Feast of the Black Madonna of Jasna Gora

Black Madonna of Jasna Gora, Feast of the

August 15
The most famous icon in Eastern Europe can be found at the monastery on Jasna Gora, in the city of Czestochowa, Poland. The Czarna Madonna, or Black Madonna, is so called because of the dark complexion in the portrait of the Virgin Mary that, according to legend, was painted by St. Luke on a linden wood tabletop built by the apprentice carpenter, Jesus of Nazareth. Each year on August 15, the feast of the Assumption, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims attend the Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa to seek forgiveness for their sins, recovery from injury or illness, or to offer gratitude for a favor granted. With their rosaries in hand, the pilgrims—some on their knees—climb Jasna Gora, which means the "Hill of Light," to attend mass at the monastery, celebrated above them, on the high monastery walls, by priests in golden chasubles.
More than 80 miracles have been documented at the shrine, which is only one of many dedicated to the Virgin Mary throughout the country. King John II Casimir proclaimed the Virgin Mary to be the Queen of Poland in 1656 after an unlikely victory over the Swedes at Jasna Gora prevented the latter from overrunning the monastery and looting its treasures. Mary is the patron saint of Poland, and Assumption Day is a national holiday.
Polish National Tourist Office
5 Marine View Pl.
Hoboken, NJ 07030
201-420-9910; fax: 201-584-9153
Holidays, Festivals, and Celebrations of the World Dictionary, Fourth Edition. © 2010 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
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