Outside the city of Quito, in the parish of Tumbaco, there is a retreat house for the elder sisters of the Congregation of Divine Providence. The Icon arrived on Sunday night and stayed for three days.
There are 15 sisters and 2 lay people living in the retreat house, most of them over 70 years old, although the oldest of them is 92 years old. The charisma of the sisters is their educational and apostolic mission, remembering their founder, Blessed Juan Martin Moyë who fought tirelessly for education and the inclusion of girls.
For Sister Patricia Villacres, mother superior in charge of the house, this event was a surprise of great joy, because they did not expect an Icon of such great importance and size. "We had arranged a space for Her with flowers in our little chapel, but when we realized the size, we had to take out the statue we have of Saint Joseph. It was great to know that this Icon is traveling around the world in defense of life and that it comes from Poland", she said.
As soon as the Icon arrived, they set themselves the goal of not leaving Our Mother alone, so they rotated every hour to accompany Her. They creatively placed a sign on the front door inviting the neighbors who came with curiosity to see the Icon. Every day the Holy Mass was celebrated and the holy rosary was recited for the unity of the Christians, the respect for human life and the sanctity of the family.
Sister Patricia indicates that they were very impressed by the cuts that the Icon presents on her face, "the images of the Virgin to which we are accustomed to are not like that; our patroness, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, does not have such a sad face, so it hurt us to see this face hurt", she said. This was a good time to reflect on abandonment and trust in God.
"The Icon practically filled the entire chapel, and I thought of the people of Poland, who must have suffered a lot during the wars. We have got rid of wars, but we are still tied to sin. We destroy life, something so precious that God has given us, and we do not value that we are his children. Young people get married without much affect and families do not last. But we can always find relief in Our Heavenly Mother, whatever the dedication may be, so that She takes us into the arms of her Son", said Sister Patricia.