Today is the feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

Today, August 26  is the feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa.  I was fortunate to be able to twice visit the monastery of Jasna Góra in Poland where her image can be found.




The Monastery is the third largest pilgrimage site in the world as it is believed that the icon of the Madonna and child  is very miraculous.  According to tradition, it is St. Luke who painted the image either on a wood made by Jesus himself or part of the Last Supper table.  It was St. Helena who discovered the image and brought it to Constantinople.
Let me quote part of its history from Sacred Destinations:

History first combines with tradition upon the icon’s arrival in Poland in 1382 with a Polish army fleeing the Tartars, who had struck it with an arrow.

Legend has it that during the looting of Belz, a mysterious cloud enveloped the chapel containing the image. A monastery was founded in Częstochowa to enshrine the icon in 1386, and soon King Jagiello built a cathedral around the chapel containing the icon.

However, the image soon came under attack once again. In 1430, Hussites (pre-Reformation reformers) attacked the monastery, slashed the Virgin’s face with a sword, and left it desecrated in a puddle of blood and mud.

It is said that when the monks pulled the icon from the mud, a miraculous fountain appeared, which they used to clean the painting. The icon was repainted in Krakow, but both the arrow mark and the gashes from the sword were left and remain clearly visible today.

The miracle for which the Black Madonna of Częstochowa is most famous occurred in 1655, when Swedish troops were about to invade Częstochowa. A group of Polish soldiers prayed fervently before the icon for deliverance, and the enemy retreated. In 1656, King John Casimir declared Our Lady of Częstochowa “Queen of Poland” and made the city the spiritual capital of the nation.

The Virgin again came to the aid of her people in 1920, when the Soviet Russian Red Army gathered on the banks of the Vistula River, preparing to attack Warsaw. The citizens and soldiers fervently prayed to Our Lady of Częstochowa, and on September 15, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, she appeared in the clouds above Warsaw. The Russians were defeated in a series of battles later dubbed the “Miracle at the Vistula.”

Pope John Paul II, a native of Poland is a great devotee of Our Lady of  Czestochowa.
Prayer to Our Lady of Czestochowa
Holy Mother of Czestochowa, thou art full of grace, goodness and mercy. I consecrate to thee all my thoughts, words and actions -my soul and body. I beseech thy blessings and especially prayers for my salvation. Today, I consecrate myself to thee, Good Mother, totally -with body and soul amid joy and sufferings to obtain for myself and others Thy blessings on this earth and eternal life in Heaven. Amen.

I bought a tiny image of Our Lady which plays her ballad. I kept looking for this music online and finally I found it. I still remember the priest going around near the altar in this video.  He is the parish priest of the monastery and used to guide us around during our pilgrimage.




Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s