Coronation of the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa
Doylestown, PA: It was standing room only for the overflow crowds at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, PA, on Sunday, August 25, 2019, as Pilgrims from far and near came to honor Our Lady of Czestochowa at the Coronation of her image. The reverent Coronation ceremony took take place during the 12:30 pm Mass in the Main Church, with the Most Rev. Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, as Main Celebrant and Most Rev. Thomas Wenski, Archbishop of Miami, as Homilist.
The Image: The icon, normally located in the Shrine’s lower church, was brought upstairs to the Main Church for the Coronation ceremony. This image bears great significance for the Polish people and for the Church. (See details below). This holy Icon of our Mother is a reproduction of the original icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, which is housed in Jasna Gora in Czestochowa, Poland. It is a long-standing tradition to place crowns on the head of the infant Jesus as well as His Mother, as a symbol of our love and gratitude. Christ is our King, and His mother is our Queen – but always our Mother, too, who will never leave us and to whom we desire to remain forever faithful.
The icon at the American Czestochowa was originally blessed and signed by Saint John Paul II. The crowns used in the August 25th Coronation were offered by the Pauline Fathers and Brothers along with the pilgrims of the American Czestochowa, and blessed by Pope Francis at the Vatican, in St. Peter’s Square, on June 12, 2019. (https://www.czestochowa.us/the-icon-of-our-lady-of-czestochowa/ )
The Ceremony and Mass: The day began with the Oratorio of God’s Mercy (in Polish) performed by the St. John Paul II Parish Choir from Lombard, IL; Devotion to Our Lady of Czestochowa (in English and Polish), leading up to the Solemn Mass with the Rite of Coronation of the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa (in English and Polish).
In his homily, Archbishop Wenski addressed Archbishop Chaput, telling him
“The Polish Community is honored that you, as the Chief Shepherd of this local Church, will today crown the image of Our Lady of Czestochowa, an image blessed and signed by the now-Saint John Paul II. As Cardinal Wojtilla he visited this Shrine during the Eucharistic Congress of 1976. Today, we celebrate Mary as Our Queen, but also as our Mother. And this crowning reminds us that as her children, we should aspire to win the crown of eternal life by taking to heart her words at the Wedding Feast of Cana: ‘Do whatever He (Jesus) tells you to do.’”
Following the Mass and Coronation, Archbishop Chaput spoke:
“I wanted to express my personal gratitude, and the gratitude of the Church of Philadelphia, to the Pauline Fathers, Fr. Tadeusz and dear brothers and priests. We are deeply grateful to you for staffing this Shrine, for your good example of Marian devotion and fidelity to the Church. So, we thank you for this occasion. And that leads me to express my gratitude, and the gratitude of the Church in the world, for the Church in Poland. You know the Church in Poland continues to be a sign of faith in the midst of a very, very secularized Europe, and there’s all kinds of pressure from the different parts of the world for Poland to give up its Catholic identity. And you and your ancestors, those of you who are Polish, have given a very good example of the resistance of that secularism, and we’re deeply grateful to you for that gift. It’s so necessary in today’s world.”
He then expressed thanks for Pope Saint John Paul II and the priests who have come to the USA from Poland, and asked for blessings on Poland and for many more vocations to come from Poland.
He closed with an enthusiastic, “Long Live Poland!”
Father Tadeusz Lizinczyk, the Provincial of the Pauline Fathers and Brothers in the United States, then echoed this sentiment in Polish, “Niech żyje Polska!” and then introduced the children, who presented flowers to the Archbishops as an expression of gratitude:
“There are not enough words to say thank you, but the children would like to say thank you to our Bishops with the flowers because that is the best expression of our thankfulness and gratitude that they are with us here.”
He then expressed his gratitude to all who attended, who helped make the day so special:
“…I would like to say,”Thank You,” to every one of you. Your presence here means a lot because it is a sign of our faith and devotion to Our Lady, and, through her, to go to Jesus Christ. So, thank you to every one of you dear Pilgrims for being with us today to honor Our Lady of Czestochowa.”
A Plenary Indulgence Granted by the Holy Father
In honor of the Coronation, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, has granted, under the usual conditions, a plenary indulgence to all pilgrims who visit the Shrine from May to October. Visit the website for more information (www.czestochowa.us/coronation).
About The American Czestochowa
Mary, your home upon the hill rises above the land to fill it with light. And as fate would have it, to be for it an ever-shining sign of God’s grace.
Towering over the Pennsylvania landscape, the American Czestochowa is a place where the faithful can feel the special radiance of Mary’s presence and experience Her motherly love and intercession. It is not merely a sanctuary or the monastery of the Pauline Fathers, it is above all a place where man meets God, finds healing, forgiveness, mercy, and strength through His graces. It is thanks to her, the one who shows us Jesus and leads us to Him. Mary is the Hodegetria, “She who shows the Way.” She is the one who, not only with her hand, but with her whole life, shows us the best and surest way to salvation: Jesus Christ.
In this sacred place have been heard the same words from her for more than sixty years: “Do everything, whatever He (Jesus) tells you.” Everyone who visits this place – be it distinguished persons such as presidents of the United States (Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Regan), holy people like Karol Wojtyła (now Pope Saint John Paul II), or just a humble pilgrim who prayed here, confessed their sins here, received Holy Communion – all have left this place transformed, richer and more beautiful spiritually, strengthened in their faith. Hundreds of thousands of small and great miracles, recorded upon the pages of books and within the human heart, have occurred and continue to occur each day in this place.
For more information about the American Czestochowa, please visit www.Czestochowa.us.
Photos – Photo Credit: Agnieszka Korbica
Link to Video on YouTube: