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On August 26th, on the Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa in the afternoon, the Icon's visit to the Czech Ostrava was celebrated.  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass was celebrated by Bishop František Lobkowic, the Ordinary of the Ostrava-Opava Diocese. 

He addressed Our Blessed Mother with these words, "I would like to apologize to You, Mary Our Lady of Czestochowa, for the Hussites who have wounded You so much.  These two scars were made in the year 1430, when a band of Hussites attacked and plundered the sanctuary at Jasna Gora."  The Bishop reminded that the duties of man towards God have been described in the Ten Commandments.  The protection of human life is part of these commandments.  He also noted that Mary is the guide who leads us to God.  She is the Mother of Life.  He remarked that the Czech people desire love, but forget that the source of love is God Himself.  The lack of love in the life of a society is the result of the loss of God.

The organizers of the peregrination "From Ocean to Ocean" in Defense of Life across the Czech Republic notice that the Icon of Our Blessed Mother is reviving the Czech people's faith.  The priests working in the Ostrava parish conclude that they haven't seen such crowds at church for the past 20 years, since the relics of St. Wojciech were peregrinating through the area.  This type of testimony of faith awakens great hope for the future. 

The Czech Republic is known worldwide as the nation which has lost its faith in God.  The society is getting older, demographic problems are increasing, divorce is very popular, and pornography is spreading along with the reproductive services using "in vitro fertilization."

The Icon of Czestochowa is visiting the Czech Republic from the 26th until the 31st of August, when it will be presented to the Slovaks in Bratislava.  The Icon is traveling through the Czech Republic in the Life Mobile in a cavalcade of vehicles flagged with pro-life signs.


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