John Paul II's Act of Consecration to the Mother of God in Jasna Gora
""Great Mother of God made man, Most Holy Virgin, Our Lady of Jasna Gora
With these words the Polish Bishops addressed you so many times at Jasna Gora
, bearing in their hearts the experiences and the sufferings, the joy and the sorrow, and, above all, the faith, hope and charity of their fellow-countrymen.
May I be permitted today to begin with the same words the new act of consecration to Our Lady of Jasna Gora
This new act springs from that same faith, hope and charity, and from the tradition of our people shared by me for so many years.
I desire today, coming to Jasna Gora as the first pilgrim Pope, to renew this heritage of trust, of consecration and of hope, that has been accumulated here with such magnanimity by my Brothers in the Episcopate and my fellow-countrymen.
In Poland we have got a very important place for Mary, it's called Czestochowa, Jasna Gora and I have been there many times on pilgrimage.
What is for me very important is that Mary doesn't want to know every time the answer for every question; sometimes she
is just in silence and takes what God gives her
St John Paul II's Homily at Mass at the Marian Shrine of Jasna Gora
Czestochowa, Monday 4 June 1979 - in English, French, Italian, Portuguese & Spanish
"1. "Holy Virgin guarding bright Czestochowa
..." To my mind come back these words of the poet Mickiewicz, who in an invocation to the Virgin at the beginning of his
'Pan Tadeusz' expressed what then beat and still beats in the hearts of all Poles, by making use of the language of faith and that of our national tradition.
It is a tradition that goes back some 600 years to the time of the blessed Queen Hedwig at the dawn of the Jagellonian dynasty.
The image of Jasna Gora
expresses a tradition and a language of faith still more ancient than our history and also reflecting the whole of the content of the Bogurodzica, on which we meditated yesterday at Gniezno, recalling the mission of St Wojciech (Adalbert) and going back to the first moments of the proclamation of the Gospel in the land of Poland.
who once spoke in song, later spoke in this Image, manifesting through it her
maternal presence in the life of the Church and of the motherland.
The Virgin of Jasna Gora
has revealed her
maternal solicitude for every soul; for every family; for every human being living in this land, working here, fighting and falling on the battlefield, condemned to extermination, fighting against himself, winning or losing; for every human being who must leave the soil of his
motherland as an emigrant; for every human being.
The Poles are accustomed to link with this place, this shrine, the many happenings of their lives: the various joyful or sad moments, especially the solemn, decisive moments, the occasions of responsibility, such as the choice of the direction for one's life, the choice of one's vocation, the birth of one's children, the final school examinations, and so many other occasions.
They are accustomed to come with their problems to Jasna Gora
to speak of them with their heavenly Mother, who not only has her
image here, one of the best known and most venerated pictures of her
in the world, but is specially present here.
is present in the mystery of Christ and of the Church, as the Council teaches.
is present for each and every one of those who come on pilgrimage to her
, even if only in spirit and heart when unable to do so physically.
Something has happened that is beyond our powers of imagining... Jasna Gora
has shown itself an inward bond in Polish life, a force that touches the depths of our hearts and holds the entire nation in the humble yet strong attitude of fidelity to God, to the Church and to her
Hierarchy... For many of us it was a great surprise to see the power of the Queen of Poland display itself so magnificently."
It is no wonder then that I too should come here today.
I have, in fact, taken with me from Poland to the chair of Saint Peter in Rome this "holy habit" of the heart, which has been built up by the faith of so many generations, has been tested by the Christian experience of so many centuries, and is deeply rooted in my soul.
2. Several times Pope Pius XI came here, naturally not as Pope but as Achille Ratti, the first Nuncio in Poland after the recovery of independence.
After the death of Pius XII, when Pope John XXIII was elected to the Chair of Peter, the first words of the new Pontiff to the Primate of Poland after the Conclave were a reference to Jasna Gora
visits here during his
years as Apostolic Delegate in Bulgaria and he
asked above all for unceasing prayer to the Mother of God for the intentions involved in his
request was satisfied every day at Jasna Gora
, not only during his
pontificate but also during those of his
We all know how much Pope Paul VI wanted to come here in pilgrimage.
was so closely connected with Poland from the time of his
first diplomatic appointment in the Warsaw Nunciature.
was the Pope that did so much for the normalization of the life of the Church in Poland, particularly with regard to the present arrangement of the territories in the west and the north.
was the Pope of our Millennium.
It was for the Millennium that he
wanted to be here as a pilgrim together with the sons and daughters of the Polish Nation.
After the Lord called Pope Paul VI to himself on the solemnity of the Transfiguration last year, the Cardinals chose his
Successor on 26 August, the day on which Poland, and especially Jasna Gora
, celebrates the solemnity of Our Lady of Czestochowa
The news of the election of the new Pope, John Paul I, was communicated to the faithful by the Bishop of Czestochowa
in the course of the evening celebration.
I will tell you: on that 16 October, the day on which the liturgical calendar of the Church in Poland recalls St Hedwig, I went back in thought to 26 August, to the preceding Conclave and the election that took place on the Solemnity of Our Lady of Jasna Gora
I had no need even to say, as my Predecessors said, that I was going to count on the prayers offered at the foot of the image of Jasna Gora
The call of a son of the Polish nation to the Chair of Peter involves an evident strong connection with this holy place, with this shrine of great hope: so many times I had whispered 'Totus tuus' in prayer before this image.
3. And today I am again with all of you, dear brothers and sisters; with you, beloved fellow-countrymen; with you, the Cardinal Primate of Poland; with all the Episcopate to which I belonged for more than 20 years as Bishop, Metropolitan Archbishop of Krakow and as Cardinal.
So many times we came here to this holy place with attentive pastoral ear, to listen to the beating of the heart of the Church and of that of the motherland in the heart of the Mother.
is, in fact, not only a place of pilgrimage for the Poles of the motherland and of the whole world but also the nation's shrine.
On 3 May 1966 the Polish Episcopate added to this fundamental work by the Council its own act of Jasna Gora
: the consecration to the Mother of God for the freedom of the Church in the world and in Poland.
4. Pope Paul VI accepted this act of consecration as the fruit of the celebration of the Polish Millennium of Jasna Gora
, as is shown by his
bull placed close to the image of the Black Madonna of Czestochowa
Today, on coming to Jasna Gora
unworthy Successor wishes to renew it on the day after Pentecost, the very day on which is celebrated throughout Poland the feast of the Mother of the Church.
For the first time the Pope is celebrating this solemnity, expressing together with you, venerable and dear Brothers, his
gratitude towards his
great Predecessor, who from the time of the Council began to invoke Mary with the title of the Mother of the Church.