Academic journal article Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought

Beautiful Black Madonna of Czestochowa

Academic journal article Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought

Beautiful Black Madonna of Czestochowa

Article excerpt

They journey with hope

of a blessing, a healing, a miracle of sorts

for they have heard the stories told

of old.

No longer following the magi's silver star,

they trod a narrow but worn path

to the gates of Our Lady at Jasna Gora,

where the Madonna, luminous in her ebony blush,

holy babe in arms, hangs like Venus in the summer sky

above the horizon of the altar.

For centuries she watched like a gentle cloud

over the sorrowful people of the Polish lands

whose faith lifted in the little cathedral like gauzy curls of smoke

rising from tapers in prayerful hands,

burnishing mother and child in a rich sable patina,

the color of autumn's last leaves-

their halos still glistening gold.

As we enter, the sanctuary sparkles

with candles, like a sea of stars on a moonless night,

held by the faithful spilling from the filled pews, singing praises

in many languages with

one voice, one sight.

Just a tourist, I suddenly feel like a dilettante as I see the devotion

and expectation, like children on Christmas morning, in their eyes.

The emerging intensity startles my daughter Emilee, still young-

she has never seen such need,

such pleading, such pain,

such adoration. …

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