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Mother of God of Czestochowa - Original Painting
Original Painting
Mother of God of Czestochowa - Current Oklad
Current Oklad Cover
Mother of God of Czestochowa - Scenes in Current Oklad
Scenes in Current Oklad


    The Mother of God of Czestochowa icon is of very old origin. According to one account, it was painted in Palestine (by tradition to St. Luke himself) and then traveled to Byzantium (Constantinople). The icon was painted over and fixed many times, and that is why fragments of it have more recent (medieval) origin.

    This icon is an important miracle working icon which in the middle ages was aquired by Polish princes from Western Rus (Kiev). It came to Western Rus from Constantinople where it was in possession of the Imperial family.


    The Mother of God of Czestochowa was brought to Jasna Gora, Czestochowa in 1384 and has been at the Jasna Gora Pauline Monastery for over 500 years. The Mother of God of Czestochowa (also known as "Our Lady of Jasna Gora" and "Mother of God of Poland") is an important icon for Roman Catholics in Poland and in general.


    The two slashes on Mary's right cheek are from an attack in 1430 by Husites from a neighboring country. The Husites were unsuccessful in stealing the icon.

    The Mother of God of Czestochowa was carried in the forefront of battle against invading Swedes in the 1600s. According to one account, a special horseman held the icon high overhead in charging the Swedes. The ensuing defeat of the Swedes was ascribed as a miracle to the icon.

    In carrying the Mother of God of Czestochowa into battle, the painting was protected by a metal cover termed an "oklad". In present day, this oklad is still kept on the icon, although it is removed three times a day so that Pilgrims and others may view the original icon painting.


    Within the church proper, the oklad also protected the icon from touching and kissing as well as from accumulation of soot from candles or vigil lamps.

    But over hundreds of years, an icon still tended to become darker from the soot. Hence the Mother of God of Czestochowa is presently quite dark. As a result, this icon is also known as the "Black Madonna of Czestochowa".

    The darkening can be seen in the "Original Painting" to the left.


    The current oklad cover is shown to the two "Current Oklad" images to the bottom left. Three characteristics make this cover notable:

      1. Extensive patterning in the robes
      2. Vibrant large areas of enamelling
      3. Scenes in the corners

    You will see the extensive patterning characteristics in all the icons offered below, although the patterning may be different depending on the icon

    Additional historical notes and informationis available from The National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

#A16 The Czestochowa Virgin
#A16 Czestochowa
2 x 2.4" 5x6cm
Printed Image
Silver Plated

#A17 The Czestochowa Virgin
#A20 Czestochowa
2 x 2.4" 5x6cm
Silver Plated

#B4 Czestochowa Rosary Box
#B4 Czestochowa
2.75 in (7 cm) Diameter
2 in (5 cm) Height
For 0.3 in (8 mm) Beads
Silver Plated with

#E9 Czestochowa Emblem
#E9 Czestochowa
3.2 in (8 cm) diameter
Silver Plated with

#S64 Black Madonna of Czestochowa
#S64 Czestochowa
6.3/4 x 8.5/8" 17x22cm
Silver Plated

#S62 - Black Madonna of Czestochowa
#S62 Czestochowa
3.1/2 x 4.1/4" 9x11cm
Silver Plated

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