We are heading in this month’s post for the blessed month of May to a very special place in Poland to visit one of the most renowned “Our Lady of Czestochowa” sanctuary.
“Our Lady of Czestochowa” sanctuary is a place so close to the heart of our dearest Saint John Paul II who entrusted his pontificate to Mary as Our Lady of Czestochowa under the motto of “Totus Tuus” (I am all yours).
On his first trip to Poland in 1979, Pope John Paul II visited the shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa & made a solemn act of consecration to the Virgin Mary. He said, “The call of a son of Poland to the Cathedral of St. Peter contains an evident & strong link with this holy place, with this Shrine of great hope: Totus tuus (“I am all yours”), I had whispered in prayer so many times before this Image” (June 4, 1979).
Located in South central Poland on the Warta river, the icon of “Our Lady of Czestochowa” is kept inside the Monastery of Jasna Gora in the town of Czestochowa. Painted on wood, the icon represents Mary pointing with her right hand & holding Jesus in her left. Over time, the image has darkened due to exposure to devotional candles that is why the beautiful icon is known as the Black Madonna.
It is said that Saint Luke painted the icon on a tablet manufactured by Saint Joseph which Mary kept when she moved to Ephesus. In 988, it came to the possession of Princess Anna, wife of Vladimir of Kiev.
In 1382, Prince Ladislaus Opolszy brought the icon to his castle in Belz. Later on, he decided to transport it to the city of Opala his birthplace, he spent the night in Czestochowa. The next day, the horses carrying the icon refused to move & then Prince Ladislaus decided to leave it in Czestochowa. He entrusted it to the care of the Hungarian monks who lived on Jasna Gora Monastery.
In 1386, King Jagiella (a.k.a. Wladyslaw II) built a more beautiful shrine church for the monastery.
When King John Casimir made his vows in 1656, he enthroned Our Lady of Jasna Gora as Queen of Poland.
Let us offer this consecration prayer of our beloved Saint John Paul II to our Lady of Czestochowa asking her to bless all nations & unite them under the leadership of Jesus Christ!
“LORD OUR GOD, through all the means of knowledge, of mutual respect, of love, of shared collaboration in various fields, may we be able to rediscover gradually the divine plan for the unity into which we should enter and bring everybody in, in order that the one fold of Christ may recognize and live its unity on earth.
Mary, Mother of Unity, teach us constantly the ways that lead to unity.
Mother of Good Counsel, show us always how we are to serve the individual and humanity in every nation, how we are to lead them along the ways of salvation. Show us how we are to protect justice and peace in a world continually threatened on various sides. We entrust to you all the difficult problems of our society – problems that cannot be solved with hatred, war and self-destruction but only by peace, justice and respect for the rights of people and of nations.
Mother of the Church, grant that the Church may enjoy freedom and peace in fulfilling her saving mission and that, to this end, she may become mature with a new maturity of faith and inner unity. Help us to overcome opposition and difficulties. Help us to rediscover the simplicity and dignity of the Christian vocation.
Mother Mary, we entrust all this to you, because you know these problems best and understand them.
We ask this prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen.”
In 1997, our Saint John Paul II made one of his 9 visits to his homeland Poland during which He visited Our Lady of Czestochowa & prayed to Her. Let us pray with Him in Heaven to our Queen:
“Faithful Daughter of the Eternal Father, Temple of the Love that embraces heaven and earth, I entrust to you the service of the Church in the world, a world which so needs love. Mother of God, Mother of the only-begotten Son who gave us as the principle of life, the new commandment of love, help us to become builders of a united world, in which peace triumphs over war, and the civilization of death is replaced by love for life…. May humanity stand firmly with God, to whom belongs the whole world. Mother of Unity and Peace, strengthen the bond of communion within the Church of your Son, enliven ecumenical efforts so that all Christians, by the power of the Holy Spirit, may become one family of sisters and brothers of Jesus Christ, the one Savior of the world yesterday, today and forever (cf. Heb. 13:8). … O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary, accept our trust, strengthen it in our hearts and present it before the face of the one God in the Holy Trinity. Amen.
Help us to become builders of a united world, in which peace triumphs over war, and the civilization of death is replaced by love for life….”
May you have a blessed month of May 💙