On the road with Our Lady this summer!

There are countless sites in the U.S. and around the world where you can honor Our Lady. Do some research, pick a destination, grab your Rosary, and go! 

Summertime. School’s out; days are long; the sun is shining. What a great time to go on pilgrimage!

We can easily forget that our country is home to some truly beautiful shrines, churches, and places of prayer specially dedicated to Our Lady. And yet we shouldn’t let this spiritual wealth continue to go unexplored, unvisited.

Come to Eden Hill
Consider some of the shrines connected to the Marian Fathers, for instance. Here at the beautiful National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, atop the aptly-named Eden Hill, we have various places of prayer that honor Our Lady. Visit the Shrine of the Holy Innocents, for example, and pray before the life-size statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas and the Unborn, and the Star of the New Evangelization. Or go down to the Lourdes grotto and light a candle, asking for Heaven to help you and your loved ones.

Make the spiritual pilgrimage of the Stations of the Cross on Eden Hill, walking with Our Lady to accompany our Lord in His Passion.

Capital ideas
And more: The Marian Fathers have their Scholasticate in Washington, D.C., right near the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. It’s an enormous, gorgeous church, with side altars honoring Our Lady under her many titles, but the whole thing is dedicated to the honor of the Patroness of the Marian Fathers. Indeed, Our Lady under her title “the Immaculate Conception” is the Patroness of the United States of America.

We should be asking Our Lady's intercession every time we see something in our nation’s news and current events that we don’t like, that causes us concern, worry, or fear. We should be turning to Our Lady, the Immaculate Conception, when we pray for the unborn, for the success of the new evangelization leading to a culture of life and a civilization of love. So why not go to our nation’s capital, to the shrine dedicated to our nation’s patroness, and pray for the U.S.A. there?

Miraculous image
If you’re willing to go abroad, consider making a visit to the Marian Fathers’ enormous shrine in Licheń, Poland! Its roots go back to the early 1800s when a dying Polish soldier, fighting for Napoleon in Germany, saw a vision of Our Lady. She reportedly told him to find an image of her and to display it where it could be venerated by the faithful. Upon his recovery and return to Poland, he found the image of Our Lady and placed it in the woods near his home, close to Licheń. Then, in 1850, a local shepherd had a vision of Our Lady while he was pasturing cattle near the image. A Shrine was built eight years later, and the image’s fame grew. 

The Marian Fathers took over the Shrine in 1949. In 1967, on the Feast of the Assumption, Blessed Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski, then Primate of Poland, crowned the miraculous image of Our Lady of Licheń in the presence of the Ordinary of the Wroclawska Diocese, Bishop Antoni Pawlowski. Many other bishops, hundreds of priests, religious, and about 150,000 lay people attended the ceremony. 

Construction of a new Shrine began in 1994. Pope St. John Paul II came to Licheń on June 6, 1999. On Monday, June 7, at 5 a.m., the miraculous image was moved to a temporary altar in front of the church under construction. Around 8 p.m. the Holy Father came to the basilica, visited it, and then celebrated the service, during which he blessed the church under construction and the pilgrims gathered in the square. On June 12, 2004, the Apostolic Nuncio to Poland, Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk, consecrated the new Shrine of Our Lady of Licheń.

There are countless other sites in the U.S. and around the world where you can honor Our Lady, whether that be an image of Our Lady at your parish church or one of the great international shrines like Licheń. Do some research, pick a destination, grab your Rosary, and go! 

Have a blessed summer with Our Lady!
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IMLT

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