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WATCH: Poland's Black Madonna is a beacon of hope

Aleteia - published on 07/18/16

Sitting atop a hill in the center of Częstochowa, this ancient icon has been drawing pilgrims for centuries

The icon of the Black Madonna, also known as Our Lady of Częstochowa, has long been revered in Poland. It’s displayed in the city of Częstochowa at the Jasna Góra Monastery, a shrine visited by millions of pilgrims each year. Pope John Paul II was known for having a strong devotion to Our Lady of Częstochowa — in fact, numerous popes have venerated the icon, going back centuries.

The icon of the Black Madonna and Child was written in the Byzantine tradition and a legend credits the holy painting to St. Luke, who was a contemporary of the Virgin Mary. In 1382 the icon was reportedly brought to the hill of Jasna Gora, which means “bright mountain” in Polish and overlooks the city, and a monastery was built there.

As pilgrims prepare to visit Poland for World Youth Day 2016, we turn to Our Lady of Czestochowa to ask her intercession for their protection and well-being:

Our Lady of Czestochowa, Mother of God and our Mother, pray for us. Our Lady of Czestochowa, Mother of those who place their hope in Divine Providence, pray for us. Our Lady of Czestochowa, Mother of those who are deceived, pray for us. Our Lady of Czestochowa, Mother of those who are betrayed, pray for us. Our Lady of Czestochowa, Mother of those who are imprisoned, pray for us. Our Lady of Czestochowa, Mother of those who suffer from cold, pray for us. Our Lady of Czestochowa, Mother of those who are afraid, pray for us. Our Lady of Czestochowa, Mother of the suffering, pray for us. Our Lady of Czestochowa, Mother of the faithful, pray for us. Pray for us, Our Lady of Czestochowa, that we may be worthy of the promises of Christ.
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World Youth Day
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