Our Lady of Czestochowa


Our Lady of Czestochowa

The Virgin of Jasna Góra

Browse Pilgrimage to Poland

We did not think it possible for anyone to show a greater

outpouring of love for Our Lady than the Mexican people, the

first time we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in

Mexico City. There is such a love for Our Lady in that country,

it defies description. We have witnessed the honor and tribute

paid to the Morenita (the Dark One) by people from all walks

of life. From the Pope, to the president of the country, to the

poorest citizen, all pay the greatest respect possible to the

Mother of God, their Mother.

But after having gone to Poland, in particular, the Bright

Hill, as Jasna Góra is called, we stutter trying to describe in

the slightest, the outpouring of emotion given to their Lady,

Our Lady. There’s not a time you go to Czestochowa that it

is not packed with pilgrims. From the youngest to the oldest,

they are in tears as they go before the image of Our Lady,

this most beautiful Mother of theirs. The first time we went,

children who had just received their First Holy Communion

were presented to Our Lady. There had to be three hundred of

them from all over the area. The girls were dressed like little

brides. The boys were dressed in suits. They couldn’t wa

until our host, Fr. Stefan, removed the barrier so that they could

run up and present themselves to Mother Mary. They flocked

around the Altar of the Chapel, where the icon of Our Lady of

Czestochowa waited for them.

We weren’t sure what we wanted to tell you about first.

Should we begin with stories from its magnificent tradition,

which are filled with accounts of major battles won through the

intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa, and of the generals

who dedicated their troops and their battles to Our Lady, who

wore the breastplate of Our Lady as they went into battle, and

then came back after their victories to thank Our Lady, and

give Her complete credit for their conquest?

Or would you like to know about Lech Walesa, who had

been the head of Solidarity, and became the first president

of Poland after the fall of communism? He was originally

in charge of the workers’ union. For organizing the workers

against communism, he was imprisoned by the communists.

When he was released, he lost his job and took on odd jobs,

continuing to fight against communism. He became the leader

of solidarity and was again imprisoned in 1981. In 1982, he

was released and in 1983, he won the Nobel Peace Prize, which

he presented to Our Lady at the Shrine. A very pious man, we

had the privilege of attending a private Mass with him in the

presidential palace.

Or should we begin with the miraculous tradition by which

this painting found its way from a little home in Jerusalem to

Czestochowa, Poland, 1300 years later? Where do you start?

I guess the beginning would be best.

Tradition tells us that St. Luke painted the original image of

Our Lady on a table top in St. Joseph’s workshop in Nazareth.

We truly believe that St. Luke sat at the feet of Mary and listened

to Her tell about the Miraculous Conception and Birth of Our

Lord Jesus. St. Luke is the only one of the four Gospel writers

who describes in detail the events from the Annunciation of the

Angel Gabriel to Our Lady, through the Visitation, the Birth of

Jesus, the Presentation in the Temple, and the Finding of Our

Lord Jesus in the Temple. Where would he have gotten this

information if not sitting at Her feet, listening in awe to this,

the most beautiful Woman the world has ever known?

And why not, while he was listening to Her, could he not

have painted a picture of Her, or drawn a sketch which later

could become a statue of Her (Our Lady of Loreto)? There are

many writings which justify this theory. From the early days,

writers such as Sixtus of Siena and Nicefar (a Roman writer)

both wrote that St. Luke painted the image of Our Lady.

There are literally thousands upon thousands of images of

Our Lady, most of them created through the inspiration of the

Holy Spirit by the hands of mankind (men or women). All are

limited in their ability to capture the beauty of the Mother of

God, except two. One is the image which was painted by the

Divine Artist, brought to earth by the Angels and deposited on

the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico in 1531. This is undoubtedly

the truest image of Our Lady we will ever see. The Artist was

God.

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Bob and Penny Lord are renowned Catholic authors and hosts on EWTN Global Catholic Television Network. Our Ministry is Evangelization through communications. Since 1975, Bob and Penny travelled all over the world to Catholic Shrines and have brought these back in the forms of books, CDs and DVDs.

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