I thought of doing a travel weekend post since I just realized I haven’t even continued my Eastern Europe travelogue. Actually, I’m thinking of doing this every weekend, though I hope I won’t run out of countries to talk about. LOL! How I wish! 😀 I love to reminisce anyway. It brings back the excitement, happiness, and tears of joy as I dig in to my photos. So, come and travel with me as I do some reminiscing. 😀
Anyway, as I shared in my previous travel post, my family and I stayed in Poland for five days. You can see a few photos of our first two days in Warsaw HERE. After visiting some UNESCO heritage sights in the capital, we had the opportunity to go to the famous Jasna Gora Monastery at Czestochowa. For Roman Catholics, the Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa is a must-visit in the area. Even Pope John Paul II is said to have visited the shrine seven times. It’s where the painting of the Black Madonna (known as the Queen of Poland) can be found.
outside Jasna Gora Monastery
This painting of the Black Madonna is said to be very miraculous.
We were told that the Black Madonna’s dress is changed yearly. At the time of our visit, she wore the Robe of Fidelity (also known as ruby in the seventeenth century). Aside from old ruby jewels, over 214 contemporary wedding rings donated by couples from different parts of the world were used as ornaments on the dress. Amazing! 😀 This is why it’s called the Robe of Fidelity.
Look closely at the dress…
We were very lucky because a mass was being celebrated at the time we arrived. The downside of it though is that I wasn’t able to take photos inside the church. There were a lot of people that I couldn’t even raise my camera. Plus, flash photography isn’t allowed. They are very strict about it. All lights at the altar were turned off (even while the mass was going on) when someone attempted to take a picture of the Black Madonna with flash. I was just able to take a few close shots because our tour guide accompanied us in front of the altar during the mass.
I really felt the solemnity as I entered the church. I’m not sure if it’s because of the mass, but whatever it is, it brought tears in our eyes. We felt the presence of the Black Madonna, which is truly a one of a kind experience! 😀
‘Til my next travel post! 😀