Married couples from across Europe pray at Marian shrine in Poland

CNA Staff   By CNA Staff


Married couples gather in Częstochowa, Poland, on June 4-5, 2022. Equipes Notre-Dame. / Equipes Notre-Dame. See CNA article for full slideshow.

Czestochowa, Poland, Jun 7, 2022 / 11:55 am (CNA).

Almost 200 married couples from across Europe have gathered at the shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Poland.

The spouses came not only from Poland but also from Ukraine, Belarus, Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, Norway, and Belgium for the June 4-5 pilgrimage led by the Teams of Our Lady.

The pilgrimage to the shrine that houses the revered icon of the “Black Madonna” marked the movement of married spirituality’s 20th anniversary in Poland.

The second day of the pilgrimage, Pentecost Sunday, began with a reflection on the Word of God, followed by a moment of silence in which those present entrusted themselves and the movement to Mary.

Married couples from different countries then spoke, including Viktorija and Dimitrij Demedjuk, who had traveled from Odesa, a port city in war-torn southern Ukraine.

They said they had discerned that they needed to remain in Ukraine because “one can only be free in one’s own country.” They also explained how they offered support to those worst affected by the war.

“We return to Odesa filled with the Holy Spirit, smiles, warmth, peace that we received here,” they said.

The Teams of Our Lady traces its roots back to 1938, when four young couples approached the priest Father Henri Caffarel for guidance in living out their married vocation. The movement grew in France, where it is known as Equipes Notre-Dame, and later around the world, gaining Vatican recognition.

The pilgrimage, whose motto was “Follow Jesus, My Son,” concluded with a Mass celebrated by Father Marek Pluta, the spiritual adviser to members of the organization’s Poland and Central Europe Super-Region.

In his homily, he recalled the words of the Fatima visionary Sister Lúcia: “The final battle between Christ and Satan will concern marriage and the family. But Christ has already won.”

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