71013, San Giovanni Rotondo (FG)

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa

St. Luke painted a portrait of the Blessed Virgin

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is Poland’s holiest and most important relic. This holy icon has a long and mysterious history.

According to the legend, St. Luke painted a portrait of the Blessed Virgin on the table made by Jesus Himself. This icon was subsequently discovered in the Holy Land by St. Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine and a collector of Christian relics.

The venerated portrait of the Virgin remained from the third to the eighth century in Constantinople. In the troublesome eighth century the picture was again in great danger and was carried to the wilderness to be hidden in remote places, in Eastern Poland. In 1382 the Tartars invaded but failed to discover the Holy Virgin’s portrait because “a mysterious cloud enveloped the chapel.” Later, a local prince, Władysław Opolczyk Duke of Opole, “was ordered in a dream by an angel to take the picture to an insignificant, obscure village named Czestochowa”, where it is still located today.

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