Tom & Sue Personal Pilgrimage 2016: June 13 (Day 18) Our Lady of Czestochowa, Poland

Dobranoc: (Thanks Rosemarie)
Did you know that daybreak in Poland is at 4 AM?  UGH! The sun is shining shortly after…….and I’m up, thinking I am late.  Even with black out shades the light sneaks in. Now try going back to  sleep!

We wanted to be up early anyway, since we were taking a road trip to Our Lady of Czestowchowa, about 2 hours away.  This is the greatest Shrine to Our Lady in Poland.  Father Tomasz said we were smart to go early (and during the week), the crowds would be small.  Well, we even skipped breakfast, but didn’t get out the door until almost  8:30. 

Don’t ask! We were just being leisurely. Well, to  tell you the truth, we have a shower that has 10 heads.  It’s like being in a car wash!  Susan was in it the first night for almost 20 minutes.  We have been fighting over it ever since.  LOL

The traffic wasn’t too bad but there is a lot of construction going on in preparation for World Youth Day when they expect at least 2 million youths and adults to converge on Krakow. God help them.  Many people in the old town and nearby are staying with relatives and renting out their homes, since there are not enough hotel rooms and apartments  The U.S. has the second largest number of people coming, after Italy.  That’s pretty good!

We arrived at the Shrine not expecting what we saw and were amazed at how large and beautiful it was.  Our first stop was  to the chapel of the Icon of the Blessed Mother and Jesus, a Black Madonna,  where mass was about to begin. 

We stood against a wall 1/2 half way up  to the altar and could not
see anything there were so many  people.  After mass most of them stayed to get to the altar area to pray before the famous Icon, we left and went out to get a  coffee.   Twenty minutes later it was like a bomb scare had gone off as the hordes of people left the Chapel. 

We went  back in, only to find that they had covered the Madonna Icon and closed the altar area for cleaning. Most of the people were in groups on tour buses and went to the dining hall for lunch, a perfect time to explore the marvelous shrine.  See photos.

Susan and I had a quick bite at the nearest cafeteria style  restaurant.  It was just food, but we needed something.

We then explored the grounds and the whole Basilica  and went to the adoration chapel to pray the Rosary since the Rosary chapel was  closed.  At the second decade, we stopped, since mass had begun in the icon chapel, and even with the doors closed in the adoration chapel, it was too loud to meditate…..it was  just above the Icon. 

We went down to the mass since they allowed people to walk behind the altar and the Madonna where you could venerate many relics in a  glass enclosure.  We waited for the gospel to be finished, took a couple of pictures and went to the back.  We waited for the homily to be over and walked out the other side.   

Time to depart since it was after 2 and we thought we would go to
Auschwitz, but that didn’t happen, it would have been to late when we  got there and we were tired with the drive. 

We went to the apartment  and I have to look at the pictures to remember what we did……….I’ll be  right back.

Ok, I got it.  Susan and I went out for dinner to this nice  restaurant which, when we entered, they said the dining room was closed but  we could sit on the patio.  That sounded great and after we sat and ordered a glass of wine and a bottle of water they said they could give us  blankets.  I thought that it might snow, so we took one each, I  wanted the green one.  This  restaurant is famous for perogies (filled dumplings…an Eastern European specialty)…….and that night they gave a lesson on making them in the garden were we sat.  They  filled the restaurant with the group that learned their secret.   

Susan had duck and I had veal chop Milanese.  Both  dinners
were outstanding.  With the wine we had and the rest of  the meal the bill was 160 pln.  After adding a generous tip, we left $48  poorer.  Did I ever tell you I love  Krakow?????

It was home to shower again and relax; maybe some TV and a good nights sleep.  We have a new arraignment, I’ll tell you about it  later. 

There is a story of Our Lady of  Czestochowa below.

Dobrovnic, its close

“What  you are is God’s gift to you, 
What  you become is your gift to God.”

May you shine before him.
Love 
Susan & Tom

Prayer to Our Lady of  Czestochowa

O Mother of  God, Immaculate Mary, to thee do I dedicate my body and soul,
all my prayers and  deeds, my joys and sufferings, all that I am an all that I have.

With a joyful  heart I surrender myself to thy love. To thee will I
devote my services of my  own free will for the salvation of mankind, and for the help of the Holy Church  whose Mother thou art.
From now on my only desire is to do all things with  thee, through thee,
and for thee. I know I can accomplish nothing by my own  strength, whereas
thou can do everything that is the will of thy Son, Our Lord  Jesus Christ.
Thou are always victorious. Grant, therefore, O Helper of the  Faithful, that
my family, my parish, and my country might become in truth the  Kingdom where
thou reignest in the glorious presence God the Father, God the  Son, and
God the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.
Amen.

The Story of Our Lady of Czestochowa     
 

The  Monastery of Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, Poland, is the third-largest 
Catholic pilgrimage site in the world. Home to the beloved miraculous icon 
of Our Lady of Czestochowa, the monastery is also the national shrine of 
Poland and the center of Polish  Catholicism.

Timeline     
According  to tradition, the icon of Jasna Góra was painted by Luke the
Evangelist on  a tabletop built by Jesus himself, and the icon was discovered
by St.  Helen, mother of Emperor Constantine and collector of Christian
relics in  the Holy Land. The icon was then enshrined in the imperial city of 
Constantinople, according to the legend, where it remained for the next  500
years.   
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 nobleman. The image
 was then placed in the royal palace at Belz, where it remained for nearly 
600 years.   
1382 
History  first combines with tradition upon the icon’s arrival in Poland
with a  Polish army fleeing the Tartars, who had struck it with an  arrow.   
1386 
Legend  has it that during the looting of Belz, a mysterious cloud
enveloped the  chapel containing the image. A monastery was founded in Czestochowa
to  enshrine the icon, and soon King Jagiello built a cathedral around the 
chapel containing the icon.   
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.

It is said 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.   
1655 
The  miracle for which the Black Madonna of Czestochowa is most famous 
occurred, when Swedish troops were about to invade Czestochowa. A group of 
Polish soldiers prayed fervently before the icon for deliverance, and the 
enemy retreated.   
1656 
King  John Casimir declared Our Lady of Czestochowa “Queen of Poland” and
made  the city the spiritual capital of the nation.   
1717 
Pope  Clement XI officially recognized the miraculous nature of the  image.
 
September  15, 1920 
The  Virgin again came to the aid of her people, when the Soviet 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 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.”   
1925 
Pope  Pius XI designated May 3 a feast day in her  honor.   
1945 
During  Nazi occupation, Hilter prohibited pilgrimages to Jasna Góra, but
many  still secretly made the journey. After Poland was liberated, half a 
million pilgrims journeyed to Cz?stochowa to express their  gratitude.   
September  8, 1946 
1.5  million people gathered at the shrine to rededicate the entire nation
to  the Immaculate Heart of Mary. During the Cold War, Jasna Góra was a
center  of anti-Communist resistance.   
1979 
Pope  John Paul II, a native of Poland, was a fervent devotee of the Virgin
Mary  and of her icon at Cz?stochowa. As pope, he made pilgrimages to pray 
before the Black Madonna in 1979, 1983, 1991, and  1997.   
1991 
He  held his Sixth World Youth Day at Czetochowa, which was attended by 
350,000 young people from across Europe.   
May  26, 2006 
Pope  Benedict XVI visited the shrine.
Miracles,  Cures, and Signs

In  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.

It is said 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.

In 1655, The miracle for  which the Black Madonna of Czestochowa is most
famous occurred, when Swedish  troops were about to invade Czestochowa. A
group of Polish soldiers prayed  fervently before the icon for deliverance, and
the enemy retreated.

On  September 15, 1920, the Virgin again came to the aid of her people,
when the  Soviet 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 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.”

 
May God Bless Each and Every One Of You!

Tom &  Susan Melillo
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418 (USA)

E-Mail:

_TSMelillo13@aol.com_ (mailto:TSMelillo13@aol.com

twittergoogle_plusrss

Leave a Comment