On August 27th, the peregrinating Icon in defense of life on Czech soil has arrived at Olomouc. It was escorted by a vehicle motorcade. To welcome Our Lady, the cathedral bells were ringing and Salve Regina was sung as the Icon was brought inside the sanctuary of the Cathedral of St. Wenceslaus.
The pilgrimage of the Mother of God in defense of human life has a great significance in the Czech Republic. 3,260,700 children have been aborted in this country since 1957. At the beginning of the celebration of the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Archbishop John Graubner asked God for forgiveness of all sins committed against life and apologized for the change of his nation's mentality which is siding with the "culture of death". During the homily, given by Bishop Josef Hrdlicka, it was noted that Our Lady in Her Icon is a gift from God for up until this day, so important especially in the current circumstances when we are being unfaithful to the grace of motherhood.
During the evening Mass at the Dominican Church, Father Pavel Mayer OP recalled a scene from the Old Testament when Esther was begging God to save her people. We are in a similar situation – remarked the homilist – our nation is disintegrating and we are in dire need of the intercession of the divine Advocate [who is Mary, Our Blessed Mother]. Every day, 70 newly conceived babies die in our nation. Many people generally do not desire to raise children. Means of destroying fertility and newly conceived life have become increasingly popular. Thousands of children are waiting in a frozen state, in limbo between life and death.
Remarkably large crowds of people participated in the solemn evening Mass and prayer vigil until midnight at the Dominican church. A very pleasant and significant fact was the active participation of parents with their children in this event which included a procession with the Icon on the streets of Olomouc. Thousands of leaflets with the Act of Entrustment of the Protection of the Civilization of Life and Love to Our Lady were distributed during this time and more have to be printed promptly.
On Tuesday, August 28, 2012, the Icon will arrive at Koclířov and Hradec Králové.