Thought for the Day – 26 August – The Feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa
In 1997 Pope John Paul II summed up the importance of the shrine to the Polish people:
“Jasna Góra is the place where our Nation down the centuries has come together to bear witness to its faith and to its attachment to the community of the Church of Christ.
Many times we used to come here, asking Mary for help in the struggle to preserve fidelity to God, the Cross, the Gospel, the Holy Church and her Shepherds. Here we accepted the duties of the Christian life. At the feet of Our Lady of Jasna Góra we found the strength to remain faithful to the Church, when she was persecuted, when she had to keep silent and suffer.
We always said ‘yes’ to the Church and this Christian attitude has been a great act of love for her. For the Church is our spiritual mother. It is thanks to her that ‘we should be called children of God; and so we are’ (cf 1 Jn 3:1). The Church is inscribed for ever in
the history of our Nation, keeping careful watch over the destiny of her children, especially in times of humiliation, war, persecution or loss of independence.”
John Paul designated Mary a model for faith and reason, as the table of wisdom, the seat of wisdom.
The Polish people make pilgrimage to Jasna Gora to seek the spring of culture:
“Jasna Góra is the shrine of the Nation, the confessional and the altar.
It is the place where Poles find spiritual transformation and renewal of life.
May it remain so for ever.” (John Paul II 1997)
So too we need to be pilgrims on the way (viator), climbing the bright hill (Mary) towards the seat of Wisdom.
Our Lady of Czestochowa, Pray for us!