded by a large group of airport employees and leaders of pro-family and pro-life organizations, waited for the arrival of the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, traveling the world "From Ocean to Ocean".
Ecuador is the 28th country to host the Czestochowa Icon. The pilgrimage in Ecuador starts on March 24, 2017 and will last until Christmas.
The icon placed in a specially prepared aluminum transport box, was brought by international coordinators of the peregrination. Ewa and Lech Kowalewski. The whole crate together with the light frame weighed over 46 kg, followed by a package containing the construction of the base for carrying.
After leaving the plane, Our Lady accompanied by the auxiliary bishop of Quito Danilo Echeverria passed the customs clearance very quickly and was invited to a VIP lounge. The chest was opened, the carrying base was assembled and the golden glow of the Icon of Our Lady Czestochowa flashed in the eyes of the audience, who rewarded her presence with loud applause and singing.
The bishop officially greeted the Mother of God in the capital of Ecuador by calling in the local custom: "Long live the Virgin!" Then on behalf of the Episcopate he decorated her with a welcome medal with ribbons in the colors of Ecuadorian national flag. He invited her to visit all parishes in Ecuador, which have long been entrusted to the Mother of God.
Ewa Kowalewska on behalf of the From Ocean to Ocean Coalition thanked for the hospitality and reception of the Icons from Poland.
Fr. Leon Juchniewicz, a Polish missionary who has been working in Ecuador for almost 30 years, has arrived with a pickup car with a glass construction for the exposition and safe transportation of the Icon. This time the organizers named this "little house" Mama Mobile. This is already the fourth Life Mobil - first in Europe, second in Chicago, third in Mexico in fourth in Ecuador.
At noon Our Lady in Her Mama Mobile went to the famous Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the Earth) town to cross the symbolic equator. Thus began a pilgrimage through the southern hemisphere.
After taking the route between the volcanoes of Andean Mountains on the same day, the first visit began. First to Santo Domingo de los Colorados to the Ascension of the Lord church.
The illuminated icon was placed centrally on the altar and the vigil prepared by the youth began.
On Saturday March 25 the Feast of the Annunciation and the Sanctity of Life Day the March for Life through the streets of Santo Domingo is planned, from the parish church to the cathedral of The Good Shepherd, where the local ordinary, Bishop Bertram Wick will preside over a solemn Mass. It is expected that about 3 thousand will participate in the march and Our Lady is to be surrounded by an escort on horses.