Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine - Jasna Gora - Poland

Our Lady of Czestochowa Shrine

History of Our Lady of Czestochowa

It is easier to determine that St. Luke painted the image which is now in Czestochowa than to track the history of the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa down through the ages.

 Everything we tell you of the early history of the movement of the image of Our Lady is from tradition. The first movement out of Jerusalem occurred when the Romans came and destroyed the city in 70 A.D.

It was brought by zealot Christian women up to the mountains, where it remained, to the best of anyone's knowledge, for 300 years.

Now, it had to have an enormous amount of meaning to the daughters of Jerusalem, who cared for it over the centuries.

Great pains were taken to insure that it was protected against all who came against the Church and the early members of the Church.

They hid the image in caves, and through various underground tunnels to safe havens. They did this under the threat of imprisonment, torture and death, if caught.

In the year 326, or thereabouts, Queen Helena arrived in the Holy Land to gather relics of the early Faith, including parts of the True Cross, one of the Nails, part of the Crown of Thorns, as well as the sign above the Crucifix of Jesus, which read, "INRI, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" and the firsthand image of the Blessed Mother of God, painted by the evangelist St. Luke.

This was certainly an important relic to bring back to her son Constantine.


When St. Helena arrived in Jerusalem, she was put in contact with the holy ladies who had been unofficial custodians of the only original painting of Our Lady in existence for all those centuries. The fame of St. Helena must have preceded her to the Holy Land, because she was given charge of this most important painting without hesitation. She brought it back to Constantinople along with other relics, and presented them to her son. He was so taken back by the beauty of the image, but also the sadness, he had a church built in Her honor, dedicating it to the Holy Name of Mary. Did Constantine spend time with Our Lady here in this Church? Did he try to imagine, looking at the eyes of this most magnificent painting, what She was feeling as She recounted the sufferings of Her Son? Did She speak to him there? Did he listen and act on Her words?

The Church and the image drew pilgrims from hundreds of miles around. They came and prayed; they petitioned Our Lady. Our dear Mother Mary blessed those who venerated Her image in that place. Healings and miracles took place. People from far and wide came to the church for healings and conversions. Dear Mother Mary answered all their prayers. The image of Our Lady of Czestochowa became famous throughout the country.
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