We weren’t sure what we wanted to tell you about first. Should we begin with stories from its magnificent tradition, which are filled with accounts of major battles won through the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa, and of the generals who dedicated their troops and their battles to Our Lady, who wore the breastplate of Our Lady as they went into battle, and then came back after their victories to thank Our Lady, and give Her complete credit for their conquest?
Or would you like to know about Lech Walesa, who had been the head of Solidarity, and became the first president of Poland after the fall of communism? He was originally in charge of the workers’ union. For organizing the workers against communism, he was imprisoned by the communists. When he was released, he lost his job and took on odd jobs, continuing to fight against communism. He became the leader of solidarity and was again imprisoned in 1981. In 1982, he was released and in 1983, he won the Nobel Peace Prize, which he presented to Our Lady at the Shrine. A very pious man, we had the privilege of attending a private Mass with him in the presidential palace.
Or should we begin with the miraculous tradition by which this painting found its way from a little home in Jerusalem to Czestochowa, Poland, 1300 years later? Where do you start? I guess the beginning would be best.
Tradition tells us that St. Luke painted the original image of Our Lady of Czestochowa on a table top in St. Joseph’s workshop in Nazareth. We truly believe that St. Luke sat at the feet of Mary and listened to Her tell about the Miraculous Conception and Birth of Our Tradition is the handing down orally of stories, beliefs, customs, etc., from generation to generation. In Theology, Christian tradition is the unwritten teachings regarded as handed down from Jesus and the Apostles. Webster’s New World Dictionary - 1984
Lord Jesus. St. Luke is the only one of the four Gospel writers who describes in detail the events from the Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to Our Lady, through the Visitation, the Birth of Jesus, the Presentation in the Temple, and the Finding of Our Lord Jesus in the Temple. Where would he have gotten this information if not sitting at Her feet, listening in awe to this, the most beautiful Woman the world has ever known?
And why not, while he was listening to Her, could he not have painted a picture of Her, or drawn a sketch which later could become a statue of Her (Our Lady of Loreto)? There are many writings which justify this theory. From the early days, writers such as Sixtus of Siena and Nicefar (a Roman writer) both wrote that St. Luke painted the image of Our Lady.
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