The Black Madonna -
Matka Boska Czestochowska
Poland's national symbol and its most sacred relic
is the Black Madonna of Czestochowa or in the Polish
language, Matka Boska Czestochowska. Scholars have difficulty
dating the Matka Boska because it was painted over after
it was damaged in 1430. The paint the restorers used,
however, "simply sloughed off the image" said
the writer, Risinius, from the middle ages. The restorers
erased the original Madonna and repainted it.
The image of Matka Boska Czestochowska
The painting is in the typical Eastern Orthodoxy tradition
derived from the Byzantine and Roman empires.
The One Who Shows the Way or Hodegetria - The
Blessed Mother, Mary
is depicted as pointing toward her Son, Jesus
with her right hand. She is dressed in a dark robe with
a fleur de lis pattern.
Jesus as the Salvation for Mankind - Jesus is
pointing outward toward the people looking at the painting.
In His left hand, is a book of gospels.
Our Lady of Czestochowa
The Black Madonna is said to have saved the Jasna Gora
Monastery from a Swedish invasion in the 17th century.
King Jan Kazimierz crowned the Matka Boska, translated
as the Mother of God, as Poland's Queen and Protector
The Czestochowa Shrine
The Black Madonna or Matka Boska Czestochowska has made
the Czestochowa Shrine the most visited in Poland. Many
Catholics travel to there to see the Black Madonna and
make devotions to her. Polish Catholics often wear Matka
Boska jewelry depicting the image of the Black Madonna
as they make their pilgrimage to the Shrine.
The Matka Boska Czestochowska Prayer
This prayer is to be recited each morning when awakening.
It is a prayer of devotion to the Black Madonna. Wearing
a Matka Boska medal while praying to the Madonna, makes
the prayer even more meaningful to Catholics.
Holy Mother of Czestochowa, you are full of grace, goodness
and mercy. I consecrate to you all my thoughts, words
and actions, my soul and body. I humbly beseech your
blessings and especially your prayers for my salvation.
Today I turn myself to you, good mother, totally, with
body and soul amid joy and suffering to obtain for myself
and others your blessings on this earth and eternal
life in heaven. Amen.