The Black Madonna

Black Madonna of Częstochowa (Our Lady of Czestochowa)

Black Madonna of Częstochowa (Our Lady of Czestochowa)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Black Madonna of Częstochowa, also known as Our Lady of Czestochowa. This icon is of a type called the Hodegetria, or She Who Shows the Way. While the Virgin Mary is looking directly at the viewer, her right hand is directing your attention to her son, Jesus.

Church tradition is that this very icon was originally painted by St. Luke the Evangelist. Supposedly he painted it on a tabletop while interviewing her for what became the Gospel of Luke. The icon cannot be properly dated because it was poorly and incorrectly restored in the 1400′s after being damaged by the Hussites. If we disregard Church tradition (and why exactly would we do that), the icon is first known to western history upon its arrival in Częstochowa in 1382.