The Black Madonna 
of Czestochowa

Queen of Poland

Czestochowa, Poland (1382)

 

Feast Day August 26

The Black Madonna was painted by St. Luke the Evangelist; and it was while painting the picture, Mary told him about the life of Jesus, which he later incorporated into his gospel. The next time we hear of the painting is in 326 A.D. when St. Helen found it in Jerusalem and gave it to her son and had a shrine built for it in Constantinople. During a battle, the picture was placed on the walls of the city, and the enemy army fled. Our Lady saved the city from destruction. The picture was owned by many other people until 1382 when invading Tartars attacked a Prince Ladislaus' fortress, where the painting was located. A Tartar's arrow lodged into through the throat of the Madonna. The Prince transfered the painting to a church in Czestochowa, Poland.

In 1430, the church was invaded and a looter struck the painting two times with his sword, but before he could strike it another time, he fell to the ground in agony and pain, and died. The sword cuts and the arrow wound are still visible on the painting. The miracles worked by Our Lady of Czestochowa seem to occur mainly on a public scale.  During her stay in Constantinople, she is reported to have frightened the besieging Saracens away from the city.  Similarly, in 1655 a small group of Polish defenders was able to drive off a much larger army of Swedish invaders from the sanctuary.  The following year, the Holy Virgin was acclaimed Queen of Poland by King Casimir. 

When the Russians were at Warsaw's gates in 1920, thousands of people walked from Warsaw to Czestochowa to ask the Madonna for help. The Poles defeated the Russians at a battle along the Wisla (or Vistula) River. Today, every school child knows the victory as "The Miracle on the Wisla." During World War II under German occupation, the faithful made pilgrimages as a show of defiance. That spirit deepened during the atheistic years of Soviet-enforced communism. Government attempts to stop the pilgrimages failed.

In the early 1980s, Walesa didn't drape himself in the Polish flag when he was leading the outlawed Solidarity movement; he placed an Our Lady of Czestochowa lapel pin on his jacket. Poles knew it to be a subversive message. Pope John Paul II, a native son of Poland, prayed before the Madonna during his historic visit in 1979, several months after his election to the Chair of Peter.  The Pope made another visit to Our Lady of Czestochowa in 1983 and again in 1991.

Why is She Black?

There have been reports for centuries of miraculous events such as spontaneous healings occuring to those who made a pilgrimage to the portrait. It is known as the 'Black Madonna" because of the soot residue that discolors the painting. The soot is the result of centuries of votive lights and candles burning in front of the painting. With the decline of communism in Poland, pilgrimages to the Black Madonna have increased dramatically.

 

The Song: "Black Madonna"

There is a recess on this earth,
Where everybody wants to come back,
Where reigns Her face,
On the face - two cut scratches,
Eyesight has sorrowful, anxious,
Like She wanted to ask you,
You to entrust yourself to Her protection.

Madonna, Black Madonna,
How it is good to be Your child,
O, allow, Black Madonna,
To be hidden in Your arms.

In Her arms you will find peace
And you will be protected from evil,
Because for all Her children,
She has loving heart
And She will protect you,
When you give Her your heart,
When you will repeat these words:

Madonna, Black Madonna,
How it is good to be Your child,
O, allow, Black Madonna,
To be hidden in Your arms.

Today, when trouble is around of us,
Where a person can hide himself (herself),
Where a person should go,
If not to the Mother who will give consolation.
So, we are beseeching, o Madonna,
Direct eyesight on Your children
And hear, when we are singing, asking You:

Madonna, Black Madonna,
How it is good to be Your child,
O, allow, Black Madonna,
To be hidden in Your arms.


 A prayer to Our Lady of Czestochowa

O Mary, our dear Lady of Czestochowa, look graciously upon your children in this troubled and sinful world Embrace us all in your loving and Motherly protection. Protect our young from godless ways; assist our dear ones grown old with age to prepare for their journey home; shield our defenceless unborn from the horrors of abortion, and be our strength against all sin. Spare your children from all hatred, discrimination and war. Fill our hearts, our homes and our world with that peace and love which comes only from your Son, whom you so tenderly embrace. O, Queen and Mother, be our comfort and strength!
In Jesus' name we pray.
Amen


 Litany to Our Lady of Czestochowa  

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, hear us.
Christ,
graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the World,
have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.
Holy Mary,
pray for us.
Mother of God and our Mother,
pray for us.
Mother of those who place their hope God's providence,
pray for us.
Mother of those who are deceived,
pray for us.
Mother of those who are betrayed,
pray for us.
Mother of those who are arrested in the night,
pray for us.
Mother of those who are imprisoned,
pray for us.
Mother of those who suffer from the cold,
pray for us.
Mother of those who live in fear,
pray for us.
Mother of those who were subjected to interrogations,
pray for us.
Mother of those who are subjected to interrogations,
pray for us.
Mother of those innocents who have been condemned, pray for us.
Mother of those who speak the truth,
pray for us.
Mother of those who cannot be corrupted,
pray for us.
Mother of those who resist evil and tyranny,
pray for us.
Mother of orphans,
pray for us.
Mother of those who have been attacked or taunted because they wore thy image,
pray for us.
Mother of those who are forced to sign declarations contrary to their conscience,
pray for us.
Mother of mothers who weep,
pray for us.
Mother of fathers who have been so deeply saddened,
pray for us.
Mother of suffering Poland,
pray for us.
Mother of always faithful Poland,
pray for us.
We beg thee, O Mother in whom resides the hope of millions of people,
grant us to live in liberty and in truth, in fidelity to thee and to thy Son.
Amen.

 

Additional information about the
miraculous painting and Czestochowa

The Sanctuary in Częstochowa:

www.jasnagora.pl      (information about the painting, about history etc.)
www.jasnagora.com  (information for the press)
both information will be in several foreign languages

Jasna Góra:

It is a Name of the hill in Częstochowa. Polish people say:
- the Holy Mother of Częstochowa, or
- Lady of Jasna Góra or
- the Black Madonna.
 

The Holy Mass in Jasna Góra (Częstochowa):

Kaplica Cudownego Obrazu (The Chapel of the Miraculous Painting):
Tel./Fax: (48-34) 365-17-42.

Polish people sing:

Mary, the Queen of Poland,
I am by Your side, I remember,
I am by Your side, I am staying up.

Polish version:

Maryjo, Królowo Polski,
Jestem przy Tobie, pamiętam,
Jestem przy Tobie, czuwam, czuwam.

People can hear this song at 21.00 at Radio: UKF-FM 100,6 MHz or www.radiojasnagora.pl
It is called Jasna Góra Appeal (Apel Jasnogórski).
It is also possible hear Bogurodzica – The first Hymn of Poland devoted to the Holy Mother.

Information, placed on the official website of Częstochowa (Jasna Góra):
- tradition – legend says that painting was painted by Saint Luke Evangelist on the board of the table at which the Holy Family ate.
- the Jasna Góra painting was painted in XIII century,
- it is a typical painting for Byzantine tradition, it is an Icon called Hodegetria. Hodegetria – means – this person, who leads.
- The Face of the Madonna is brown (like honey), because this style is typical for painting of icons and because of varnish.

The size of the painting is: 122,2 cm x 82,2 cm x 3,5 cm.

 

 

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