|Visit of Our Lady of Czestochowa icon |
A replica of a world-famous icon, Our Lady of Czestochowa (the Black Madonna), will visit our parish on Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Volunteers are needed to help host this icon at our church.
The replica icon is on a pilgrimage to Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches throughout the United States, Europe, Russia and Latin America. The goal of the pilgrimage is to strengthen Orthodox and Catholic ties, and unite them in defense of human life. The journey, called “A Pilgrimage from Ocean to Ocean,” refers to the start of the journey at Vladivostok on the Pacific, and the icon’s trip through Russia and westward, to the Shrine of Fatima on the Atlantic. Representatives of an Orthodox pro-life movement in Russia initiated the idea of the pilgrimage, and chose the Czestochowa icon, as the best-known icon in both east and west. Tradition holds that St. Luke wrote the original icon, and there is evidence that it lived in Constantinople many centuries before it reached Poland, where it now resides. The icon is commemorated by the OCA on March 6.
At St. Katherine’s the current plan is to celebrate an akathist to the Theotokos on Wednesday evening, July 9. The service may draw worshippers from throughout the Puget Sound area. We may also be able to celebrate a liturgy with the icon the following morning if appropriate security measures can be arranged.
The icon cannot be left unattended, so to keep the icon overnight, we need volunteers who will stay with it at the church throughout the night. Additionally, up to three staff members from Human Life International (the sponsoring organization) would be grateful for any accommodations our parishioners could provide that Wednesday evening to help defray their expenses for the journey.
Metropolitan Tikhon has blessed the U.S. leg of this journey, and Archbishop Benjamin has blessed a visit by the icon to our church. If you are interested in participating, please contact Nancy Desmond at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-408-0025.
For more information about the icon, visit www.fromoceantoocean.org.