It’s been almost two weeks since we went to the church service to see the replica of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The event was held at the Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral, which is gorgeous. I was so pleased to hear Fr. West praise it as one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the US. Behind the altar is a huge painting of the Coronation of Mary. Then in the ceiling above the side aisles, are all of the other fourteen mysteries of the Rosary (obviously this all was done prior to the Luminous Mysteries being added).
We each were given a holy card of the Black Madonna, then joined in for the Rosary before mass. Fr. West gave a talk about the history of the actual icon and some of the miracles that have taken place in connection with it. Ten he described the journeys that he has been on with the replica from Russia, Ukraine, Italy, all throughout Europe, Canada, and all over the US. They have visited prisons, churches, etc.
Our Lady of Czestochowa is, among other things, the patron saint of victims of domestic abuse. As Father West noted, this is probably because of the abuses to which the icon was subjected, and which is the reason she has the scars on her face and neck. He mentioned that many attempts have been made over time to “fix” the icon by repairing the damage done by the Hussite attack, but that these attempt always fail, as the scars always miraculously reappear. “When you look into her eyes, its as if she is saying, I have suffered too. And then she points to her Son, to the way to healing.”
She was stunning. She inspired Nicolette (5) to draw her own rendition of the mother and child.
After mass, we were able to go up and touch our cards to the icon and pray. And then we saw our own priest there, who was not able to make it to the mass in time because of prior commitments. But he was very excited to see the icon. He said he has concelebrated the mass a Jasna Gora (the home of the original) several times.
Of course we were all sniffly with our latest cold, but I did not want to miss this and I’m glad we didn’t. If the icon will be travelling through your area, definitely take the time to go.
Prayer to Our Lady of Czestochowa
HOLY MOTHER of Czestochowa, Thou art full of grace,
goodness and mercy. I consecrate to Thee all my thoughts,
words and actions—-my soul and body. I beseech Thy
blessings and especially prayers for my salvation.
Today, I consecrate myself to Thee, Good Mother, totally
—-with body and soul amid joy and sufferings to obtain
for myself and others Thy blessings on this earth and
eternal life in Heaven. Amen.