Feast Our Lady of Czestochowa

An article by Fr Sean Connolly in Catholic World Report on Our Lady of Czestochowa, patroness of Entering Canaan


Ecsm (1)Our Lady of Częstochowa, Patroness of women scarred by abortion

“The Cross, though full of pain and suffering, is the source of the ultimate Mercy of God,” says Theresa Bonopartis, founder and director of Entering Canaan, “It is the place where Jesus suffered for our sins, even the sin of abortion, and brings redemption.”

The most cherished shrine of the Polish people is the Jasna Góra monastery in Częstochowa which has been home to the revered icon of the Black Madonna since it was brought there by Duke Ladislaus II of Opole on August 26, 1382. The history of this icon begins with Saint Luke—an Evangelist not just in the written word but also in the painted image. It is believed that he painted this icon of the Mother and Child during Mary’s lifetime. It was brought from Jerusalem to Constantinople and then was bestowed to the Princess of Ruthenia before Ladislaus of Opole secured it for the Polish people.

The story of the icon is analogous to the story of the Polish people. The Black Madonna, like Poland, has been battered by the Church’s enemies over the years and has the scars to show for it. The icon has been damaged by a Tartar arrow and a Hussite sword slash leaving a scar at Our Lady’s throat and two across her cheek. The Polish people have bore the ravages of war as well, having been subjugated many times over by those who sought to destroy their Catholic faith and culture. Yet against the odds, both the nation of Poland and its cherished icon of the Black Madonna remain today.

During this time of year, from the celebration of the Assumption to the August 26th Feast of Our Lady of Częstochowa, millions of Poles make pilgrimage by foot to venerate the sacred image they believe has protected and preserved their people. That is why a large banner proudly proclaims on the grounds of the Jasna Góra monastery to all who approach: “Here the Heart of the Nation Beats.”

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