With the Icon of Jasna Gora in defence of life in the Czech Republic

Our special O2O correspondent has been speaking to Kateřina Ucháčová (head of Czech pro-life organization “Hnuti Pro zivot CR”) in the Czech Republic about the progress of the Black Madonna.

 

CF NEWS : Did all of your family take part?

KATERINA UCHÁCOVÁ : My husband Radim drove to Bielsko-Biale, Poland along with our photographer and cameraman to meet Ewa and Lech Kowalewski and take over the Icon on the ’Life-Mobil’. I joined my husband at the second stop, in Olomouc, Czech Republic. Our children joined us in Prague. Our youngest son went with us all the way from Prague to Bratislava and then back home.

 

CF NEWS : How bad is the situation of families and the situation on life issues in your country?

KU : The situation of families is very difficult because they are being heavily taxed by the state. It does not pay off to have children. The state supports broken families and gender and homosexual ideologies and concepts. Registered partnership of homosexuals is allowed. Every fifth child is being killed by abortion, the spread of contraception is massive, the Czech IVF legislation is very liberal and its business is growing and booming.

On the positive note, we have been able to block plans to provide abortion for EU citizens, allow RU-486, to legalize euthanasia and the start massive sexual education in schools. We won a court case allowing us to display abortion images in public. Our Catholic hierarchy is openly pro-life.

 

CF NEWS : For how many days was the icon with you and which places did you visit?

KU : The Icon arrived in the Czech Republic on Sunday, August 26th, the feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa. On this day, she was in Ostrava. On Monday she was in Olomouc, on Tuesday in Hradec Králové, on Wednesday in Prague and on Thursday in Brno. On Friday, August 31st, the Icon left Brno for Bratislava, Slovakia. So we had Our Lady of Czestochowa among us for six days.

 

CF NEWS : How did people respond?

KU : We saw a very lively faith. People devotedly recited the Act of Entrustment which we printed on little cards for everybody to take home with. It had the picture of Our Lady of Czestochowa on the other side. We underestimated the interest of people and had to order a reprint. It still was not enough and on the last day, we had to use Slovak cards that the Slovak pro-lifers brought in their car to Brno, where they joined us.

In each place, there were crowds of people — young, old, children, whole families, disabled, religious, many priests, prelates, bishops! Local host communities were overjoyed with the turnout. They did not expect it and we neither! Crowds of people knelt in front of Our Lady, cried and prayed.

 

CF NEWS : Was there orthodox involvement?

KU : There are only a few orthodox in our country. So the Icon has not been in orthodox churches. However, an active pro-life orthodox priest from Brno joined the whole programme in Brno and accompanied the Icon all the way to Bratislava with us.

 

CF NEWS : How did the pilgrimage in the Czech republic increase public interest in pro-life, pro-family issues?

KU : The mainstream media ignored the event with a few exceptions. Christian media reported about the event including the reason why this peregrination was taking place.

 

CF NEWS : The pro-life message was very strong. How did you convey it? Did priests and bishops?

KU : In each place, the Act of Entrustment was recited aloud repeatedly with people joining in. Everybody received the Act of Entrustment, including priests and bishops. People placed their cards with the picture of the Czestochowa icon on the Icon itself to take home with and also to distribute to others. The homilies were very strongly pro-life — bishops and priests equally gave very strong sermons during each Holy Mass.
 

CF NEWS : Did you have a car rally and if so where?

KU : We had a car rally all the time because it was more dignified and also because of security of the traffic. A great number of cars accompanied the ’Life-Mobil’ with prepared flags and magnetic stickers all the way. This was a great pro-life testimony and also a testimony of faith. We drove on streets and roads and motorways with the most traffic. Everybody present was able to see Our Lady and pro-life and Czech flags on our cars.

 

CF NEWS : What do you think are the fruits of the pilgrimage?

KU : We cannot say yet. We shall see in heaven! But the encouragement and involvement of the laity, religious, priests and bishops was wonderful.

 

CF NEWS : You mention ’miracles’ taking place.

KU : People came to us and conveyed their testimonies to us. They all kept thanking us for bringing the Czestochowa icon. The friars in Brno were being invited to go to Czestochowa on pilgrimages all year long, but were not able to. Finally, Our Lady came to visit them!

We asked but not hoped for the presence of the Holy relic of the skull of St. Luke, the Evangelist to be present during the Holy Mass in Prague and thus symbolically meet Our Lady, the Icon that, by tradition, he wrote. He was also a medical doctor, so this also brings a bioethical message into the whole picture. On the very morning on the way to Prague on the motorway we received a phone call that one of the prelates will be bringing the skull of St. Luke to be present in the evening in the Church!

The archbishop of Olomouc Msgre Jan Graubner asked God to pardon the sins against life in the Czech Republic right at the beginning of the Holy Mass that day.

In Hradec Králové, the auxilliary bishop Msgre Josef Kajnek entrusted our whole nation to the Mother of God. He was the last one to leave the cathedral that day late at night!

 

CF NEWS : And where is the icon now? We have just returned home from Bratislava where we gave the Czestochowa icon to the Slovaks.

KU : The Icon is travelling throughout Slovakia until September 8th. The Slovak prolifers prepared a very packed programme. As whole Poland kept praying the Czech Republic during the Czech part of the peregrination, we encoured everybody to pray for Slovakia now where we sent the Czestochowa Icon. The Slovaks will then pray for the Hungarians!