We gather around you, O chaste and holy Mother, Virgin Immaculate, and we are greeting you on your pilgrimage from Ocean to Ocean in defence of life. Many thousands of people greeted you already on your way. Today, we are with you. This is the Pilgrimage of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa from Vladivostok to Fatima in Defence of Life and the Family. As students, you have visited Our Lady in Poland a few days ago. Now, Our Lady is coming to Gaming and visiting with us.
Let us acknowledge our sins and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.
We fly to your patronage, O Holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Today, we are a part of the pilgrimage of Our Lady. It is a pilgrimage of an icon of the Mother of God from the Pacific Ocean at Vladivostok to the Atlantic Ocean at Fatima. It is an act of entrustment of the Civilization of Love and Life into the hands of the Mother of God. We know that alone we cannot overcome the culture of death. Today, we are witnessing that the Mother of God is bringing her Orthodox and Catholic sons and daughters to work together to bring about the new Civilization of Love, based on the family in the Third Christian Millennium. The Icon of the Black Madonna is one of Christianity's holiest relics. There is evidence of the Icon having come from Constantinople. Prior to this we must turn to the Christian tradition, which maintains that it was written by St. Luke. The Icon dates from before the schism between the Church in the West and the East, and therefore, like the Mother of God, belongs to both the Orthodox East and the Catholic West. The Icon of Czestochowa is the "heart" of Poland, and therefore it is a privilege for me, as a Polish priest, to celebrate this Holy Mass today, during Our Lady's journey through Austria. The Mother of Jesus, in Her Icon, is visiting 23 countries in Asia and Europe. According to the ancient Christian tradition, an icon is a "window" to holiness, to Heaven. In it or through it, one can come into the presence of God or look at the world and Eternity through the eyes of God. When contemplating an icon, a person can enter the spiritual world and approach that which is sacred.
Brothers and Sisters!
In the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians 6, 12 we read: "For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places."
Today we want to entrust to the Mother of God all the problems of our time. The scale of the global attack on life, on the family, on marriage, which according to the Word of God (Mt. 19, 4; Mk. 10, 6) is the union of one man and one woman, is massive and without historical precedent. We know that alone we cannot overcome the Culture of Death. Now, Our Blessed Mother has arrived in Austria. We are very close to the Heart of Austria, to Mariazell (a city in Austria) known as "Magna Mater Austriae." It is a place where the needs of the people for centuries have been brought. During his visit to Mariazell, Pope Benedict XVI prayed: "Mary, show us Jesus." The Czestochowa Icon is of the Hodigitria type, or the "Guide to the Path". This means that Our Lady leads us to Christ, points out the way to God, the Giver of life. Therefore, her right hand points to Christ. Like a loving mother, she protects life.
If we want to be good students in the "School of Mary", we can consecrate our hearts, our homes, our Land to the Most Pure Heart, of the great Queen of Heavens, so that the kingdom of Her Son, our Redeemer and our God, may be firmly established in us.
We want to ask you today, O Mother of Jesus, to use us, as your instruments in bringing peace between the nations. Work your miracles of grace in us, so that we may be a glory to the Blessed Trinity, Who created, redeemed, and sanctifies us. Look on us, gathered here from the West and the East. Protect us against the world that is without God and without your loving maternal care. We ask for pardon for our sins – sins against life and love. Help the Church in Austria to discover in your face the face of Christ, your Son. Help us to love the Truth and thus to be united in your Son's Church. We thank you for your maternal care. You are the one who accepted "Life" in the name of all. Your example, O Blessed Mary, demonstrates for us the model of how life should be welcomed and cared for (Bl. JPII, Evangelium Vitae – The Gospel of Life).
We fly to your patronage, O Holy Mather of God. Hear the prayer of your children during your visit here, in the Kartause Gaming. Please pray with us, O Blessed Virgin Mary, for the return to the living faith in God of many people in this country. Grant that all who believe in your Son may proclaim the Gospel of life with honesty and love to the people of our time. Obtain for them the grace to accept that Gospel as a gift ever new (Bl. JPII, Evangelium Vitae – The Gospel of Life).
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Chaste Mother of God, Immaculate Virgin!
Into your hands, we entrust the great cause of protecting the civilization of life and love. We live in a difficult time of a massive global attack by the civilization of death. Vast numbers of innocent people are perishing – the unborn children, the aged, and the infirm. The number of victims already exceeds two billion human beings.
Each day an additional 50 thousand children die in their mothers' wombs.
Many people do not want to have any children at all.
The means of destroying fertility and life are becoming more and more common.
Infertility of married couples is increasing. The human child is becoming a product of modern technology, a donor of cells and organs.
Children “are being produced” with designated attributes, subject to selection.
Hundreds of thousands of frozen embryos are preserved between life and death in liquid nitrogen.
International man-made law denies the legal protection of the life of the unborn child. More and more countries are legalizing euthanasia.
The attack on marriage and the family is increasing.
O Holy Mother, we promise you that we will defend human life -
especially the small and defenceless, with all our strength.
We stand before you, Mother of Our Redeemer,
fully aware that alone, we are unable to win that global struggle.
Stand at the forefront of the defence of life movements and lead us.
Protect life! Save the family! Strengthen us!
Obtain from your son the victory of the civilization of life and love!
Częstochowa, Jasna Góra 28 January 2012
Entrusting the protection of the Civilization of Life and Love into the hands of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary,
Fr. Andrzej (Andrew) Skoblicki