Irish drivers went by ferry to Scotland and brought the Icon to Northern Ireland on Friday, the 16th of November. The Icon was venerated by large crowds of people during Masses and Adoration in 5 different venues, on Saturday, the 17th of November and on Sunday, the 18th: BELFAST (St. Peter's Cathedral and the Catholic Chaplaincy at Queen's University), LIMAVADY (Drummond Hotel and St Mary's Church) and BALLYMENA (All Saints Church).
She was carried in and out of all the venues in solemn processions. Many Polish people who were also there to venerate Her wore beautiful national costumes and were extremely happy and honoured to help carry the Icon...
Fr Conor McGrath CC was the main celebrant and preacher at the Mass in the Catholic Chaplaincy (Fr Conor is a former member of the Chaplaincy and was ordained in July 2012).
From the very first moment of Her arrival on Irish shores, people kept saying that She couldn't have arrived at a better time...given what has been happening recently in relation to the opening of the Marie Stopes Planned Parenthood Clinic in Belfast and the tragic death of the young Indian mother in Galway which has been and is being used by the pro-choice advocates to push for the legalisation of abortion in Ireland.
Below is the text of the invitation that was sent out by the Catholic Chaplaincy at Queen's University, Belfast. It emphasises so well the timeliness of the Icon's Visit:
"The Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa (the Black Madonna) is coming to the Chaplaincy on Sunday Night at 8 pm Mass followed by prayer and confessions. We join thousands across Europe praying for the defence of Life, Marriage and Family. Our country ...The land of "saints and scholars" is now crying out for the right to kill the most innocent of our kind. This is exactly what happens when good people do nothing . Our hearts broke when others were found silent... never again!! Not in our Name! Come and join us in prayer before the Icon of our Holy Mother and Child Jesus for the defence of the most innocent, the affirmation of marriage, Motherhood and Fatherhood and the sacredness of Family life. It is Time for Catholics to stop hiding and be heralds of the Good News.. in season and out ... Do not be afraid! We must be found affirming all human life. There is always a life affirming answer! Mother Mary, please, pray for us. Dear Lord ... Please Lord, we beg you, send your angels to protect us in this time of battle...the blood of the innocent cries out to you again... Our weapon must be Love."