Eucharistic Crusade


Our Lady of Czestochowa
Queen of Poland

Almost 2000 years ago, Our Lady was living in Jerusalem with St. John.  Our Lord gave His mother to St. John at the foot of the Cross, when He said, "Woman behold thy son.  Son behold thy mother".  So after Jesus died, Our Lady moved to the home of St. John.

Our Lady of Czestochowa

According to an old legend, Mary took a few personal belongings with her and a table, which had been used in the home of the holy family.  Our Lady had often sat at this table doing her work.  The tears of sorrow which she so often shed, also fell upon this table!  But there was something else special about this table.  When Jesus lived with Mary and Joseph in Nazareth, St. Joseph taught Him how to be a good carpenter.  In time, Jesus built this very table out of cypress wood.

A group of virgins assisted Mary, and under her guidance, formed the first congregation of women.  These good women begged St. Luke, a good artist, to paint a picture of Our Lady.   Luke loved the Blessed Virgin and agreed to paint her portrait.  Luke painted the picture on the top of the table, which had been used by the holy family.  As he painted, he conversed with Our Lady and gathered facts about the life of the holy family, which later aided him in writing the gospels. 

When Luke was finished his painting of Our Lady, she looked at it. Mary wanted all people to have a living memory of her, so she caused the beauty, holiness, and character of her face, to be copied onto the picture!  We can never thank God enough for all the holy images.

Many of the faithful visited the home of St. John, because they wanted to see Mary.  Other Christians, who were not able to visit Jerusalem, were partially satisfied to have the holy image of Our Lady, painted by St. Luke.  The faithful passed this picture on from person to person, so that as many as possible could see what Mary looked like.

Cestius Gallus, the President of Syria, arrived in Jerusalem on October 30, 66 A.D., with an army of soldiers, and tried to invade the city.  The Christians then remembered Christ's prophecies: St. Luke 19, vs 43 & 44: "For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round and straiten thee on every side, and beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee.  And they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation."

In all haste, the Christians fled from the city of Jerusalem, led by their Bishop, St. Simeon, and hid in the hills, near a town called Pella.  They carried the precious picture of Our Lady with them, and kept it safe from harm.  For the first three centuries, the faithful passed this picture on to one another, and kept it hidden in underground places.

In the year 325 A.D., St. Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, went to Jerusalem in search of the holy picture of Mary.  With God's help, she located the congregation of virgins, which had been started by the Blessed Virgin, and who were taking care of the beautiful image of Mary.  St. Helena took this painting, as well as many other relics from the Holy Land, to her son Constantine.  Later, in a city near his palace, he built a beautiful church in honour of Our Lady.  He placed the painting of the Blessed Virgin in the church.  He called the city New Rome, and made Our Lady, the patroness of the city.



Very soon, the picture became famous throughout the city, because of the special graces that people received when they prayed before the image.  The future rulers of Constantinople also had a great devotion to the Mother of God.  When the Saracen tribes made war on the city, some of the senators and important citizens carried the image of Our Lady through the streets of the city.  The Saracens, seeing this, were terribly frightened, and fled from the city.  Our Lady had saved Constantinople!  And this is the Legend of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

During his reign, Emperor Izauryn of Constantinople, stirred up the people and caused them to have a bitter hatred of holy objects.  As a result, many religious objects were destroyed by fire, but not the holy image of Our Lady.  During these terrible times, the image was kept hidden in the palace, by the Emperor's wife and daughter, who remained faithful to the Catholic Church.  Empress Irene passed the picture of Mary on to the next Empress, and Empress after Empress, passed the picture on to each other, for the space of 500 years!

The image of Mary was carried from one country to another.  It went from Constantinople to Halicia.  Russian royalty married with royalty from Constantinople, and later with Polish royalty.  The sacred picture of Our Lady, was given as a dowry, to the royal ladies who married. In this way the Catholic faith spread through Bulgaria, Moravia, Czecheslovakia, and finally to the Castle of Belz, in Russia.

During the reign of Casmir the Great, King of Poland (1333-1370), the Ukraine was added to the kingdom of Poland.  A relative of the king, St. Ladislaus of Hungary, was appointed to the district of Red, Russia.  When he ascended the throne, he was forced to fight and recapture all the castles from the Russian Lords.  After he captured the castle of Belz, with great pomp and ceremony, he had the miraculous picture of Our Lady placed in a special chapel. 

Soon after, the castle of Belz was attacked by the Tartars.  During the battle, an arrow was shot through one of the chapel windows.  It hit the sacred painting of Our Lady, making a scar on her throat.  The Tartars continued to attack the castle, so Prince Ladislaus decided to carry the miraculous image to the town of Opala.  During the month of August, 1382, as he reached the town of Czestochowa, night came upon him.  St Ladislaus then placed the holy picture of Mary in the chapel of Our Lady of the Assumption, and retired for the night.

On the following morning, the painting was placed in a carriage, and the prince was on his way.  Well at least he thought he was on his way, but the carriage would not move.  The horses could not move the carriage even one, single, inch.  St. Ladislaus then fell on his knees before the sacred image of Mary, and prayed, "What shall I do with your image, dear Mother?  Please guide me in this matter, because it seems that you do not want me to take your image, away from this spot."  The prince then stayed in Czestochowa, and continued to beg Our Lady to answer his prayer.

Soon his prayers were answered.  Twice in a dream, Ladislaus was told to leave the miraculous picture of Mary, on Jasna Gora (Bright Hill), in Czestochowa.  So on August 26, 1382, he carried the picture in procession, back to the little church of Our Lady of the Assumption.

He then signed a document, ordering a church and monastery to be built on the hill of Jasna Gora.  St. Ladislaus loved Our Lady very much, so he paid for the construction of these buildings with his own money.  But that is not all.  He brought in some Pauline monks from Hungary, to look after the miraculous image.  At that time, these monks were thought to be the most pious and religious, in all of Europe!  Ladislaus wanted nothing but the best for Our Lady's shrine.

The Pauline monks truly loved Our Lady, and took great care of the shrine.   They encouraged the town’s people and pilgrims to have great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.  And Mary blessed these people who came, giving them many, many, graces.

Things went well for a long time, but in the year 1430, some Hussite heretics ransacked Our Lady's shrine at Jasna Gora, stealing numerous items from the sanctuary.  They also stole the beautiful picture of Mary, and threw it on a wagon with their other loot.  They raced off, but after only a short distance, the horses suddenly came to a dead stop.  These dreadful Hussites then remembered that this same type of thing had happened, when the picture of Our Lady was first brought to Jasna Gora.

The Hussites were furious!  Taking the sacred picture of Our Lady, they smashed it on the ground, breaking it into three pieces!  Then one of the heretics flew into a rage, drew his sword, and raised his arm.  Slash!  He struck the cheek of Our Lady on the holy image!  Slash!  He struck the cheek of Our Lady again!  But the third time he went to strike the holy image of Mary; he froze on the spot, dropped to the ground in agony, and died a horrible death! 

God would not stand by, to see a sacred picture of His dear mother, handled in such a manner!  It is obvious that Our Lord wants us to remember, if you insult His mother in word or action, you are in deep trouble; that is of course, if you are not sorry for what you did!

Many artists have tried to repair the wound from the arrow and the sword slashes, on the miraculous picture of Our Lady.  But it doesn't matter how many times they have tried, the wounds always reappear.

In 1655, the miraculous picture of the Blessed Virgin was again, in danger of being destroyed.  12,000 hostile Swedish soldiers came face to face with 300 men who were guarding the sanctuary of Our Lady.  The poor men were out-numbered by far, but Our Lady was with them and she helped them succeed in fighting off the enemy.  The next year, in 1656, the Blessed Virgin was proclaimed, Queen of Poland.

Centurys passed and on September 14, 1920, the Russian army assembled on the banks of the River Vistula.  When the Polish people saw the Russians preparing to attack Warsaw, they had recourse to Our Lady of Czestochowa.  The next day a beautiful miracle took place.  The image of Our Lady appeared in the clouds over the city of Warsaw, and the terrified Russians, fled the scene!

The Blessed Virgin continues to protect her faithful, Polish people.  Even though they have had to struggle against enemies such as German Nazi's and Communists, over the past few years, the Poles continue to pray to Our Lady for help.  And Mary will continue to be Poland's Mother and Our Mother, until the end of the world.

Today, the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa is very dark; it looks almost black.  But this is easy to understand because over the years, thousands of candles have burned before this image.  The black smoke from candles, and dust, gradually discolours any picture or statue that is near them.  Also, remember that the picture is almost 2000 years old; was handled and kissed by many people in the past, and it was not always in the best of weather conditions.

The miraculous picture of Our Lady of Czestochowa, has two dress like coverings.  One is made up of precious jewels and the other is made up of beautifully coloured beads.  The jeweled dress is priceless, because it is made up of expensive jewels, donated by the wealthy families of Poland.  The second covering is not very expensive, but it is very special, because it was lovingly made by the peasant women of Poland.  At one time there was another lovely dress, made of beautiful pearls, but in 1909, it was snatched off the altar by some thief.  A movement was then started, to make a silver dress for Our Lady, to replace the stolen treasure.

The crown of gold, which today decorates the miraculous image of Our Lady, was a gift of Pope St. Pius X.  He sent it as a loving Father, because he loved the Polish people and wanted to comfort them in their sufferings.  The crown before this one, was given as a gift by Pope Clement XI, in 1717.  But sad to say, in 1909, it was stolen at the same time, by the wicked thief who stole the pearl dress!


Miracles of Our Lady of Czestochowa

Loads of miracles have been worked by Our Lady of Czestochowa over the years.  Mary is very powerful.  She is the Queen of Heaven, and she will help anyone who calls on her.

One of the most famous miracles that ever took place was when Our Lady brought three dead people back to life.  In 1540, in Lublin, Poland, a baker named Marcin, went to town to buy some things.  His wife stayed home to bake some bread and look after their two little boys.  She ran short of yeast, left the two boys alone and went to borrow some yeast from her neighbour.

Piotrus, the older of the two, accidentally cut his baby brother with a knife.  Realizing that something terrible had happened, he hid in the huge oven, left open by his mother.  Soon the mother returned to the quiet house.  She started a fire in the oven and went on with her baking. 

Suddenly she heard the cries of her poor child, coming from the oven.  She hurried to pull him out, but the boy was already dead.  She then noticed her dead, little Kazio.  All this was too much for the poor woman, and she went crazy, pulling out her hair and tearing her clothes.

When the Marcin returned home, he saw the terrible scene and then killed his wife.  When he realized what had happened, he was sorry for what he did.  Though he was terrified, he put his confidence in Our Lady of Czestochowa.  He placed the bodies in the wagon and headed for the shrine on Jasna Gora. 

When Marcin arrived, some people helped him carry the dead bodies into the church.  He begged the people to pray to Our Lady for his family.  Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was just starting.  In tears the people prayed and sang to Our Lady.  Suddenly, as they sang the beautiful "Magnificat," the three dead bodies came to life and walked into the arms of their joyful husband and father!              

Our Lady of Czestochowa has worked many more miracles.  Perhaps another time, I can tell you about them.  We can never thank God enough for all the holy, miraculous images of Mary.  The Catholic Faith is the only Faith.  Let no Protestant or Heretic refuse this truth, for if they do, they will have to face God and Our Lady on this matter, and I would not like to be in their shoes.        

Love Mary and live forever.      


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