March 4, 2018

Visit of Our Lady of Czestochowa

from Sister M. Damiana Czogała

“Who am I that the Mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43)

An icon of the Blessed Mother of Czestochowa has been visiting the Polish dioceses and parishes since the end of the 1950s. Since September of the past year it has been “pilgrimaging” through the diocese of Warsaw-Prague where our provincial house is located.

Visit in the Provincial House

 This picture of grace visited our house from February 15-16, 2018. Divine Providence had arranged it so just at that time the last retreat course for the sisters of our province was coming to an end. Therefore representatives of all filiations were present.

The car came punctually at 4:00 p.m. In the house chapel all the sisters were waiting, as well as our neighbors, representatives of the Schoenstatt Movement, and Marian devotees who had befriended us. We greeted our honored guest with songs and prayers. In the name of the sisters’ community, Sister M. Lidia Czerwonka, our provincial superior, greeted the Blessed Mother. She gave expression to our joy and our unity with and faithfulness to the Blessed Mother, who for centuries has glorified herself in the history of our fatherland, who has also shown her power in the history of the Schoenstatt family, our sisters’ community, and the lives of each one of us personally.

We bring the water of our everyday life

Like the servants at Cana, we also bring the water of our everyday life into the “capital of grace.” We ask Mary to beg her Son to transform this “water” into the good “wine” of grace.

We celebrated the evening holy Mass with Auxiliary Bishop Marek Solarczyk from the diocese of Warsaw-Prague. In his homily the bishop showed us sisters our high calling to be “Sisters of the dear Blessed Mother.” With a personal testimony he placed before our eyes the nearness of Mary in our everyday life and depicted the ideal of Christian life which is marked by the cross. Mary comes to us in order to strengthen us and to accompany us and our relatives, especially in the hours of suffering and of insecurity.

In a celebration we thanked our Queen for the blessed history of our Polish sisters’ province, and for the guidance of our father and founder, who was very concerned that Schoenstatt would also be proclaimed in Poland.

On this day our evening greeting to the Blessed Mother, the so-called “Appeal of Jasna Gora,” which is sung daily at 9:00 pm, was filled with special tenderness. During the night we held a vigil with the Blessed Mother.

We place ourselves anew at the disposal of the Queen as her instruments.

At the farewell benediction we presented our spiritual gift to the Blessed Mother, which we had prepared for the three-hundred-year jubilee of the coronation of the picture of grace of Jasna Gora. We placed ourselves anew at the disposal of the Queen as her instruments.

With beautiful Marian songs we then said farewell to the Madonna of Jasna Gora. However, we only said “until soon,” because we will soon come to Czestochowa for the Night Watch of the Schoenstatt Movement which will take place during the night from March 10-11, 2018.