Early morning, on August 4th, Our Lady travelled almost 150 km along the Baltic shore and arrived in the third largest city of the Latvian Courland – Liepaja, known as the “Windy City”. The beautiful St. Joseph’s Cathedral is located in the heart of the city, close to the market and the tram station.
The large hung banners, with the information about the peregrination of the Icon of Czestochowa for the protection of life, have caused people, wanting to venerate Our Blessed Mother, to congregate in large numbers from the entire region of the Baltic shoreline and within three hours the crowds continued to grow.
The next stop was Jelgava. During Holy Mass, promises of the Spiritual Adoption of the Unborn have been made. Following the Mass, two Catholic bishops carried the Icon of Czestochowa in a procession to a neighboring Orthodox parish. On the steps of the Orthodox church, two clerics in liturgical attire have received the Icon and carried it into the church. The pastor of the Orthodox parish cordially greeted the Catholic clergy and the faithful, who filled the church.At the request of the Orthodox clergy, the Icon was transferred to their vehicle. As a result of that, the last stretch of the pilgrimage in Latvia to the village on the border of Lithuania - Skaistkalne, Our Blessed Mother was being escorted by two vehicles representing both the Catholics and the Orthodox.
In this manner, Our Lady arrived at the second Sanctuary in Latvia, the first being in Aglona (where she visited on July 29th) – at Skaistskalne. Here, the icon of “Our Miraculous Lady – the Protectress of Latvian Families” is venerated. On this very day, pilgrimages are made to this place from all over Latvia and Lithuania, due to the indulgence observed on this Feast Day of Our Miraculous Lady of Skaistkalne. Every year on the first Sunday of August the main “Kaņepenes” festivities are held in the church of Our Lady of Skaistkalne, where special prayers are dedicated to patients, married couples and all Latvian families, so that they would cherish the love for God and their next of kin, so that everybody would receive a strong faith, good health and a strong family, and that the Christian values would become the foundation of priorities in life.
At the closing ceremony of the peregrination of Our Lady of Czestochowa on this day, the Catholics have expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the Orthodox drivers and coordinators of the visit, who arrived with them and participated together in the celebrations: “After all, we all are serving one cause!”