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The Black Madonna of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland

Updated on August 27, 2016

A Book about the Black Madonna of Czestochowa - And Her Polish Shrine at Jasna Gora

The Feast Day of the Queen of Poland is August 26

What or who is the Black Madonna of Czestochowa? Why is she called "The Queen of Poland?" Why is her feast day on August 26? Why does she appear in so many types of raiment? Why is this painting so beloved by the Polish people and those of Polish descent?

This lens, the result of my upbringing and desire to know more about my heritage, attempts to answer these questions and enlighten the curious about the centuries-old significance of this icon to Poland and Polonia - people of Polish descent who live outside Polish borders.

I grew up in Cleveland, OH descending from grandparents born in Poland in the 19th century and emigrating to the U.S. at the later half of that century. They left a partitioned Poland that was not really an independent Poland. My paternal grandfather always said he left to evade the Czar's army.

My family circle was not fiercely Polish, but I absorbed enough of tradition and culture - especially Roman Catholicism - to have pride in my background. There were icons in my paternal grandmother's home and mostly peasant-style stories about the Black Madonna. As a curious adult, I visited Poland three times (and counting) which included one spectacular day at Jasna Gora, the monastery at Czestochowa which houses the Black Madonna.

Please enjoy the results of my enthusiasm and research. Feel free to leave questions and comments in the guestbook at the end of this lens.

Dziekuje bardzo (Thank you very much!) and Na zdrowie (Cheers!)

Photo: This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain because its copyright, if there ever was one, has expired.

The Icon of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa
The Icon of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa

Guide to the Sanctuary of the Polish Black Madonna

The Icon of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa

Queen of Poland

This miraculous painting of Our Lady, Mother of God, in the style of an icon, is housed at the Jasna Gora (Shining or Luminous Hill) monastery maintained by the Pauline priests and brothers belonging to the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit. The icon is the monastery's most valuable treasure and is housed in the Chapel of the Virgin at the heart of the monastery. The image is painted on a board that measures 81.5 x 121.7 cm (approximately 32 x 48 inches) and shows her and the infant in traditional fleur-de-lys robes (without the jeweled coverings). In this illustration a standing Virgin holding the infant Christ on her left arm.

Tradition says that St. Luke, the Evangelist, painted this icon, it was found by St. Helena, and kept in Constantinople for many centuries. The icon's travels are shrouded in tradition and myth until about the 14th century when it was finally housed at Jasna Gora (Shining Mountain) temporarily in a church and then in a chapel specifically built to display it.

August 26 is the day observed as the Feast Day of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa because it was on this day in 1382 that the icon was placed by Prince ladislaus (Ladislaus) of Belz in the small Church of The Assumption that stood on Jasna Gora.

According to the Jasna Gora Guide, (see Featured Review for this book) no Marian apparitions were ever reported at Jasna Gora which happened in nearly all larger Marian sites worldwide. The power and mystery here which draws more pilgrims each year is the image of the Black Madonna. Descriptions of some of the miracles attributed to the Black Madonna can be found in The Glories of Czestochowa and Jasna Gora. (Several copies of this book are available from private sellers via Amazon.com - links do not work.)

Photo: This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain because its copyright, if there ever was one, has expired.

Closeup of the Black Madonna of Czestohowa
Closeup of the Black Madonna of Czestohowa

Why do the Madonna and Infant have Black Faces?

There are really two answers. The first is based on speculation. Mary was of Jewish origin. So, she had features similar to other women in the ancient land of Palestine including a somewhat dark complexion. However, not so dark as to be black.

Here is where the second answer comes into operation. The portrait because it has existed for so many centuries has been poorly treated while hidden away and unfortunately from those who would venerate it by kissing and touching the icon. Housed in Constantinople where church ritual incorporates lighting vigil candles in front of icons, the Black Madonna was constantly exposed to smoke and dust. Ritual candle lighting and incense burning continued into the early days of the Jasna Gora complex allowing more dust and smoke particles to settle upon the icon.

Restoration of the painting under the direction of the Pauline caretakers took place from November, 1925 to March, 1926. Today, the icon is covered by a silver screen dating from 1673 and this is raised, according to the Jasna Gorna Information Office depending upon the number of visiting pilgrims.

Photo: This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: its copyright, if any, has expired.

More about the Polish Black Madonna

The Icon of Black Madonna of Czestochowa

Dressed in Jeweled Robes and Crowns

Originally, in the middle ages, votive offerings, including expensive jewels, for the Black Madonna were placed, often nailed, directly to the icon. By about 1585, these were removed from the icon and nailed to boards on either side of the altar. By the mid-17th century so many jewels had accumulated that they were placed in patterns and sewn to velvet backings - the beginnings of the Madonna's modern-day dresses or wardrobes. These were named according to the gems and ornaments adorning them.

Only the Diamond and Ruby robes have come down to us. The Jasna Gora Information Center shows photos of six of the customary jeweled robes. According to the Jasna Gora Guide these customary jeweled robes, along with more modern and significant ones, are displayed when not in use, in the Marian Room. This guide also provides some details about these robes as well as the modern ones.

  • Six of the Customary Jeweled Robes
  • I-Brilliant Blue Diamond Dress
  • II-Robe of Fidelity (Mostly rubies)
  • III-1910 Coral Dress
  • IV-Millennium (of Polish Christianity) Dress
  • V-1969 Coral Dress
  • 6th Centenary Coral-Pearl Dress (Made for the jubilee of the 600th anniversary of the presence of the Miraculous Image of Jasna Gora)

  • Examples of Significant Modern Dress
  • Jasna Gora Patroness of the Army Robe (Decorated with military medals)
  • Robe made entirely from seeds
  • Shirt of an interred "Solidarity" activist

The wardrobe covering the icon in the photo is the "Brilliant Diamond Dress" from the seventeenth century, used originally for major celebrations and church holidays.

Photo: This is a faithful photographic reproduction of an original two-dimensional work of art. The work of art itself is in the public domain for the following reason: its copyright, if any, has expired.

Our Lady of Czestochowa - Historical Timeline

The Monastery of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, Poland, is the third-largest Catholic pilgrimage site in the world. It was founded on 9 August 1382, and is home to the beloved miraculous icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the national shrine of Poland, and the center of Polish Catholicism.

  1. Antiquity Tradition says that the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa was painted by the apostle Luke the Evangelist on a tabletop built by Jesus. The icon was discovered by St. Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine and collector of Christian relics in Jerusalem in he Holy Land.
  2. Antiquity Then, according to the legend, the icon was enshrined in the imperial city of Constantinople, where it remained for the next 500 years.
  3. 803 The painting is said to have been given as a wedding gift from the Byzantine emperor to a Greek princess, who married a Ruthenian (area that is known today as Ukraine, Belarus, Russia and eastern Slovakia.) nobleman. The image was then placed in the royal palace at Belz (now a small city in Western Ukraine, near the border with Poland) where it remained.
  4. The 14th Century The Tartars conquered Belz, looteing almost everything--except for the portrait of the Madonna. A mysterious cloud was said to have enveloped the chapel where it was enshrined and it was preserved. Later an angel appeared to Saint ladislaus, the prince of Belz, and told him to take the image to a small village named Czestochowa. After doing so, the saint founded a monastery of Pauline monks there to care for the icon.
  5. 1382 to 1386 The icon arrives in Poland with ladislaus and a Polish army fleeing Tartars who struck the icon with an arrow. .August 26, 1382, a day still observed as the Feast Day of the painting, the icon was placed by ladislaus in the small Church of The Assumption that stood on Jasna Gora. A monastery church was built on Jasna Gora in1386 as a new home for the icon and soon Polish King Jagiello built a cathedral around the chapel containing the icon.
  6. 1430 Hussites (pre-Reformation reformers) attacked the monastery, slashed the Virgin's face with a sword, and left it desecrated in a puddle of blood and mud. Tradition says that when the monks pulled the icon from the mud, a miraculous fountain appeared, which they used to clean the painting. The icon was repainted in Krakow, but both the arrow mark and the gashes from the sword were left and remain clearly visible today.
  7. 1655 to 1656 Swedish troops (the Swedish Deluge) were about to invade Czestochowa. A group of Polish soldiers prayed fervently before the icon for deliverance, and the enemy retreated. King John Casimir declared Our Lady of Czestochowa "Queen of Poland" and made Jasna Gora, Czestochowa the spiritual capital of the nation.
  8. 1717 Pope Clement XI officially recognized the miraculous nature of the image.
  9. 1920 The Russian Red Army gathered on the banks of the Vistula River, preparing to attack Warsaw. The citizens and soldiers fervently prayed to Our Lady of Czestochowa, and on September 15, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, she appeared in the clouds above Warsaw. The Russians were defeated in a series of battles later dubbed the "Miracle at the Vistula."
  10. 1925 Pope Pius XI designated May 3 a feast day to honor the image of the icon.
  11. Nazi Occupation and afterwards In 1945, after Poland was liberated, half a million pilgrims journeyed to Czestochowa to express their gratitude. On September 8, 1946, 1.5 million people gathered at the shrine to rededicate the entire nation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
  12. Cold War Period Jasna Gora became a center of anti-Communist resistance. Pope John Paul II, a native of Poland, was a devotee of the Virgin Mary and of her icon at Czestochowa. As pope, he made pilgrimages to pray before the Black Madonna in 1979, 1983, 1991, and 1997.
  13. May 26, 2006. Pope Benedict XVI visited the shrine.

Czestochowa is home to the Jasna Gora Monastery a place of pilgrimage to the Black Madonna, Queen of Poland

A markerHome of Jasna Gora Monastery and the Black Madonna -
Czestochowa, Poland
get directions

Travel to Czestochowa and Jasna Gora

Jasna Gora at Czestochowa, easily accessible from major cities, is located in south central Poland . There are about six daily fast trains from Warsaw and Krakow, with frequent departures from Katowice, Lodz, Opole and Wroclaw. From the train station, you can take a bus or taxi to the monastery.

Black Madonna (Czarna Madonna) Pilgrimage in Poland - Photos and Commentary: Courtesy of Christopher Wright (xpisto1) via Flickr

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This icon is a copy of the famous Image at Jasna Gora. It was commissioned by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Wyszyski while he was in a communist gaol and later under house arrest in 1953 - 1956.The icon is currently (June 16, 2012) touring Northern Poland in a special van, with police and fire brigade escorts.  Here it is being processed from the open-air Mass at the Capuchin Church in Krynice Morska, on the Baltic. The uniformed men are fiCardinal Wyszyski wanted those who could not afford to go to Czstochowa to be able to venerate the picture and strengthen their Faith under communism.Here the icon is processed through the countryside.  Notice the red, white, gold, and blue streamers of ribbon which formed bunting that stretched for miles along the road.This temporary altar is fashioned like a boat.  The icon will be displayed here after the Mass to celebrate the arrival of the Black Madonna.  Oto Matka Twoja! (Behold thy Mother!) is the message on the blue board.
This icon is a copy of the famous Image at Jasna Gora. It was commissioned by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Wyszyski while he was in a communist gaol and later under house arrest in 1953 - 1956.
This icon is a copy of the famous Image at Jasna Gora. It was commissioned by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Wyszyski while he was in a communist gaol and later under house arrest in 1953 - 1956.
The icon is currently (June 16, 2012) touring Northern Poland in a special van, with police and fire brigade escorts.  Here it is being processed from the open-air Mass at the Capuchin Church in Krynice Morska, on the Baltic. The uniformed men are fi
The icon is currently (June 16, 2012) touring Northern Poland in a special van, with police and fire brigade escorts. Here it is being processed from the open-air Mass at the Capuchin Church in Krynice Morska, on the Baltic. The uniformed men are fi
Cardinal Wyszyski wanted those who could not afford to go to Czstochowa to be able to venerate the picture and strengthen their Faith under communism.
Cardinal Wyszyski wanted those who could not afford to go to Czstochowa to be able to venerate the picture and strengthen their Faith under communism.
Here the icon is processed through the countryside.  Notice the red, white, gold, and blue streamers of ribbon which formed bunting that stretched for miles along the road.
Here the icon is processed through the countryside. Notice the red, white, gold, and blue streamers of ribbon which formed bunting that stretched for miles along the road.
This temporary altar is fashioned like a boat.  The icon will be displayed here after the Mass to celebrate the arrival of the Black Madonna.  Oto Matka Twoja! (Behold thy Mother!) is the message on the blue board.
This temporary altar is fashioned like a boat. The icon will be displayed here after the Mass to celebrate the arrival of the Black Madonna. Oto Matka Twoja! (Behold thy Mother!) is the message on the blue board.

Votive Lights - National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA (Sheena 2.0 via Flickr)

Votive Lights - National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA  (Sheena 2.0 via Flickr)
Votive Lights - National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA (Sheena 2.0 via Flickr)
Altar Piece
Altar Piece

American Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa

Busiest Day of the Year and Pilgrimage

Pilgrimage Site in the U.S. to Mary, Queen of Poland, National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa: Doylestown, PA

The Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa, observed on August 26, is the largest celebration for the Shrine, including a procession. Each year in August, the Shrine welcomes groups of walking pilgrims, who following the Polish tradition of the foot pilgrimage, come to give thanks to Our Lady and to pray for Her intercession on their behalf. The tradition of the foot pilgrimage on American Soil began during the Marian Year (1987-88) when a group of 17 pilgrims departed from Great Meadows NJ on August 12th, walking to the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, arriving here on August 15th - Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. The number of pilgrims who now participate in the yearly walking pilgrimage has exceeded three thousand.

Photo: Altar Piece - National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, PA used with permission of Sheena 2.0 via Flickr

American Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa - Doylestown, PA 18901

A marker -
American Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, 654 Ferry Road PO Box 2049 Doylestown, PA 18901, USA
get directions

Religious Feast Days: Most religions arrange their liturgical or public worship around feast days celebrating blessed individuals or events.

How do you feel about celebrating religious feast days?

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Lady of Czestochowa (The Black Madonna of Czestochowa) in Ritual Dress

Lady of Czestochowa (The Black Madonna of Czestochowa) in Ritual Dress
Lady of Czestochowa (The Black Madonna of Czestochowa) in Ritual Dress

Entreaty to the Black Madonna of Czestochowa

Under the recourse to your protection,

holy Mother of God,

our petitions do not despise

in our necessities,

but from all the bad adventures

please always redeem us,

O glorious and blessed.

Our Lady, our Advocate, our

Mediator, our Comforter.

with his son Reconcile us,

recommend us to your Son,

give to us His Son.

An Eastern Orthodox Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, copied right down to the two slash marks on her right cheek. (PD)

An Eastern Orthodox Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, copied right down to the two slash marks on her right cheek. (PD)
An Eastern Orthodox Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, copied right down to the two slash marks on her right cheek. (PD)

"In myself I am nothing. It all comes from God and the Virgin Mary." Lech Walesa

Source

An Especially Nice Presentation of the Black Madonna Icon

Videos: Icon of the Black Madonna at Jasna Gora

#1 - "Unveiling of the Icon of the Black Madonna;" short and to the point

#2 - "Appeal of Jasna Gora;" - Very clear, beautiful video; in Polish

#3 - Robbing of the Icon of the Black Madonna; Clear and beautiful film - "Truly fell from heaven " (58 minutes); in Polish

#4 - "Black Madonna;" Video collage with a tradition Polish hymn

#5 - "Madonna Queen of Poland;" Video collage with a traditional Polish hymn; Very nicely done

Jasna Gora Mosaic (2000) showing the Black Madonna and (possibly) King John Casimir and Father Augustyn Kordecki

Jasna Gora Mosaic (2000) showing the Black Madonna and (possibly) King John Casimir and Father Augustyn Kordecki
Jasna Gora Mosaic (2000) showing the Black Madonna and (possibly) King John Casimir and Father Augustyn Kordecki

Father Jerzy Popieluszko, the Black Madonna and Solidarity

Father Jerzy Popieluszko, a popular young parish priest in a suburb of Warsaw, Poland, spoke out against the abuses of communism and supported the then-banned Solidarity labor union. Thousands flocked to hear his Sunday sermons. He was abducted by the Polish secret police on October 19, 1984. His savagely beaten body was found 11 days later in an icy reservoir. Father Popieluszko's death serves as testimony to the struggle for freedom, basic rights, and human dignity.

Litany to Our Lady of Czestochowa

Based on a Homily-Litany

by the Martyred Polish Priest Jerzy Popieluszko

(For private recitation)

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.

Christ,

graciously hear us.

God, the Father of Heaven,

have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the World,

have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,

have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, One God,

have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,

pray for us.

Mother of God and our Mother,

pray for us.

Mother of those who place their hope God's providence,

pray for us.

Mother of those who are deceived,

pray for us.

Mother of those who are betrayed,

pray for us.

Mother of those who are arrested in the night,

pray for us.

Mother of those who are imprisoned,

pray for us.

Mother of those who suffer from the cold,

pray for us.

Mother of those who live in fear,

pray for us.

Mother of those who were subjected to interrogations,

pray for us.

Mother of those who are subjected to interrogations,

pray for us.

Mother of those innocents who have been condemned,

pray for us.

Mother of those who speak the truth,

pray for us.

Mother of those who cannot be corrupted,

pray for us.

Mother of those who resist evil and tyranny,

pray for us.

Mother of orphans,

pray for us.

Mother of those who have been attacked or taunted because they wore thy image,

pray for us.

Mother of those who are forced to sign declarations contrary to their conscience,

pray for us.

Mother of mothers who weep,

pray for us.

Mother of fathers who have been so deeply saddened,

pray for us.

Mother of suffering Poland,

pray for us.

Mother of always faithful Poland,

pray for us.

We beg thee, O Mother in whom resides the hope of millions of people,

grant us to live in liberty and in truth, in fidelity to thee and to thy Son. Amen.


Father Jerzy Popieluszko - Messenger of Truth

Source

Questions Which You Might Like to Ponder

  • How important are religious feast-days to your life?
  • Do you celebrate in an outward fashion with special meals, decorations or prayers?
  • If they are important, what is the most important feast-day of the calendar year to you?
  • Do you think an article of this kind is important to Hubpages content and community?

© 2012 Georgene Moizuk Bramlage

Your opinion about religious feast days and this Hubpage. Let me know what you think...I'm listening!

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    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
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      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @ecogranny: Thanks so much for visiting this lens - one of my favorites. And many thanks for your book suggestion - I'm not familiar with it, but will check it out. Yes, everyone wants to "blame: the smoke for the coloration of the skin. I guess I'm too much of a practicalist, but I think that perhaps the darkening might be due to aging of whatever pigment was used for the skin tones. There is a history of European black Madonnas (example: Einsiedeln (Canton of Schwyz): Our Lady of the Hermits) so perhaps the same pigment(s) were commonly in use at the time the icons were painted (12th to 15th centuries)..

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      Beautifully done page!I had read of the Polish Black Madonna in China Galland's book, *The Bond Between Women: A Journey to Fierce Compassion*. In that book, she tells quite an interesting story of her pilgrimage to see it, and several other madonnas.

      Curious about the explanations for the dark skin tones of the mother and child, I wonder why, if smoke caused their hands and faces to darken, their golden haloes were not similarly darkened. Isn't that odd?

      Even as a child, I wondered about the honey-colored hair and pale skin tones of the picture of Jesus that graced our home. As an adult I discovered that Jews from that time period and region more likely than not were of dark complexion rather than light. It would seem that we Anglos like to make God in our image!

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
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      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @reasonablerobby: Thanks so much for stopping by my Madonna lens, reading it and leaving comments! I appreciate all very much. Yes, it is indeed a fascinating story and a traditional belief which has kept Poland (the Polish people) together for centuries.

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 3 years ago

      really fascinating - love the iconography - and the tradition and story very interesting

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
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      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @Heidi Vincent: Thank you very much for taking the time to visit this favorite lens. The Black Madonna is very important to the Polish people, both spiritually and as a symbol of their unity.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Dziekuje bardzo (Thank you very much!), Cercis for sharing the story of the Black Madonna with us :)

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
      Author

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 3 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @MariannesWhims: Thank you very much for visiting and for your gracious comments. Both are very much appreciated. I am so glad you were able to learn something from what I wrote. Best to you!

    • MariannesWhims profile image

      Marianne Gardner 3 years ago from Pacific NW, USA

      A wonderful lens. I learned a lot about the Black Madonna Icon I never knew. Very interesting history of who may have painted it, and how the slash scar came about. Thanks. It's very beautiful. God bless.

    • Redneck Lady Luck profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      You have discussed the Black Madonna of Czestochowa so beautifully. I love that you show the source of your images. It is so important to do this now when working online. Fantastic work. May your holiday feasts be overflowing with wealth and friendship.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Great lens! although I'm a Christian but not Catholic, I have a collection of Polish and Russian Icons (yep another collection)...I'm glad you wrote a lens on YOUR interest and can be educational for everyone in learning something new...no one 'has to' come here, it's a choice!

      I enjoyed it:

      ~d-artist Squid Angel Blessing~

    • AnnaMKB profile image

      AnnaMKB 4 years ago

      I think they are some of the most beautiful and meaningful traditions we can carry on. Our world is a better place for them.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
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      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @siobhanryan: THanks so much for your comment and blessing. I do love the history and admire the feelings this icon stirs in the Polish people,

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      I love the history of how the icon survived through the ages-Blessed

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
      Author

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @norma-holt: Hi! and many thanks for your comment. I am aware of the similarity. Facts like these just make my (intellectual) life more interesting. A dear friend is an academic expert on Indian mother goddesses and we've had lots of stimulating discussions. I also have a lovely statue of Kuan-yin which was a gift. It sits with my small collection of RC madonna statues. BTW, I look at the adoption as adaption.

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 4 years ago

      The Catholic Churh adopted every form of religious icon and feast day as its own, including the Indian mother of Chrishna from which the black Madonna arose. She was name Ma-ai which is close to Mary, as well. I am amazed at how people get taken in by such idolatry.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
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      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @Willim: Willim, Thanks you very much for your gracious comments. I appreciate them very much.

    • profile image

      Willim 4 years ago

      Very beautiful lens. i like this lens

      it was full of meaning of religious

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
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      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @TeacherSerenia: Serenia, Hi and thanks for visiting my Black Madonna of Poland lens and your very honest comments. I am glad to know that you "love" and appreciate the work of the icon painters. I will check out your Rublev lens. And thanks so much for adding this lens to yours as a related lens.

    • TeacherSerenia profile image

      TeacherSerenia 4 years ago

      I dislike all religions and religious celebrations. Those feast days, saint days, and other over the top celebrations for dead people are not necessary or required for any religion. BUT I LOVE the art work of the icons. I wrote one lens about Andrei Rublev, a famous Russian medieval Icon Artist. I will add this lens to my Rublev lens as a related lens.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
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      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @ComfortsOfHome: Hi! Thanks for visiting, commenting and squidliking this lens. I also read The Secret Life of Bees and was intrigued by the significance of the icon showing up in the novel. I hope the lens answered some of your questions! Have a great weekend!

    • Rosetta Slone profile image

      Rosetta Slone 4 years ago from Under a coconut tree

      What a beautiful, unique lens. And that purple star suits you!

    • ComfortsOfHome profile image

      ComfortsOfHome 4 years ago

      I've been fascinated by the idea of the Black Madonna ever since I read the book The Secret Life of Bees, so I really enjoyed reading this and learning something about the Black Madonna of Czestochowa. Thank you!

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
      Author

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @Rosetta Slone: Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving your gracious comment. This lens is special to me, so I am happy that it is appreciated.

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
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      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @Gypzeerose: Hi Rose, Thanks so much for visiting, squidliking and blessing this lens. It was a labor of love and so your gracious interaction is very much appreciated. The celebration of all Black Madonna at the Christmas Revels sounds fascinating. As a side to learning about the Polish Black Madonna I learned a great deal about others throughout Europe...fodder for another lens ;+)

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image
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      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      @WriterJanis2: Thank you very much for visiting and squidliking this lens and most of all your gracious compliments. This is a lens that is near and dear to me.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      Very beautiful lens.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      One of the most amazing times in my life was spent at Christmas Revels in Oakland CA when they celebrated all the black Madonnas - through out the world. And now I know about the Polish Black Madonna! Great lens! blessed.........

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