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On Wednesday, August 29th, Our Blessed Mother in the Czestochowa Icon in Her peregrination "from Ocean to Ocean" in defense of life has arrived at the capital of the Czech Republic - Prague.  In the morning, Our Lady visited one of the largest parishes, the parish of Our Lady Queen of Peace in Lhotka. 

This church is one of the twelve churches that was built by the Czech Catholics as an act of reparation for the breaking of  the column with the statue of Our Lady in the Old City Square in 1918.  Twelve churches were erected - as the twelve pillars of faith, and as the twelve stars crowning the Mother of God.  In this church, above the altar, dwell the reconstructed statue of the Immaculate Virgin, as well as the fragments of the column on which once stood the Way of the Cross, constructed for the millennial celebration of the Diocese of Prague.  The late Cardinal František Tomášek, the Primate of the Czech Republic, named this place 'the protest against the self-destruction of humanity, which can be understood as a call to the preservation of life, flowing straight from the heart.'

The culminating point on that day was the solemn celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in the baroque church of St. Ignatius of Loyola at the Charles Square in Prague.  Bishop Ladislav Hučko, the Apostolic Exarch of the Czech Republic and the vicar apostolic of the Greek Catholic Church, presided over the Liturgy.

Thanks to the decision made by the Metropolitan Chapter of the St. Vitus Cathedral, the treasured reliquary, containing the head (skull) of St. Luke the Evangelist, was brought for this solemnity from the cathedral's vault.  This holy relic of St. Luke has been present in Prague since 1354 AD.  It is a part of the treasury of St. Vitus from the times of the Emperor, Charles IV.  In this symbolic way, Our Blessed Mother, in her peregrination across the world in defense of life, has met with St. Luke.

The connection of the Czestochowa Icon with St. Luke is very tight.  According to the tradition, St. Luke was the caretaker of Mary and was the only Evangelist who described Her life.  He was a physician, who cared for man and as such saved life.  Moreover, he is considered to be the first iconographer, who wrote ca. 70 icons.  It is the Czestochowa Icon that is considered to be one of St. Luke's, written on the wood from the table that belonged to the Holy Family.

Bishop L. Hučko reminded us in his homily about our duty of courageous standing up for the defense of life and of the permanence of marriage.  He noted that as a result of the global attack of the culture of death, what we need today is a global civilization of life, surrounded and supported by prayers globally.

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