The meaning of the celebration
+ This revered icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary is housed in the monastery of Jasna Gorá in Czestochowa, Poland.
+ The image shows Mary, dressed in robes adorned with fleur-de-lis, directing the viewer’s attention away from herself toward her Son, the Divine Savior, whose right hand is raised in blessing.
+ This icon is part of the tradition of icons of the Virgin Mary known as “Hedgetria” (“She who points the way”).
+ Attributed to Saint Luke the evangelist, the icon was created by an unknown artist. Badly damaged by Hussite raiders in 1430, the icon was restored and is said to have protected the monastery of Jasna Gorá from Swedish soldiers in the 17th century.
+ King John II Casimir Vasa crowned Our Lady of Czestochowa as “Queen and Protector of Poland” in 1656. The image has received special honor and devotion from Pope Clement XI (who issued a canonical coronation of the icon in 1717), Pope Saint Pius X, and Pope Saint John Paul II.
For prayer and reflection
“All generations will call me blessed, for God has looked on his lowly handmaid.”—Luke 1:48
In the United States a shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa is located in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Grant, Lord God, that we, your servants, may rejoice in unfailing health of mind and body, and, through the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever-Virgin, may we be set free from present sorrow and come to enjoy eternal happiness. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.