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Disciples of the  Divine Master, Stillorgan, Dublin

The Icon was hosted by the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master (Stillorgan, Dublin, https://www.pddm.org/?lang=en in their Chapel from Thursday, the 22nd of November, at 6 pm until the following day at 5 pm. The Sisters have the Blessed Sacrament exposed in their Chapel throughout the day and the faithful are welcome any time to come and adore the Lord during the Adoration hours. As in the other places, priests, religious and lay people came in large numbers to venerate the Icon with great joy and deep gratitude. A lot of young families brought their children to pray before the Icon of Our Lady. Prayers included the Rosary, the Act of Entrustment to Our Lady and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Beautiful songs both in English and in Polish accompanied the prayers.

Sr Kathryn Williams, the Superior of the Community, remarked at the end of the Icon's Visit that many people visit their Chapel on a daily basis to adore the Lord, but that even more came to see the Mother...

One of the details about this Travelling Icon which touched people the most everywhere we brought Her was that the Icon had been venerated by over 2,000,000 people across Russia and Europe (in 20 countries) and that She had already had such a long journey before reaching Ireland. Without a doubt, this made the Irish Catholics experience in a very powerful and direct way the universality of the Church and feel closer and more united to Christians in other lands.

The Russian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter & Paul - DublinDublin7

From Stillorgan, on the south side of Dublin, the Icon travelled that same evening (of the 23rd of Nov.) to the Russian Orthodox Church of Sts. Peter & Paul (Harold's Cross). Here, Fr Mikhail Nasonov and a big congregation were waiting outside the church to welcome and greet the Blessed Mother.The people entered the church in procession following the Icon and for an hour (from 6 pm till 7 pm) the Akathist Hymn was sung. Orthodox and Catholics then venerated the Icon individually for almost an hour. Over 320 people of different nationalities were present there (including over 20 children of all ages): Russians, Romanians, Irish, Lithuanians, Polish, Belorussians...

St Saviour's Dominican Church, Dublin

Dublin16Every Friday, between 8 pm - 9 pm, the Irish Dominicans in St. Saviour's church, Dublin, have a Holy Hour: an hour of Eucharistic exposition and adoration, incorporating a homily and the Rosary, followed by sung Compline (Night Prayer), including the beautiful Salve Regina procession.

On Friday, the 23rd of November, St Saviour's also hosted during the Holy Hour the Travelling Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

In the words of one of the student Dominican Brothers: "We had a packed church for the visit of the Travelling Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, as we prayed in support of human dignity and the sanctity of human life. After our time of prayer, I met a woman whose son was brutally murdered recently, and who had brought her little grandson to pray to Mother Mary. LIFE IS PRECIOUS!"

The Icon was brought from Sts. Peter & Paul Russian Orthodox church to St Saviour's Dominican Church in Dominick St at 8 pm where it was received by the Prior, Fr Edward Conway OP, and by Fr Terence Crotty OP, the Student Master. The Icon was carried inside in solemn procession. Fr Terence Crotty OP introduced the Visit of the Icon and talked about its particular mission and journey. He also invited those present to venerate The Icon on that particular evening under the title of 'Our Lady, Mother of All the Living'. The Blessed Sacrament was then exposed for an hour. Fr Gerard Dunne OP, the Vocations Director of the Irish Dominicans, gave a homily about the gift of faith. The Rosary and Marian hymns followed before the Solemn Benediction. Afterwards the faithful were invited to venerate the Icon individually.

Over 800 people prayed one by one before the Icon and confessions were heard as well throughout the whole time the Icon was present in the church (for 2 1/2 hours). As it was to be expected, many Polish were present there (two Polish Dominican priests are based in St Saviour's and look after a big Polish community). Quite a few of the Polish people had tears in their eyes because the Black Madonna had come to see them and to bring 'Home' closer to them in Ireland.

St Saviour's Dominican church was the last stop of the Black Madonna in Dublin before She travelled on to Cork that same evening.

Below is an excerpt from the homily given by Fr Gerard Dunne OP during the Holy Hour and the Visit of the Icon of Mary:

The beautiful Icon of Our Lady that has arrived at our church this evening is on something of a missionary journey. Perhaps, it is appropriate then that the Icon is here on the feast of Saint Columbanus – regarded by many as the ‘father’ of the great Irish missionary movement. Saint Columbanus was a man who took to heart the words of the Lord Jesus himself to ‘proclaim the Good News to all nations’. He was a saint imbued by faith and set about proclaiming that faith to others. We are at the beginning of the Year of Faith, proclaimed by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, in the Apostolic Letter which begins with these words: “The ‘door of faith’ (Acts 14:27) is always open for us, ushering us into the life of communion with God and offering entry into his Church. It is possible to cross that threshold when the Word of God is proclaimed and the heart allows itself to be shaped by transforming grace.” [...] to have what we might call a “theoretical” knowledge of the Church’s doctrine is not enough. “Having faith in the Lord,” Benedict XVI explains, “is not something that solely involves our intelligence, the area of intellectual knowledge; rather, it is a change that involves our life, our whole self: feelings, heart, intelligence, will, body, emotions and human relationships.” And he poses a challenging question to us: “However, let us ask ourselves, is faith truly the transforming force in our life, in my life; or is it merely one of the elements that are part of existence, without being the crucial one that involves it totally?” It is a question that entails a deep examination of conscience, to which each of us has to respond sincerely. Then we will discover that we can and ought to imbue our ordinary life with more faith, seriously seeking to discover God who awaits us in the events of each day.[...] When we take the bread and the cup of the Eucharist we are declaring that we want to imbibe all Jesus stood for. We are committing ourselves to live by His values, to walk in His way, to be shaped by His Spirit. We come to adoration tonight (and to Mass) not only to receive from Jesus, but also to give to Him. In that sense, coming here this evening to be in the presence of the Lord Jesus and to adore Him is a serious business. It is making a statement that we will stand with the Lord in all our comings and goings.

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