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International pro-life icon coming to Colorado

A replica of the famous icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, also known as the Black Madonna, will travel through Colorado beginning Sept. 27 as part of a worldwide pilgrimage promoting life and family. Organized by Human Life International, the “Ocean to Ocean International Campaign in Defense of Life” is expected to visit eight sites in the archdiocese (see schedule below).

“I wanted the icon here because we’re across the street from the second largest abortion clinic in the country,” explained Paula Dong, R.N., and sonographer at Lighthouse Women’s Center at 3894 Olive St. in Denver, who helped spearhead the visit. “We need her here, we need her blessing.”

The journey of the icon, liturgically united with the original with a blessing from the Archbishop of Czestochowa, began in 2012 in Vladivostok, Russia. The image traveled across Europe to the Shrine of Fatima in Portugal before coming to the United States in 2013. Organizers of the tour hope “the number of people who discover and defend the dignity of the human being from conception to natural death will continuously increase.”

The original icon, one of the most venerated images in Poland, is housed at the Jasna Gora monastery in Czestochowa, Poland. It depicts the Virgin Mary with a darkened face holding the Christ Child. Tradition holds that St. Luke wrote the icon on a wooden plank from the Holy Family’s table. Throughout its history, it has been the target of attacks that have left gouges on the Blessed Mother’s cheek.

“She has scars on her face,” Dong said of the image considered the patron of post-abortive women. “They’ve tried to fix the scars, but they keep coming through. It’s like Our Lady wants to show the scars of abortion.

“She symbolizes the pain and scars of abortion.”

Miracles and healings have been credited as a result of praying with the icon, including outside abortion clinics. The campaign has already traveled more than 40,000 miles, visiting 24 countries and more than 400 cities. Once completing the U.S. pilgrimage, the icon leaves for Mexico Nov. 1.

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While in Colorado, veneration, Masses and other liturgies are planned at churches and outside Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in Denver. For more information, visit www.hli.org/oceantoocean, or call the parish.

Our Lady of Czestochowa in Colorado
The schedule is subject to change. Call the parish for more information.

Shrine of St. Anne, Arvada
Sept. 27: 4 p.m. welcome ceremony, 5:30 Mass
Sept. 28: Sunday Masses
Sept. 29: 8:15 a.m. Mass

Planned Parenthood, 7155 E. 38th Ave., Denver (with Shrine of St. Anne)
Sept. 29: 10 a.m. icon arrives, 11:30 a.m. Mass

Sacred Heart of Mary Parish, Boulder
Sept. 29: 7 p.m. Mass

St. Mary Parish, Eagle
Sept. 30: 5:30 p.m. Mass

St. Clare of Assisi Parish, Edwards
Oct. 1: 8:15 a.m. Mass

Our Lady of the Snow Parish, Granby
Oct. 1: evening service

Queen of Peace Parish, Aurora
Oct. 3: 6:30 p.m. Mass

Planned Parenthood, 7155 E. 38th Ave., Denver (with Lighthouse Women’s Center)
Oct. 4: 8 a.m. prayer service, 8:30 a.m. Mass

St. Joseph Polish, Denver
Oct. 4: 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Masses
Oct. 5: Sunday Masses


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