MADRID — A replica image of Our Lady of Czestochowa is currently traveling throughout Spain on a pro-life and pro-family pilgrimage that will span 24 countries and more than 18,000 miles.
Dubbed “From Ocean to Ocean,” the tour began last September in Vladivostok on Russia’s Pacific coast and will conclude at the Shrine of Fatima on the Atlantic coast of Portugal.
Organizers of the tour hope that “the number of people who discover and defend the dignity of the human being from conception to natural death will continuously increase.”
The famous image of Mary, normally housed at the Jasna Gora Shrine in Poland, has been in Spain since Dec. 15, visiting more than 25 dioceses.
Its stop in the region of Murcia was especially significant, as the area was hit by a 5.1-magnitude earthquake in May 2011, which left nine people dead and 324 injured, in addition to causing widespread damage. Masses, Holy Hours and other services were celebrated as the icon visited the region’s cities of Vera Cruz and Lorca.
In the region’s capital city of Murcia, the icon visited the Poor Clare convent, where the nuns gathered for a special Rosary. The convent is one of the important architectural sites in the city, as it was constructed over an ancient Arab palace.
From Feb. 7-14, the image will be in Madrid for a series of prayer vigils in defense of human life.
According to the website of “From Ocean to Ocean,” it will also travel to the United States and Canada, beginning in May.
The icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa — one of the most venerated images in Poland — depicts the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus in her arms. Throughout its history, it has been the target of numerous attacks that have left marks on the Virgin Mary’s face and neck.
Blessed Pope John Paul II had a special devotion to Our Lady of Czestochowa and kept a copy of the image in his papal apartment at the Vatican.