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Mahir Doman is Chaldean.  He is 41 years old and lives close to Paris.  Mahir is associated with the Notre-Dame de France movement.  Just a few days ago, he did not know that he would be receiving the Icon of Czestochowa from the hands of the Irish.  Mahir is from Turkey.  He always wanted to be a priest, but just like for the holy Curé of Ars, Latin did not come easily to him.  He had left one day earlier, on November 24 in the evening, from Paris to Cherbourg, where the ferry from Ireland was to arrive.  He drove all night. 

Throughout that entire night, a horrible storm was raging in Brittany and in northern France. "The route was difficult.  It was blowing straight up the nose.  I made frequent stops.  I had the impression that my car would be picked up" – he told us via telephone at about 10 o'clock in the morning, when he was finally in Cherbourg.  The ferry was two hours late due to inclement weather.  Mahir was waiting at the port.  "I am dressed like a sailor" – he responded cheerfully, when asked whether or not he is cold.  He waited with joy, just as one awaits a loved one.

Our Lady's Icon left Ireland at the same time as Mahir left Paris.  While crossing the Strait of St. George, the Patron Saint of England (who, according to legend, came to the Island from Turkey), Our Lady was fighting a meteorological 'dragon', just like Mahir.

They met after 2 o'clock in the afternoon.  The wind has abated somewhat and the beautiful sun was shining.  Our Lady's Irish drivers - Anthony Barnes and Felim Burke - got back on the ferry to go home, and Mahir headed northeast.  He had to drive for nearly five hours to get to Vaudricourt, in the department of Pas-de-Calais, which represented the first stage of the pilgrimage of the Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary through France.  He drove Our Blessed Mother to a Polish site in France, located in a former coalfield.  He arrived promptly at 8 o'clock in the evening, at the very moment when the welcoming service was commencing.  He got out of the car tired, but happy.  "It was not I; it was She, who brought me here.  At times I was driving faster than the road signs allowed.  I wanted to make it on time.  The police did not stop me; no radar detected me. "

Thus began the peregrination of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the soil of the Franks.

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