Saturday, June 5, 2010

Poland Pilgrimage Day 2 - Czesthowa

On Tuesday 1st we visited Czestochowa. The journey was awful - road works just outside Krakow. Took us one hour to get of the city, and two hours for the rest of the journey. But we made it in good time for Mass. We were booked to join a larger American group led by a priest Missionary of Our Lady of La Salette. The group was from Louisiana and so, naturally, they prayed for the resolution of the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. They also had with them a young priest ordained for just two years and his parents.

When we arrived, the image of Our Lady was still covered. The daily unveiling took place at 1.30pm, just before the Mass. Our pilgrims said they found the unveiling, with the trumpet fanfare, an incredibly moving experience, as the face of Our Lady and the Child were gradually revealed. Our Lady's face has a rather haunting appearance.

Here's a photo of the covered image before Mass.

I'm afraid that, since I was concelebrating at the Mass, I have no photos of the uncovering, but hope you will be satisfied with this pic I took when I was there in February this year.

In the following picture you can see the sash that Pope John Paul II was wearing when he was shot on 13th May 1981:

Father Simon, one of the Pauline priests, gave us a brief guided tour. He is a charming man, named after the apostle Simon.

In the cloister of the monastery there are altars set up for Mass. They are in the open although sheltered from rain by the cloister, and people tend to just walk past. Nonetheless, it was edifying to see priests saying their Masses.

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