Częstochowa is the spiritual capital of Poland. It is here that the famous Pauline monastery is located containing the revered icon of the Virgin Mary, credited with numerous miracles. For centuries it has been the country’s main place of pilgrimage.
The place gained special importance for the Poles after the “Lwów Oath” of king John II Casimir on the 1st of April 1657. It was on that day that the king proclaimed the Blessed Virgin Mary the Queen of Poland and in his prayers entrusted Poland under her protection against the invasion of the Swedish and Hungarian troops.
The monastery played an important role during the “Deluge” in 1655 when it withstood the siege of the Swedish army. The monastery’s prior at the time was Father Augustyn Kordecki. The defense of Jasna Góra was a triumph of religious and symbolic significance.
During the times of the People’s Republic of Poland, on the 26th of August 1956, the Jasna Góra Oaths of the Polish Nation (written by Primate Stefan Wyszyński) were taken in the presence of about 1 million pilgrims.
The icon of the Blessed Mary also had a special meaning for John Paul II, who, already as the Pope, visited Jasna Góra six times. After the fateful attempt on his life in 1981, John Paul II offered his belt, with blood stains and bullet marks, as a gift to the Virgin Mary. In 1983 he prayed in here thanking the Queen of Poland for saving his life. In 2006 also Pope Benedict visited Jasna Góra.
During your tour of the monastery, you will have a chance to see: the Treasury, the Knights Chamber, the Nation’s Remembrance Chapel, the Refectory, the Tower, the Golgotha and the Stations of the Cross.