Lithuania, August 8, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Russia, the world’s first country to legalize abortion, has now become the springboard for an historic gesture in support of life. On June 15th, in the coastal city of Vladivostok, Eastern Russia, an unprecedented pro-life pilgrimage began, crossing from the Pacific to the Atlantic coasts.
It takes the form of a car rally, the route winding through Europe and passing through the territory of 23 countries: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Austria, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal.
At this moment, the pilgrimage has reached Lithuania, having traversed well over 25,000 kilometers, 30 major cities, and 8 time-zones.
“All this distance we traveled in a specially designed cars with pro-life logos and slogans,” Igor Beloborodov, Russian coordinator for “From Ocean to Ocean”, told LifeSiteNews. “Despite bad weather… sometimes with no sleep and rest, we went to our goal. During this time, our car broke down three times, but with God’s help, we went further… In each city we were joined by more and more people.”
In the cities, the members of the pro-life team prayed for the family and the unborn, participated in TV and radio broadcasts, and conducted master classes for pro-life activists.
The “From Ocean to Ocean” website states that one of goals of the pilgrimage is “to support the countries with pro-life and pro-family legislation—Hungary and Poland, which face aggressive political pressure from the European Parliament and other anti-family institutions.”
According to Beloborodov, “From Ocean to Ocean” has met with support from numerous priests, businessmen, and politicians, including European Parliament members Dr. Anna Záborská and Carlo Casini. Likewise, movie actors and singers have also shown their support, and when the pilgrimage reached Minsk, Russia, on July 18th, famous Russian singer Pelageya and her band gave a concert to celebrate the pilgrimage.
The pilgrims are transporting a copy of “the Black Madonna of Częstochowa”, a revered icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to show support of life and the traditional family.
The pilgrimage will continue for months, as the Częstochowa image makes its way to Fátima, Portugal, near the Atlantic Coast.
Hopefully, after Portugal, the icon will be brought in the U.S. in spring of 2013.
“The geography of the pilgrimage has expanded and encompassed the new continents,” Beloborodov said, explaining that they had initially planned to make the pilgrimage only in Europe, but applications for participation in the campaign have been filed by pro-life groups in the United States, Latin America, Africa, and Australia.
“This global action is joining pro-life activists worldwide,” Beloborodov declared. “This spiritual pro-life and pro-family campaign ‘From Ocean to Ocean’ is our International response to the culture of death.”