On the 26th of January the Black Madonna reached the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in Cadiz. During this pilgrimage it was not for the first time that She came to the ocean coast, although it was not the last leg of the first stage of the pilgrimage. Cadiz is the oldest city on the Atlantic coast, and its history goes back 3 thousand years.
Arriving in Cadiz at 6.00 PM Our Lady of Częstochowa, beautifully lit, crossed the bridge of Puente Carranza, as the towns of Cadiz and San Fernando are located on a longish island and to reach them you must cross it. At the entrance to the town a crowd of people was waiting. The police escorted the Icon along the route in the city. The Mother of God was led to the Old Town through the gate of Puerta Tierra (The Gate of Green - the main gate in the city walls of the old Cadiz). Later they stopped on the beach of la Caleta (the famous beach in Cadiz) to take photos of Our Lady of Częstochowa`s arrival to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
At 7.00PM Our Lady of Częstochowa came to the cathedral in the city centre. It was filled with a crowd of people, estimated for 800. At the main entrance, with the bells ringing, the Mother of God was welcomed with standards, banners, feretories and lanterns carried by the members of various brotherhoods of the Holy Week from Cadiz. These brotherhoods participated in the procession carrying the Częstochowa Icon to the main altar in the presbytery of the cathedral.
The history of the Częstochowa Icon peregrination "From Ocean to Ocean" in defence of life was read and its aim was explained to the faithful. Next the welcoming ceremony began. After prayers, in the presence of bishop Rafael Zoonoz, the metropolitan bishop of Cadiz and Ceuta, representatives of different diocesan groups working for the defence of life and family approached the Icon of Our Lady and entrusted their difficult problems and intentions to Her.
A family - a young Polish-Spanish couple with a daughter only one month old also came to the Mother of God. They testified how because of a doctor`s error their daughter had serious anoxaemia immediately after birth. This threatened her with irreversible changes and even put her life in danger. The doctors gave no hope for improvement. Then the parents with faith and hope entrusted their child to Our Lady of Częstochowa. Contrary to all pessimistic predictions the girl is healthy and is developing properly. Therefore they came and brought their child to thank the Mother of God and give the testimony of their faith. The celebrations were finished with the Holy Rosary in the intention of defence of life and family.
The following event was the procession with the Icon to the Shrine of the Dominican Friars, which houses the statue of the Mother of God of the Holy Rosary, the patroness of Cadiz. The procession was led by a cross, carried among the altar-boys with candles. It was followed by 300 standards, feretories, banners and lanterns, belonging to various brotherhoods, which proceeded the beautifully lit Icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa.
The peregrinating Icon of Our Lady "From Ocean to Ocean" was again presented to the faithful, as many new people joined the congregation. The church was full as the ceremony was attended by around half a thousand people. At 9.30 PM there was an adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in which they prayed for the victims of abortion, for the conversion of doctors performing abortions, as well as in the intention of families and the protection of the dignity of man.
After the adoration had finished at 10.30 PM the procession started again with a cross, candles and the Icon of Our Lady glowing with golden lights, with the prayer of the Holy Rosary and the police escort. When the Mother of God was walking in this night procession in the city centre some of the passers-by joined it.. Others stopped to make the sign of the cross and pray at least for a while. The Icon reached the Church of the Mother of God of the Holy Rosary. The pastor of the parish welcomed it at the door. Despite the late hours over on hundred people prayed in the church. They said the Litany to All the Saints, and the Icon stayed in the church for the night.