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Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa

Coming to San Antonio

February 26-27, 2014

Ocean to Ocean Campaign

in Defense of Life


Press Release


On February 26, 2014, the pilgrim Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa (the Polish Madonna) will arrive at San Antonio and remain for two days.  The Icon is traveling across the United States as part of the Ocean to Ocean Campaign in Defense of Life sponsored by Human Life International.

 The Icon will be hosted by Our Lady of Sorrows (OLS) Parish on Feb. 26 and by Holy Spirit Parish on Feb. 27.  Several activities have been organized in honor of the Icon as it travels throughout the United States.  The Icon will be traveling through Texas and Mexico as part of its journey.  Prior to arriving at San Antonio, it will be in Houston and Corpus Christi. 

 Our Lady of Sorrows is honored to be the first welcoming Parish in San Antonio for the Icon of Our Lady as it is home to two Polish priests, Father Thaddeus Tabak and Father Marian Piekarczyk, both Salvatorian Fathers, of the Polish Province that has had a long-time presence in Texas.  In 2011, several members of OLS parish traveled to Poland as part of World Youth Day and had the opportunity to see the original image of our Lady of Czestochowa at Jasna Góra.  The parish has a special love and affection for Her.

 The Icon will be here to promote prayer and awareness of life and family issues.  It will be on display at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish and Holy Spirit Parish, and there will be special Masses at both locations.

Because of the special nature of the journey of the Icon around the world (Ocean to Ocean), Our Lady of Sorrows Parish has arranged for the Icon to travel by river barge from the Pearl Brewery to the Arneson River Theater, where it will be received with music, prayer and a presentation by Father Peter West of Human Life International. The image will then return via river barge to the Pearl Brewery and to Our Lady of Sorrows for a Holy Mass followed by Polish-language devotion.  The event is open to the public, and anyone interested in participating should contact Our Lady of Sorrows Parish.

On Feb. 27th, the Icon will transfer to Holy Spirit Parish where it will remain on display throughout the day and for an overnight vigil of prayer for life and family.

Scheduled Events

Wed. Feb. 26 

 12:00 noon

Icon Arrives at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish     

 3:00 pm

Icon visits to St. Francis Home & Seraphic Sisters

 4:30 pm

Icon arrive at Riverwalk Launch site at Pearl Brewery

 4:45 pm

all passengers ready to embark

 5:00 pm

Barges depart

 6:00 pm

Theater presentation, music, prayer

 6:30 pm

complete presentation

 6:45 pm 

Depart theater and travel via river barge to Pearl Brewery

 7:45 pm

 Arrive to Pearl Brewery & return to Our Lady of Sorrows

 8:00 pm

Holy Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows followed by devotion in Polish

 9:00 pm

Overnight vigil at Our Lady of Sorrows

12:00 am midnight possible Holy Mass in Spanish
Thurs. Feb. 27 8:00 am  Holy Mass in English at Our Lady of Sorrows
 9:00 am Icon departs for Chancery Office (Catholic TV)
 11:00 am

depart Chancery


12:00 noon Church of Annunciation in St. Hedwig, Texas
2:30 pm arrival at Holy Spirit Church on Blanco Rd. and Ramsey
 3:00 pm

Holy Icon on display for prayer and veneration

  Overnight vigil at Holy Spirit Adoration Chapel


Fri.   Feb. 28    

 Icon Departs San Antonio


For more information about the Icon’s schedule and to participate in events, please contact:


For events on Feb.26      

For events on Feb. 27  
  Fr. Thaddeus Tabak    Fr. Carlos Velazquez  
  Our Lady of Sorrows Church  Holy Spirit Church  
  3107 N. St. Mary’s St. 8134 Blanco Rd.  
  San Antonio, TX 78212 San Antonio,TX 78216  
  Tel. (210) 732-6295  Tel. (210) 341-1395  


Background of the Ocean to Ocean Campaign

The Ocean to Ocean campaign was launched in the summer of 2012 by a group of Catholic and Orthodox faithful in support of life and family under the patronage of Our Lady of Czestochowa (the “Black Madonna”). Starting in Vladivostok, Russia, the Ocean to Ocean Campaign in Defense of Life has received the support and blessings of numerous bishops in Europe and is expected to circle the globe and enkindle a sustainable move­ment to build a culture of life.

The campaign is based on the pilgrimage of an icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the “Black Madonna,” that has already traveled over 45 thousand miles, traversed 24 countries, visited 75 cathedrals and 60 Orthodox churches in over 400 cities; and has been venerated by hundreds of thousands since the campaign began. Along the way, bishops and priests have celebrated liturgies and have given talks to inspire greater devotion to the Blessed Mother and to awaken the faithful to the urgency of recovering a true culture of life. With these visits, local parishes, shrines and other venues have hosted viewings, cele­brated Mass, and coordinated events around her visit. 

The icon – a magnificent replica of the origi­nal in the Monastery of Jasna Góra in Poland - was blessed in a special ceremony by the Archbishop of Czestochowa. The Archbishop of Kraków made a special act of entrustment to the cause of the defense of life and family to Our Lady of Czestochowa.

The Ocean to Ocean campaign is a response of the faithful, uniting Christians under the patronage of our Lady in the defense of the most vulnerable and to ask her intercession for the protection of the family and the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death.

The oldest tradition holds that it was St. Luke, who wrote the original image, which is enshrined in Czestochowa, Poland. Eastern tradition is very particular about saying wrote instead of painted, considering it as written Gospel in picture form. Taking icons on caravans is based on the Old Testament tradition of carrying the Ark of the Covenant into battle.
It is believed the original Icon has been created on a cypress table in the home of the Holy Family. Tradition dictates that in the 4th century, St. Helena, the mother of the Emperor Constantine, found it during a trip to the Holy Land and brought it back to Constantinople.
Charlemagne eventually owned it and presented it as a dowry to Prince Lev of Belz, who kept it in his palace chapel. With the flow of time this area was known as Eastern Poland and recently in a post-soviet era as Western Ukraine. In 1382 Wladyslaw Opolczyk a Polish prince of Silesia, who for 10 years was also a ruler of Belz, decided to transfer the Holy Icon from Belz to Silesia. But there was a surprise...Blessed Virgin goes where She wants and She stays where She wants. The Holy Cargo made its way to then a small town of Czestochowa and then the horses passively resisted to pull it any further. In the year 2032 there will be a round anniversary: 650 years of Her stay in Poland. In 1430, the painting was damaged by Hussite raiders who slashed it, broke it, and tried to even burn it. In a quick action that followed: the invaders were soon punished, Polish faithful and the pilgrims from abroad were taking part in expiatory devotions, and the Polish King sponsored the restoration of the Holy Icon. The icon is also credited for the Polish victory in 1655 against the forces of Sweden's King Charles X. After Poland was almost entirely overrun, only the area around the monastery which housed the icon remained free. The monks of the monastery were somehow able to successfully defend against a forty day siege, and eventually Polish forces were able to drive out all of the invaders. . She was always known, as the one who would rather suffer with Her children than abandon anybody who loves Her Son.
In the Old Testament, we see the Israelites carry the Ark of the Covenant into battle. Today Mary, the new Ark of the Covenant, needs to be carried into battle to expel the demons, and to speed conversion of sinners or restoration of moral order in the society.

As Our Lady of Czestochowa traverses North America, she calls all of her children to unite in the defense of life, in an effort to build a civilization of life and love – to remember that God can do what we can’t, to remember our faith.  We ask for her intercession in this continua­tion of the ancient tradition of carrying the Ark of the Covenant into battle, of asking God for a miracle.

Human Life International

With affiliates and partners in over 80 nations worldwide, Human Life International (HLI) exists for the glory of God, in the defense of life, faith and family.  As the world’s largest pro-life missionary organization, HLI uses the complementary gifts of faith & reason to work with our partners to reclaim a culture of life in nations whose women, men & families are suffering the effects of the culture of death.

More information about Human Life International can be found at:

Human Life International


(800) 549-LIFE, hli@hli.org

Related links:

Ocean to Ocean intro Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzGsIFrRDpQ&feature=c4-overview&list=UUcch1Im9lFIzxv8g5JcP8ag

Icon visit to NYC: http://vimeo.com/81687734.

Ocean to Ocean Video: www.hli.org/oceantoocean (it is the video at the top of the page) Other videos can be found at http://www.fromoceantoocean.org/videos.