Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., recently hosted a traveling version of the icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa (or Black Madonna), according to the College’s website.
The third class relic was hosted as a part of the College’s events planned in the days leading up to the canonizations of Blessed Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. The College reports:
“This icon will be displayed as part of our John Paul Days leading up to the canonization of St. John Paul II and St. John XXIII on April 27,” said David Trotter, Director for Mission and Ministry at Benedictine College. “Each day will highlight a theme of Pope John Paul II’s pontificate. April 11, with the icon, is our Totus Tuus day, especially important in this year of the consecration of Benedictine College to Our Lady.”
The icon of Our Lady of Częstochowa was a favorite of Blessed John Paul II, who made three pilgrimages to the shrine as pope. One in 1979 came just months after his election. The international popularity of the icon is largely due to John Paul’s personal devotion to Mary and this particular icon.
The work is a traditional display of classic Eastern European iconography. In it, the Blessed Virgin directs attention away from herself, gesturing with her right hand toward Jesus as the source of salvation. In turn, the child extends his right hand toward the viewer in a blessing while holding a book of Gospels in his left hand.
Benedictine College is recommended in The Newman Guide for its strong Catholic identity.
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