Counter-demonstrators repulse assault on Jasna Góra Monastery
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CZĘSTOCHOWA, Poland (ChurchMilitant.com) - Polish Catholics have turned back a gay march on one of the country's holiest sites, Jasna Góra Monastery.
In a deliberate act of provocation, gay activists recently announced that on July 8 they would rally at the shrine — home to the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa, the "Black Madonna" — and "greet" the monks who live there.
But a coalition of Catholic apostolates pushed back. Blasting the march as a sacrilege, they rallied Catholics to come together for a counter-demonstration and a Rosary of reparation for "public promotions of the sin of homosexuality."
Groups like the Youth Crusade, the Pro-Right to Life Foundation, the National-Radical Camp of Częstochowa, the Right of the Polish Republic and the Catholic Families Association of the Archdiocese of Częstochowa urged Catholics to band together to defend the Faith and their families against what they call homo-propaganda and the Culture of Death.
They warned that the activist provocateurs represent "a civilization of death whose sole purpose is to destroy the world as we know it."
Faithful Catholics barred the activists from reaching the monastery by sitting down in the road and praying a Rosary of reparation.
Several hundred gay activists began the trek to Jasna Góra at 11 a.m. local time, but by noon, their march ground to a halt.
Faithful Catholics barred the activists from reaching the monastery by sitting down in the road and praying a Rosary of reparation. Owing to the strength of the counter-protests, police moved in and disbanded the gay activists.
Though celebrating their victory, counter-demonstrators remain wary, recognizing the activists are likely to return at some point in the future.
Meanwhile, another controversy has erupted in the wake of the march. Planners sparked a backlash by desecrating the nation's symbols — splashing the Polish coat of arms with various forms of the rainbow flag.
Prosecutions may follow for the rally. After social media erupted in protest over the desecrations, Joachim Brudzinski, head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, announced, "Police officers have reacted and in your case will be a notification to the prosecutor's office for insulting and desecration of national symbols."
Jasna Góra is especially beloved among Polish Catholics, as it is home to the Black Madonna, a painting depicting the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus. Tradition holds that it was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist, and the wood he painted on came from the Holy Family's home in Nazareth.
The image has been kept for centuries at Jasna Góra, a monastery outside the town of Częstochowa in Poland. It is one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in the universal Church, attracting faithful from around the world.
Pope Clement XI bestowed a canonical coronation for Our Lady of Częstochowa on Sept. 8, 1717. To commemorate the 300th anniversary of the coronation, Poland's government declared 2017 a Jubilee Year in honor of the sacred image of Our Lady of Częstochowa.