On Saturday, October 5th, the Feast Day of St. Faustina, messenger of mercy, we had the great blessing of welcoming the traveling Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa (a replica of the original) who is traveling the world in defense of life, to New York City. The Icon is accompanied by Father Peter West, Vice President of Human Life International, and was locally sponsored by the Family Life Office, New York Catholic Young Adults and Lumina Hope & Healing After Abortion.
For those in our ministry, Our Lady's visit holds a special significance as our patroness. Over the past twenty years, we have seen many miracles of this Mother of Mercy, who always leads us to her Son.
In 2005, Father Mariusz Koch, CFR, and I lead a pilgrimage to Poland for women who have had an abortion to visit the original icon, as well as the Divine Mercy Shrine. It was an experience I am sure none of us will ever forget.
Although she travels in defense of all life, (marriage, abortion, eithanasia, etc.), I am convinced that she especially has embraced the souls separated from God because of abortion, calling them back to her Son out of a desire for their healing.
Our Lady's visit began with The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at St. Peter's Church on Barclay Street, close to the site of the World Trade Center, now the Freedom Tower. It is in St. Peter's that St. Elizabeth Seton and St. Pierre Toussaint, the first African American Saint, often came to pray, and it was also the place where the body of Father Mychal Judge who served as a chaplain to the New York City Fire Department, was brought following the attacks on 9/11.
Following Mass, we brought Our Lady to the streets of New York City in a procession of singing and the rosary. As we walked through the streets of the City witnessing to our faith, I was struck by the number of people who joined us in prayer as we were walking and the respect that was shown for Our Lady.
For me, the most significant moment was when we passed One World Trade Center (the Freedom Tower) and the site where the memorial and museum to those who lost their lives on 9/11 is located. As we walked past the Tower, I could not help but reflect on the lives lost there and how appropriate it was for us to be bringing Our Lady through those streets.
I thought of our beloved NYC, and its government officials who promote abortion and corrupt our teens in our schools with their free sex app, and their repeated attempts to close our Crisis Pregnancy Centers.
Yes, Our Lady made her mark on New York City as she processed through her streets and then proceeded to visit the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal Catholic Underground where hundreds of young adults were adoring Our Lord. Lastly, Our Lady spent Respect Life Sunday at St. Patrick's Cathedral for all of the Masses.
As Our Lady travels the rest of the country in defense of life, calling all back to the heart of her Son, let us all always remember that the victory has already been won, we are safely beneath Her mantle, and that she always leads us to the only true freedom tower, the heart of Jesus Christ!
Our Lady of Czestochowa, Pray for Us!
Are you living in darkness and depression after an abortion?
Unable to get past the pain of your loss?
There is Hope. There is Healing. There is a way out of the darkness.
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For more information on post abortion healing, visit the Lumina website.