Solemnity of Our Lady of Jasna Gora
26 August 



On Wednesday 26 August 2 Masses will be celebrated in our Parish for the Solemnity of Our Lady of Jasna Gora “Black Madonna”: 
† 7:00 am at St. Therese Church Fairfield West and at 
† 7:00 pm at St Benedict’s Smithfield Wednesday evening


A Brief History of the Image of Częstochowa 
The Black Madonna of Częstochowa, also known as Our Lady of Częstochowa, is a revered icon of the Virgin Mary housed at the Jasna Gora Monastery in CzęstochowaPoland. Several Pontiffs have recognised the venerated icon, beginning with Pope Clement XI who issued a Canonical Coronation to the image on  the 8th of September 1717. 

The four-foot-high painting displays a traditional composition well known in the icons of Eastern Christians. The Virgin Mary is shown as the “Hodegetria” (“One Who Shows the Way”). In it the Virgin directs attention away from herself, gesturing with her right hand toward Jesus as the source of salvation. In turn, the child extends his right hand toward the viewer in blessing while holding a book of gospels in his left hand. 

The Icon has a fascinating history. Tradition holds that St. Luke the Evangelist himself “wrote” the icon on a cypress table in the home of the Holy Family. St Helen is said to have located the icon during her visit to the Holy Land and to have brought it to Constantinople in the fourth century. 

Eventually it came into the possession of Władysław Opolczyk, Duke of Opole, and adviser to Louis of Anjou, King of Poland, and Hungary. A popular story tells that in late August 1384, Ladislaus was passing Częstochowa with the picture when his horses refused to go on. He was advised in a dream to leave the icon at Jasna Gora. 

In 1430, the church was invaded, and a looter struck the painting two times with his sword, but before he could strike it another time, he fell to the ground in agony and pain, and died. The sword cuts and the arrow wounds are still visible on the painting. 

The miracles worked by Our Lady of Częstochowa are many. During her stay in Constantinople, she is reported to have frightened the besieging Saracens away from the city. Similarly, in 1655 a small group of Polish defenders were able to drive off a large army of Swedish invaders away from the Sanctuary. 

In 1920, when the Russians were at Warsaw’s gates, thousands of people walked from Warsaw to Częstochowa to ask the Madonna for help. The Poles defeated the Russian battle along the Wisla (or Vistula) River. Today this victory is known as “The Miracle on the Wisla”. 

During World War II, the faithful made pilgrimages as a sign of defiance and this deepened their spirit during the atheistic years. Also, Saint Pope John Paul II prayed before the Madonna during his many historic visits to Częstochowa. 

Why is the ‘Madonna’ black? 
The Portrait of “Jasna Gora” is known as the “Black Madonna” due to the residue of soot that has discoloured the painting. This ‘soot’ has resulted from centuries of candles and votive lights that have been burning in front of the painting. 

Over the years, Pilgrimages to the Black Madonna have increased dramatically. Jasna Gora is the name of a hill in Częstochowa, which means ‘luminous mount’. 


O Mother of the Divine Infant in your arms, through your sacred image in Częstochowa you remind us of the constant presence of your Son and of your own motherly solicitude as a source of strength and courage in our daily trials, difficulties and labours. 

We praise you and we love you. 

O Queen, whose image bears the scars of enemy attacks, you are to us a sign of hope, unity and victory. 


Daily Consecration to Our Lady of Jasna Gora (to be said each day) 

Holy Mother of Jasna Gora, 

Mediatrix of all graces, you are full of grace, goodness, and mercy. I consecrate to you all my thoughts, words and actions, my soul and body. I ask your help and especially your prayers for my salvation. Today I consecrate myself to you, Holy Mother, totally, with body and soul amid joys and sufferings to obtain for myself and others your help on this earth and eternal life in heaven. Amen. 

Make Petition(s) …………… 

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided. 

Inspired with this confidence we fly to you, O Virgin of virgins, our Mother. To you we come, before you we stand, sinful and sorrowful 

O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not our petitions, but in your mercy, hear and answer us. Our Lady of Częstochowa pray for us. 

Recite the Rosary together with your family: ………………