Catholic Diocese of Sioux Falls

Poland Welcomes Bishop Swain, Pilgrims

Poland Welcomes Bishop Swain, Pilgrims

Day 1: Bishop Swain prayed the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at St. Stanislaw Kostka parish in Warsaw. This is where Blessed Jerzy Popiełuszko was a Polish Roman Catholic priest. He became associated with the opposition to Solidarity trade unions in communist Poland. Blessed Jerzy was murdered in 1984 by three Communist party agents. People continue a 24/7 prayer vigil at his burial site. The Catholic Community Foundation for Eastern South Dakota facilitated the pilgrimage.

Day 2: Celebrating Mass in Czestochowa at the Paulite Monastery Shrine to the miraculous “Black Madonna,” the most significant Marian Shrine in Poland. Pilgrims Darlene Muth and Joan & Fred DeRouchey pose with the statue of Pope St. John Paul II’s parents.

Day 3: Today is the eve of the 40th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s pontificate. Bishop Swain celebrated Mass directly under the miraculous “Black Madonna” in Czestochowa, which Pope St. John Paul II visited several times as Pope. Tradition holds that St. Luke painted the “Black Madonna” (also referred to as Our Lady of Czestochowa) icon on a wooden table-top made by St. Joseph, which Mary had kept when she moved to Ephesus and lived under the care of St. John the Apostle.

Day 4: On the 40th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s pontificate, Bishop Swain presided at the celebration of Mass in the Chapel of the Immaculate Heart of the Virgin Mary at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima in Krzeptowki, which was built by the mountaineers in gratitude to the Virgin Mary for saving the life of the Pope from an assassination attempt in 1981. Please pray for all of those on pilgrimage.