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In the afternoon of the 25th of October in Altotting the Icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa was welcomed at the famous shrine of the Mother of God, the Queen of Bavaria “Unsere Liebe Frau”, where the Marian cult is believed to have started at the time of St Rupert of Salzburg (died in 715), known as the apostle of Bavaria. It was him who had a small church built in the place, called today the Chapel of Graces. At this place St Rupert baptised king of Bavaria, Otto.

It is at this place that a 65 cm statue of Our Lady, called “Our Beloved Lady” (Unsere Liebe Frau), or the Black Madonna, has been worshiped for centuries.  The statue shows the Virgin Mary holding Jesus Christ on her right arm. In Mary`s hands there is a gold sceptre. A big hand of Jesus is a symbol of the magnitude of His grace bestowed. The statue of “Black Madonna” is housed in the Chapel of Our Lady (Gnadenkapelle) and is surrounded with 21 silver urns which contain the hearts of kings and princes of Bavaria. Nowadays around a million pilgrims a year come to the shrine of Altotting. The Holy Father Benedict XVI has pointed to his personal connection to this shrine many times. 

The Częstochowa Icon was solemnly welcomed by the custodian of the shrine fr. Prelate Lugwig Limbrunner. First the Holy Rosary was said and next the Holy Eucharist was celebrated and presided over by the custodian of the shrine. In his sermon he presented the idea of the peregrination “From ocean to ocean” in defence of life and encouraged the listeners to join the international chain of prayer through the  Virgin Mary.

After the Holy Eucharist the Icon was carried to the Chapel of Our Lady where adoration continued through the night.

Source of the Black Madonna Figurine photo - Wikipedia

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