Slovakia warmly greets Our Blessed Mother

On Friday afternoon, on August 31st, the Czestochowa Icon crossed the border between the Czech Republic and Slovakia.  The peregrination in this country will last until September 8th, after which "She" will be transferred over to the Hungarians.  The Orthodox priest, Fr. Libor Serafin Halik, father of a large family, had brought the Icon from Brno, Czech Republic.  At the "Holy Family" church in Bratislava, the parish pastor, Fr. Ján Duc, and the representative of the Slovak pro-life organization "Forum Żivota," Marcela Dobešová, greeted Our Lady in the Czestochowa Icon.  Marcela Dobešová is in charge of the federation of over 30 various pro-life organizations and is currently leading the peregrination "From Ocean to Ocean" in Defense of Life [in Slovakia].  She stated the following, "As lay faithful, we realize that we ourselves cannot win against the attacks of the culture of death.  God's Help is needed and we are begging God for it through the intercession of His Mother, Mary most holy."

The evening Mass at the Holy Family Church in Bratislava was presided over by the Auxiliary Bishop of the Bratislava Diocese, Jozef (Joseph) Haľko.  He reminded the faithful, who were gathered in large numbers, that the Virgin Mary is the Mother of Life.  He said that, "the call to motherhood or fatherhood is God's calling (a vocation) and God's directive [to us]." 

The Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa was also visited by the Bratislava Eparch of the Greek Catholic Church, Father Peter Rusnák.  He stated, "This Icon breathes with God's Presence and the love of the Mother of God."

In the evening, the Icon arrived at the Sacred Heart Parish in Trnava, where Our Lady was greeted by the diocesan administrator, Fr. Ján (John) Orosch, the Pauline Fathers and large numbers of the faithful.  The prayer vigil before the Icon lasted all night long.