Friday, 7th September began in Prešov, the second biggest city in Slovakia, which lies in the South of the country. The Icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa was being venerated through the whole night at the Orthodox Cathedral of St. Prince Alexander Nevsky. The Divine Liturgy was then celebrated by Fr. Peter Dobrík.
During his homily, Father Dobrík emphasized that the initiators of this pilgrimage were members of lay pro-life movements, and that the Church is giving it its full support in recognition of its great significance. The initiative is interdenominational and expresses the genuine strivings and the faith of the lay people, who are of one mind in their concern for what is happening in the society and the world. What comes to the fore is their unequivocal support for traditional Christian values. Witnessing to God’s Truth and the opposition to sin are the basic tasks of the Church, which must remain faithful to Christ and persevere in proclaiming the Truth. As one Orthodox prelate affirmed, “The family is not only the basic unit of society, but it is also the Domestic Church.”
The Icon of Our Lady was then driven to the monumental gothic Cathedral of St. Michael, which towers over the center of Prešov, and was welcomed by its dean, Fr. Joseph Dronzek, a sizeable group of priests, and a large crowd of the faithful. The Pro-Life organization, coordinating the Slovak section of Ocean to Ocean, distributed several thousand leaflets with the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa with a prayer for life on the reverse. After Mass and a time for individual, silent prayer, the Icon left to be driven to Ľutina, the last town to host the Icon before it reached the Hungarian border. A young motorcyclist joined the Icon on its way, and was overjoyed to have the opportunity of venerating it, offering prayer in the pro-life intention, on his motorbike!