Our Lady of Czestochowa icon
Unique and specially venerated among Virgin Mary icons, legend attributes the creation of the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa to Saint Luke, the first Christian iconographer. She is sometimes sometimes referred to as the "Black Madonna" because of the black color of the original, caused by age and the accumulated soot of the ages.
Saint Helena is said to have located the icon during her visit to the Holy Land and brought it to Constantinople in the fourth century. In a critical battle with the Saracens, this icon was displayed from the walls of the city and the Saracens were routed. The icon was eventually owned by Charlemagne and changed hands many times, eventually making its way to Poland.
During the reign of St. Ladislaus, King of Poland, in the fifteenth century, the Tartars stole and vandalized the image, but the holy icon was recovered and restored. Many times in the following centuries, the Holy Virgin demonstrated her miraculous protection of the Polish people through her icon.
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