With the blessing and invitation of the Orthodox Metropolitan of Vilnius and all of Lithuania, His Excellency Archbishop Innocent, the Icon of Czestochowa, travelling “from Ocean to Ocean in Defense of Life”, visited the Orthodox churches in Vilnius on August 9th and 10th, 2012.
The celebrations began by bringing the Icon into the Cathedral Church in a procession, accompanied by the singing of the Hymn in honor of the Mother of God, where the Divine Liturgy followed immediately.
The faithful who gathered at the cathedral for this celebration came from all the parishes of the Vilnius area. The pastor of the cathedral, Archpriest Jevgenij Rudenko directed God’s Word to the crowds of the faithful. He called on them to humbly open their hearts before Our Lady, Theotokos (God-bearer), especially in regards to problems dealing with the protection of the dignity of the family, life of the unborn and the education of the young in the faith.
The Orthodox priests together with the faithful walked the Icon of Our Lady around the various churches of Vilnius singing Akathist in honor of the Mother of God. The Orthodox youth handed out holy cards with the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa and handouts with the history of the Icon, explaining the teachings of the Orthodox Church on the killing of the unborn, the destruction of human fertility and euthanasia.
At 7:00 o’clock in the evening, a cavalcade of over 20 vehicles drove out with pro-life banners at the head of the mobile Shrine of the Icon which was beautifully adorned with flowers. The motorcade passed through the streets around Vilnius – the capital of Lithuania and halted at the Orthodox church of The Holy Spirit, the center of the Orthodox Diocese of Vilnius – Lithuania. The Akathist was sung in honor of the Most Holy Virgin Mary.
The Metropolitan Archbishop Innocent, along with the clergy, the altar servers, religious sisters and numerous faithful arrived to honor the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa and offer her their heartfelt prayers.