In the summer of 2012, a group of Catholic and Orthodox faithful began a global pilgrimage in support of life and family under the patronage of the Our Lady of Czestochowa “Black Madonna” Icon. The icon, believed to be one of the seventy icons written by the Apostle and Evangelist Luke, is revered throughout the world.
With the blessing of Metropolitan Tikhon, a magnificent replica of the icon will make an unprecedented visit to State College. On Wednesday, October 23, Holy Trinity will warmly welcome visitors from all faith traditions for an akathist (hymn) sung in honor of the Mother of Jesus Christ for the defense of all human life at 6:30 p.m.; the official icon greeting and viewing begins at 5:30 p.m. After the hymn, a reception will take place for all that attend.
The icon has already traveled more than 40,000 miles and has been revered by hundreds of thousands of people across three continents. The goal of this international icon procession, entitled “Ocean-to-Ocean in Defense for Life,” is to unite Christians in praying for the protection of the family and the sanctification of all human life from conception to natural death. It arrived on the shores of North America in August and will travel across the United States this month and November before continuing on to Central and South America.
The second leg of the pilgrimage is being sponsored by Human Life International (HLI), one of the largest global pro-life organizations in the world. The Rev. Peter West, vice president of HLI Missions, will accompany the icon and be among our honored guests. He was present at the Monastery of Jasna Góra in Poland for the dedication of this icon to the original in January of 2012, which marked the beginning of the campaign.
“This pilgrimage is intended to awaken the faithful about the urgency of defending life from the moment of conception,” said Rev. West. “Hundreds of thousands, in venerating the image, have recommitted to restoring a Culture of Life. I look forward to bringing the icon to State College on October 23.”
The event is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be collected to support the pilgrimage.
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