Where: Jasna Gora Monastery, Czestochowa, South Poland
Happenings: Pilgrimage to Catholic miracle shrine
The Black Madonna, Poland’s most important icon, lived in Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, Southern Poland. During every August, tens of thousands of people journey to Jasna Gora, some walking hundreds of miles to pay their respects to her.
The miracle working protectress of the Polish people is a small painting of the Virgin Mary on a wooden panel that has been hung on the same spot since 1384. The origins of the shine are unknown, but her healing powers are attested by the offerings which line the walls of the chapel, gifts from grateful pilgrims whom she has cured.
Orthodox Christians are also aware of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa and similarly venerate her. The icon is popular in Ukraine and Belarus as former parts of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Russia. Moreover, this icon has an Orthodox origin, but Polish historians have found out it has been repainted at least twice and there is almost nothing left of the previous Byzantine manner of painting. Ukrainians have a special devotion for the Madonna of Częstochowa. The icon is often mentioned in Ukrainian folk songs from the 16th and 17th centuries.
By Jess Halliday