A heatwave of 32 degrees Celsius, the forecasted thunderstorm, a weekend, and the middle of summer vacation – none of these elements could stop the Warsaw residents from welcoming Our Blessed Mother in the Icon of Czestochowa with open hearts.
On Monday, August 20th, the Icon was visiting Warsaw. After the morning Masses, but before noon, at the Warsaw Zoliborz at the Shrine of Bl. Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko, the line of the faithful, to touch the Icon and for individual prayer, continued to maintain its size all the way to the main entrance of the church and new people kept arriving constantly.
In the afternoon, Our Blessed Mother "pushed Her way" through the crowded streets of Warsaw, finding a path between the flooded tunnel, the metra station under construction, and the closed bridge. She was travelling in the company of the motorcyclists of the Katyn Rally; the police escort from the Capital did not make it.
Before the Prague Cathedral of St. Florian, four bishops of the Warsaw-Prague Diocese were already awaiting the Our Lady of Czestochowa Icon: Archbishop Henry Hoser SAC, Bishop Kazimierz Romaniuk, Bishop Emeritus Stanislaus Kedziora and the Auxiliary Bishop Marek Solarczyk.
The presider of the Eucharist was the Jubilat, Bishop K. Romaniuk and the homily was given by Archbishop H. Hoser. He concluded that the 20th century is known as the time of great mass murders when millions of people were exterminated. Unfortunately, the 21st Century has become a time of killing on an even larger scale. Every year, around 60 million children die in their mothers' wombs [in Poland alone; the worldwide scale is one child per second]. The current number exceeds 2 billion human lives. Never before, in the history of humanity, was there genocide on such a gigantic scale. No one is even able to pinpoint the graves of these victims. They die with a "silent scream" on their lips. The culture of death is a global threat to humanity today. He also emphasized that the Act of Forgiveness and Reconciliation signed with the Patriarch Cyril has a tremendous meaning for both Churches. In this context, the fact that the Peregrination of Our Blessed Mother "From Ocean to Ocean" is being led jointly by both, the Orthodox and Catholic, Churches, has an extremely important historical significance. After all, we both belong to the one Church of Our Lord, Jesus Christ.
At the end of the celebrated Eucharist, Archbishop H. Hoser renewed the Act of Entrustment to Our Lady of the Protection of the Civilization of Life and Love. A large crowd of the faithful filled the cathedral. Most of them remained for the ongoing veneration of the Icon.