Days before the Aug. 15 feast of the Assumption, hundreds walked from St. Adalbert Church in Philadelphia to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, joining more than 3,000 fellow pilgrims from New Jersey.
(Related: Read our full coverage of the pilgrimage, including an interview with Marian scholar Father Marek Chmielewski, and watch a video of the pilgrims as they journeyed to the shrine.)
Now in its 18th year, the three-day trek is a beloved, prayerful tradition that organizers are hoping to expand in the coming decades.
(All photos by Gina Christian and Sarah Webb.)
Pilgrims depart from St. Adalbert Church in Philadelphia for a 35-mile walking pilgrimage to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Aug. 9. Now in its 18th year, the event drew more than 3,000 at its Aug. 11 conclusion, where Philadelphia participants joined fellow pilgrims from central and northern New Jersey.
Members of Nativity B.V.M. Parish in Philadelphia participate in a 35-mile walking pilgrimage from St. Adalbert Church in Philadelphia to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, Aug. 9, 2019. The Second Vatican Council stressed that the church is the “people of God,” one of several aspects of its mysterious and salvific nature. (Photo by Gina Christian)
Pilgrims walking from Philadelphia to the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown enjoyed traditional Polish foods during a stop at St. John Cantius Parish in the Bridesburg section of Philadelphia, Aug. 9.
Youth who had walked in the pilgrimage since childhood served as crossing and safety guards throughout the 35-mile route.
Father James Olson, pastor of Nativity B.V.M. Parish in Philadelphia, joked that the pilgrims “walked fast.”
(Left to right) Father James Olson, Father Joseph Watson and Father Brian Connolly chat with pilgrims during a rest stop at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Warminster.
Alexander Szymanski and his father Eugene were all smiles during a pilgrimage rest stop at Nativity of Our Lord Parish in Warminster.
Jagoda Szanc of St. John Cantius Parish has walked the pilgrimage route every year since its inception.
Maria Koleda, one of the pilgrimage coordinators, displays the basket of petitions that was carried along the route and placed on the altar at each Mass.
An estimated 3,000 pilgrims from Philadelphia and New Jersey converged at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa for an Aug. 11 Mass that concluded their weekend journey. (Sarah Webb)
Pilgrims kneel before a statue of St. John Paul II prior to an Aug. 11 Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown. The liturgy concluded a weekend walking pilgrimage that drew participants from throughout the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, as well as parishes in central and northern New Jersey. (Sarah Webb)
Pilgrims from Philadelphia kneel upon entering the main church of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Aug. 11. (Sarah Webb)
A woman holds an image of Our Lady of Czestochowa prior to an Aug. 11 Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown. More than 3,000 pilgrims walked from Philadelphia, central and northern New Jersey to offer prayers and petitions at the liturgy. (Sarah Webb)
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