THE HEART OF POLAND BEATS HERE
Archbishop Wacław Depo speaks about the significance of Jasna Góra
On the occasion of the feast of Blessed Mary the Virgin of Częstochowa attributable on 26 August, archbishop Wacław Depo addressed a pastoral letter to believers of the archdiocese of Częstochowa, dated on 8 August 2017, entitled: ‘Our Queen, Mary of Częstochowa!’. The letter includes, among the others, important reflections on the role of Jasna Góra. We read in it:
‘Jasna Góra is a place chosen by God, whose history is connected with the presence of the Miraculous Image of Our Lady of Częstochowa, entrusted to care of the Pauline Fathers and Brothers. Throughout centuries, among hundred million people, pilgrimages to the Jasna Góra sanctuary have been made by people of all social status and professions, and at our times – successors of St. Peter: St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis. People arrive here in order to experience grace of conversion, forgiveness of sins, reconciliation, inner and even physical healing through intercession of Mary. Jasna Góra is also a confessional and the sanctuary of the Nation, where Poles have always been free. Here the Nation with the Church in Poland entrusted itself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on 8 September, paid vows and gave itself into the motherly slavery of Mary and got entrusted to Her.
One of the most glorious historical events of Jasna Góra is its miraculous defence during the Swedish invasion in 1655 (…). The victory came after 40 days of the invasion and contributed to liberation of Homeland from the Swedish occupation. Also Jasna Góra became a sign of God – the Hill of Victory.
In response to the action of Divine Providence, the king Jan Kazimierz I chose Our Lady as the Queen of Poland on 1 April 1656 in the Lvov cathedral. The later papal coronation was the conformation of the cult to Mary as the Queen of Poland and the expression of great worship and love towards Our Lady. The Image of Our Lady of Częstochowa was decortated with golden crowns of the Vatican Chapter by the will of pope Clemens XI on 8 September 1717. It was an exceptional even, the coronation with the papal crowns took place outside Rome. The coronation was done by bishop of Chełm Krzysztof Szembek. The ceremony was a nationwide manifestation of faith and the very rite has been considered as crowning the God’s Mother Mary the Queen of Poland forever.
Today, in the jubilee year of the coronation, we, Poles, must – as St. John Paul II said – ‘have our ears close to the holy place anew and feel how the heart of the Nation beats in the Heart of its Mother and Queen. And if it beats in the tone of anxiety, if it is concerned about conversion and is calling for conversion, for strengthening of consciences, for making life of families, individuals, groups orderly – we must accept this call’.