Located in south central Poland, the renowned icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa (Our Lady of Jasna Gora) is also known as the Black Madonna. It is kept inside the monastery of Jasna Gora in the town of Czestochowa. It was brought to Czestochowa by Prince Ladislaus Opolszy, who brought it to Poland from Ruthenia. It is said that Saint Luke painted the icon on a tablet manufactured by Saint Joseph for the Holy Family that was taken from Jerusalem to Constantinople and given to Princess Anna, wife of Vladimir of Kiev. After Prince Ladislaus founded the Jasna Gora Monastery in 1382, he entrusted the care of the Icon to the Hungarian Pauline monks who lived there. The icon is known as the Black Madonna, because the faces and hands of the Virgin and Child are dark. The slash marks on Our Lady’s face are were likely committed during a robbery and attack on the monastery by iconoclasts. After the attack, renovation of the painting took place from 1430-1434 in the court of King Ladislaus Jagiello.
The defense of Jasna Gora in 1655 during the Swedish invasion was a monumental point in Polish history. When King John Casimir made his vows in 1656, he enthroned Our Lady of Jasna Gora as Queen of Poland. She is beloved by the Polish people, and St. John Paul II entrusted his pontificate to Mary as Our Lady of Czestochowa under the motto of Totus Tuus.
Accommodations: There are many hotels in Czestochowa, from budget to 4*. It is also very feasible to take a day trip to Czestochowa from Krakow and stay in a hotel in the Krakow area.
Transportation: Czestochowa is located on the River Warta about 70 miles from Krakow. Drive: Czestochowa is approximately a 2 hour drive (90 miles) from Krakow on A4 and DK1. Train: There are many departures throughout the day between Krakow Glowny to Czestochowa Stradom. Direct trains take about 1.5 hours one way. Bus: There are many buses (FlixBus) traveling between Krakow and Czestochowa daily – it is a 3 hour ride each way.