Along the shores of Dalmatia

After passing through a tunnel in the Velebit mountain chain, the "Life Mobile" carrying Our Lady reached Dalmatia, where She was greeted by the blue waters of the Adriatic.  With a police escort, the Icon arrived at noon in Bibinje, near Zadar.  After an especially heartfelt greeting, the Icon was brought solemnly into the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The pastor, Rev. Emil Blaver, who is responsible for the Family Ministries in the Archdiocese of Zadar, led the prayers. The veneration lasted several hours, during which the faithful drew near the Icon with great love and emotion to honor the Blessed Mother.

Later that afternoon, Our Lady came to Šibenik, the oldest city on the Adriatic inhabited by indigenous peoples.  The Icon was carried in a solemn procession to the 15th century stone cathedral of St. James, listed as UNESCO cultural heritage site.  During the procession, the so-called klapa choir sang the "Mornari" (Sailors).  Klapa is the Croatian name of a traditional Dalmatian group that sings "a capella".  Our Blessed Mother was welcomed and ceremoniously brought into the cathedral by Bishop Ante Ivas, the Ordinary of Šibenik, accompanied by a large crowd of the faithful.  Assisted by several diocesan priests, the bishop celebrated Mass in the afternoon.  Bishop Ivas also gave the homily, during which he reminded the faithful that the Diocese of Šibenik is the home of the oldest icon of Our Blessed Mother and the oldest written prayer to Our Lady, adding that people here have always honored Mary. He also noted that the visit of the Black Madonna took place during the St. Michael Novena (Feast of St. Michael is on September 29th).  St. Michael the Archangel is the great Patron Saint of Šibenik.  During the Liturgy, a young man gave personal testimony and publicly stated his conviction that he is being called by God to the priesthood.   Bishop Ivas asked the gathered faithful to pray for vocations.   At the end, the Act of Entrusting the Protection of the Civilization of Life and Love to Our Blessed Mother was renewed, and also written on prayer cards prepared by the Croatian Alliance for Life "CRO-VITA."

Fr. Krešimir Mateša, the pastor of the cathedral in Šibenik, continued the veneration. Many people stayed for individual prayers before the Icon, while the youth promptly moved to the center of town where they marched in candle-light procession praying for the needs of their city and the diocese.