February 17, 2014
CONTACT: Sacred Heart Basilica, Syracuse, New York – 315-422-2343 –

Hundreds to Venerate Renowned Religious Icon in SYRACUSE, NY

Syracuse, New York – In a rare traditional religious ceremony, hundreds of Catholics are expected to take part in welcoming the “Black Madonna,” and icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, to Sacred Heart Basilica on March 21, 2014 at 5:30 P.M. 

The icon, a replica of the famous “Black Madonna” of Czestochowa, has traveled from the Pacific coast of Russia, throughout Europe, racking up over 40,000 miles of travel while being seen by millions of Catholic and Orthodox faithful. 

The Ocean to Ocean pilgrimage, an unprecedented effort for the international pro-life movement, is being presented by Human Life International, the world’s largest grassroots pro-life organization, whose European leaders launched the pilgrimage in the summer of 2012. Eventually, the icon will continue throughout the Southern Hemisphere before returning to Poland, where it was “written” and blessed by the ordinary of Czestochowa. 

“This pilgrimage is intended to awaken the faithful about the urgency of defending life from the moment of conception,” said Father Peter West, Vice President of HLI and chairman of the pilgrimage committee. “Hundreds of thousands, in venerating the image, have recommitted to restoring a Culture of Life, while hosting discussions, lectures and contests around the visitation of the icon. Truly, our Blessed Mother, as Mediatrix of all grace, is interceding on our behalf with her Son, the Lord of Life, and we will see a return to respect for life and family.”

“The image of our Lady of Czestochowa is so dear to the hearts of all Polish people and is well known and venerated by the Universal Church, therefore, it is our privilege to host this faithful copy of the miraculous Jasna Gora icon,” Fr. Andrew Baranski (Rector of the Basilica). 

In addition to a special right of welcoming for the icon on March 21, 2014 at Sacred Heart Basilica, Fr. Peter West will also offer a Mass with a special homily followed by Traditional Stations of the Cross. 

This event is free and open to the public. Voluntary donations to support the pilgrimage will be requested. 

For photos and more information on Human Life International’s Ocean to Ocean pilgrimage, visit For more information on the event visit: Events or look us up on the Facebook.