SHE ERECTED HER THRONE IN CZĘSTOCHOWA
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
In 2016 there are going to be the World Youth Days with the Holy Father Francis in Cracow. We hope that pope Francis will come not only to Cracow. Mass media mention various cities – Gniezno, Poznań, Warsaw. But none of journalists asks: what about Częstochowa? The Polish Home of Jesus’s Mother? Because we call Częstochowa Our Lady’s home. During his pilgrimage to homeland, the Holy Father John Paul II arrived in Częstochowa and only in the last period of his life, when he was already very weak and ill, he did not visit Jasna Góra, but he felt son of Blessed Queen of Poland all the time. During one of his pilgrimages, I was lucky to be behind him, when he was in the Chapel of the Miraculous Image, being very concentrated and engrossed in prayer. Then I could observe his great inner entrustment himself to Our Lady: ‘Totus tuus’ – wholly yours. He took this phrase from his favourite author - St. Ludwik Maria Grinion de Montfort and it also became the main motto of his pontificate. He wholly entrusted himself to Blessed Mary…
The successor of John Paul II – pope Benedict XVI also arrived at Jasna Góra with great love, where he prayed cordially and expressed his beautiful opinion on the Marian issue in the Church, which is always related to the dynamics of evangelization. It will surely be the same with pope Francis who treats Blessed Mary with great love – for example, it is seen in his unusual meetings at the image of Mary ‘Salus Populi Romani’.
So, although in the previous divagations on the visit of the Pope in Poland, there was lack of Częstochowa, it is obvious that when the Holy Father arrives in our country, he will surely want to arrive at Mother’s home in Jasna Góra.
Częstochowa. This is the centre of Poland, the holiest place. It was loved by John Paul II and God’s servant cardinal Stefan Wyszyński and also the predecessor of the Primate of Millenium – primate August Hlond. But not only clergy treats Jasna Góra as Mother’s Home. Believing laymen also have their home here – the only one, unique, the most familiar, because related to the deepest experiences. And one can live at the end of the world, but Pole’s home is characterized mainly by the fact that it includes the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa –established as the Queen of Poland. And where there is the Queen’s throne, there is a particular place of her reign.
Therefore, our nation is arriving to its Lady in such large numbers, because here, in difficult times of the invasion of the Swedish army, it was saved, and it is the place where Jan III Sobieski took his inspiration and strength from, to fight with the Turks – and he won, and here, the national consciousness arose in us in front of the image of the Queen of Poland. And, therefore, we are fully convinced to say that Częstochowa is a spiritual capital city of Poland, a point on the map of Poland, where we discover our identity, take strength, in front of the Icon of Mother, as well as we start thinking in a solidary way. We should also be glad that we have this place, which joins the Catholic nation with the supreme values, in the truth and love.
The title of the spiritual capital city of Poland can, certainly, be tried out here or there, but just for the reasons, which I have just mentioned, Częstochowa, the city of Mary, deserves the title. Regardless of a political option of the city authorities. Indeed, it would be nice and useful for everybody, if the hosts of Częstochowa showed their more understanding of the specifics of the place.
We must take care so that Mary’s throne would not lurch, but would be supported by our faith. And although we were jerked by various swirls, we should know that only under the good and sensitive eye of our Lady and Queen can we develop as a nation and, when there are falls – we can stand up and be stronger. It is easier to follow Jesus’ cross with Mary. We should look through the prism of the Gospel and try to love the Church as much as possible, whose Mother is Mary. Who loves the Church, must love Mary and who loves Mary, must love the Church.
So, let some people say what they want, but we, Poles, know where the spiritual capital city of Poland is: the spiritual capital city of Poland is in Częstochowa – a city which was chosen by Mary as Her home and the place where She reigns.
We are certain that Częstochowa will maintain its character; that its inhabitants will understand what it means and what honour it is to be the citizen of the city which was called a ‘good city’ by John Paul II.