Every year in the middle of November, tens of thousands of believers gather in Vilnius for the annual pilgrimage to honor Our Lady of Vilnius in the Gates of Dawn.
The streets are covered with wood, and kept especially clean, as many pilgrims approach the chapel and climb the stairwell to the icon on their knees. For eight days, Masses, prayer services, recitations of the rosary, and communal meditations occur around the clock.
The culmination of the pilgrimage is November 16th , the Feast of the Protection of the Merciful Mother of God.
This year the Vilnius pilgrimage began on Sunday, November 11. Last year at this time we, the parishioners of Our Lady of Vilnius, NYC, were standing in the shadow of closure but still had our basement hall open to gather for Mass and to offer hospitality to our urban pilgrims. We will mark these days by praying to Our Lady, for thanking her for protection and to ask her to intercede and pray with us for the restoration of our home on Broome Street and the preservation of our community.