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Hand Painted Studded Icon Of Our Lady Of Czestochowa - Medium
Made in Poland this icon is hand painted and covered with a beautiful cover of zinc plated copper featuring fine bas-relief. This picture is studded with red faux gems.

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It is doubtful whether any other representation of Our Blessed Mother with Her Divine Child, possesses a more ancient and glorious history than the painting of Our Lady of Czestochowa.

Tradition tells us that St. Luke painted it on the top of a cypress wood table which came from the home of the Holy Family. At the request of the faithful, Mary sat for the portrait. She was pleased with the finished portrait, saying "My grace shall accompany it." So began the miraculous history of the painting.

Venerated for nearly 300 years while hidden in Jerusalem, the painting was discovered by St. Helen while searching for the True Cross. She brought it back to Constantinople and presented it to her son, Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor of Rome. Constantine built a chapel for the portrait and where it remained in for five centuries.

Miracle upon miracle was attributed to the intercession of Mary by persons praying before the portrait. Over the years, many enemies laid siege to Constantinople. The chapel became a center of hope for the people of the city. During one attack the city seemed ready to fall, but the people rallied to the painting and the city was saved. Another time the city was under attack and the chapel caught fire. Everything was destroyed except a small section of wall upon which hung the painting of Mary and Jesus. The intense heat and soot from the fire had darkened the already dark olive features of Mary and Jesus.

Eventually it was given as a gift by the Byzantine Emperor to a Ruthenian nobleman. The portrait was brought to Kiev and installed in the Royal Palace of Belz. It remained there for 579 years.
In 1382 the painting received an injury from invading Tartar's. An arrow pierced it, leaving a scar which is still visible on the neck. Concerned with the safety of the painting, Prince Ladislaus Opolski decided to move it to one of his castles in Upper Silesia.

On the brow of a hill called Jasna Gora ("bright hill") -- and within a few paces of the town of Czestochowa -- the horses drawing the wagon with the painting stopped. No amount of coaxing or goading could make them go on. Mary appeared to Ladislaus and told him that this spot was to be Her new home. The Miraculous Image was placed in a chapel and given to the care of the Basilian monks of the Greek Rite. A few years later, Prince Ladislaus gave its care to the Latin Rite Hermits of St. Paul, who are still there to this day.

The remarkable history of the painting continued. It figured prominently in the heroic and successful defense of Poland against invaders who were enemies of the Church. Over time, the monastery at Jasna Gora became a monastic fortress -- and the focal point for Polish nationalism.

In 1655, the monastery held out against a mighty Swedish army. In 1683, it was the Turks who attacked. And, in 1920, the Bolsheviks. As a result of these and other historical events, Our Lady of Czestochowa was crowned as Queen of Poland. Her Feast is observed on May 3 which is also the anniversary of the Polish Constitution.

Why Is She Referred to as The Black Madonna?

"Black Madonna" is a nickname. It refers to skin tones in the portrait of Mary and Jesus. They and St. Joseph lived in a hot climate. Hence, their skin tone would be dark brown or olive in order to survive the intensity of the sun and avoid skin cancer.

Not until the Renaissance were there paintings of Jesus and Mary with alabaster skin, blue eyes and blond hair. Previously, all religious artwork reflected the olive skin, with black or brown hair and eyes attributed to the Holy Family and the Apostles.

Contributing to the portrait's blackened appearance is the fact that the painting is nearly 2,000 years old. When St. Luke painted the portrait of Mary with Christ, he did so with crude oil paints, which naturally dull and darken with age.

Additionally, the painting has survived a major fire -- the one in Constantinople referred to earlier. Beyond that, tens of thousands of pots of incense have been burned near the painting while it was in the Eastern Orthodox Church. And, millions of wax candles have been placed before it as people make their prayerful offerings.

These and other factors have resulted in darkening the Miraculous Image -- the portrait now referred to as "The Black Madonna."


Made in Poland this icon is hand painted and covered with a beautiful cover of zinc plated copper featuring fine bas-relief.
This picture is studded with red faux gems.
  • Size 8.25" x 11.5" - 21cm x 29cm
  • Studded with red faux gems

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