Replica of revered icon at St. Peter Parish Sept. 29

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St. Peter Church in Merchantville will welcome the “Black Madonna,” an icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, on Sunday, Sept. 29, from 7:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
The icon, a replica of the famous “Black Madonna” of Czestochowa, has traveled from the Pacific coast of Russia throughout Russia, as part of the Ocean to Ocean pilgrimage of Human Life International, as part of an effort to promote the defense of life.
Since the summer of 2012, the icon has traveled over 40,000 miles, while being seen by millions of Catholic and Orthodox faithful.
“This will be a wonderful opportunity for us to reaffirm our uncompromising resolve to defend human life from conception to natural death,” said Father Anthony J. Manuppella, pastor of St. Peter Parish.
“We will ask our Holy Mother Mary to help all people have a respect for all human life, for human life reflects the image and likeness of God himself.”
According to legend, St. Luke painted the icon on a plank from Christ’s family home at Nazareth. The two scars on Mary’s face were cut by Hussite swords 550 years ago.
In 1384, Ladislaus of Opole, a prince of the Jagiellonian dynasty, built a special chapel to house the Black Madonna, entrusting the painting to monks from Hungary’s Pauline order. Records of large pilgrimages date from 1627, when townsfolk from Gliwice came to thank Mary for saving their town from the Danish army.
The picture is so revered that it is kept veiled in silver and is shown only at fixed hours.
For more information on the Ocean to Ocean pilgrimage, visit www.hli.org/oceantoocean. For more information on St. Peter Church, go to www.saintpetermerchantville.com