As we took the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa[details below] to the vehicle to escort her to Franciscan Healthcare, it was pouring down rain. Father Peter West, of Human Life International, sadly noted that the icon should not be out in such weather. I asked Will Goodman if he thought that, perhaps, Sister Rosalia Bauer, the pro-life FSPA Sister, could find a way for the icon to be brought into the convent chapel if it was raining at Franciscan Healthcare. He said that he would call her.Expose Mayo
The striking icon of Our Lady was then taken to the hospital, where people were waiting to pray. Her icon arrived in the midst of torrential rains. Father West said that the icon could not be taken out of the vehicle, but we could pray a chaplet for Divine Mercy together. Everyone prayed in the rain.
After the chaplet was completed, Father West noted that a large canopy that someone had offered would provide sufficient cover for the icon of Our Lady. Four men carried the canopy over to his vehicle and provided protective cover so that the icon could be taken out. The icon was then carried to Market Street, in front of Franciscan Healthcare.
Father West led the group of approximately 35 people in praying the rosary, seeking Our Lady’s intercession for an end to the hospital’s involvement with abortion in any way. It continued to rain, sometimes very hard, along with thunder and lightning – a theophany, it seemed.
It was a powerful time of prayer. No one cared that we were soaking wet!
But it did not end there. Because of the rain, Sister Rosalia had arranged to have the icon brought indoors, into Saint Rose Convent! Our Lady of Czestochowa was escorted into Mary of the Angels Chapel (the convent chapel) and placed in the sanctuary! Father West was invited to the ambo, where he gave an excellent talk about the worldwide pro-life pilgrimage of the icon and the effort to build a culture that respects human life.
But it did not end there. The icon was then escorted into the Sisters’ perpetual adoration chapel, where the pro-life group spent time in silent prayer.
But it did not end there. Sister Rosalia arranged for the icon to remain in the Sisters’ adoration chapel for the entire night! The icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa is in the center of Saint Rose Convent as I write this message. Our Lady has gone to the heart of this intense spiritual battle.
A side note, the Our Lady of Czestochowa icon is a replica of the original icon said to have been written by St. Luke himself(and hence since St. Luke was a doctor, there is a particular connection to ethical treatment of mothers and the unborn). Human Life International has organized a pilgrimage across the country, and the icon makes it way back through Wisconsin later this month:
-June 13 – St. John the Baptist Church in Marshfield, WIdetails
-June 14-15 – Sacred Heart Church in Polonia, WI
-June 16 Lumen Christi Church in Mequon, WI
-June 17 – Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians at Holy Hill in Hubertus, WI
-June 18 – Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion, WI
-June 19 – Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Monona, WI