Mark was born on the feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa . Her icon hung on the wall right over where he was born.
(Here is Tony holding him minutes after he was born, you can see Our Lady over his shoulder, the tub where he was born in just in front of Tony!)
I have had a bit of a devotion to Her for a few years now. Tony and the children bought me the icon for Mothers Day earlier this year. We used to live in the inner city, just 2 blocks from St. Adalbert’s church where the children and I walked to daily mass and each Wednesday night we prayed the novena to Our Lady of Czestochowa. (I think we only had 3 children at the time!) We became very close to the wonderful Polish priest there, Fr. Marek. He is the most kind, gentle, and genuine priest you could ever meet.
Well, we moved out of the neighborhood because of too much drug/gang activity. (this was originally a Polish neighborhood, with 2 Catholic churches within 5 blocks of one another to accomodate the Polish Catholic population. It is now your typical inner city. So sad.)
But we continued our friendship with Fr. Marek and our Wednesday devotions.
We decided to call the baby “Mark” instead of “Benedict” because, well, the kids were calling him “Benny” and I REALLY didn’t like that with our last name! So Tony mentioned “Mark” and said something in passing about how much Fr. Marek would like that. We wanted to keep “Benedict” in there along with his twin in heaven that we call “Scholastica Grace”.
So fast forward to last night, we decided to go to St. Adalberts for mass and novena to Our Lady of Czestochowa, and introduce Mark to Fr. Marek, his namesake! 🙂 I was walking in the back with two babies before mass began. Fr. Marek came out of the confessional and saw Tony and the kids in the front pew. (Yes, we are crazy like that!) So he went over and asked him how we were doing and if I had had the baby yet. Tony said “Yes, Mark was born on August 26th!” Fr.’s eyes grew real big and he got a HUGE grin on his face and said “On the Feast of Our Lady!!!!” He was SO thrilled!! He gave me a little wave and asked Nicholas to serve mass.
We were so suprised when just before the final blessing, he invited our entire family to the foot of the altar where he bestowed on me a mothers blessing, and a family blessing on all of us, and asked the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa throughout Mark’s life! 🙂 It was so beautiful and I was so teary-eyed! Tony and I were both very suprised and touched.
The Wednesday mass there is very poorly attended, Tony and I were the youngest adults there by at least 30 years! LOL! But everyone congratulated us and traced the cross on little Mark’s head after mass! It was such a glorious and special evening for us! Thank you Our Lady, for your motherly care and intercession.