JASNA GORA'S TOURS

Jasna Góra's most valuable treasure is the miraculous painting of Our Lady. Because of this painting, Jasna Góra became Poland's most famous sanctuary among the numerous sites to Marian devotion throughout the country. But it is not just the tradition, which considers Luke the Apostle as the artist, or the influence of monarchs to whom Jasna Góra has always been dear that made this place famous above all others. It is the Miraculous presence of the image which has always attracted pilgrims not only from all over Poland but from all over the world, as the numerous votive offerings show. The painting of Our Lady is the very core of Jasna Góra drawing crowds of pilgrims to it. This sanctuary was not built after a Marian apparition as is usually the case for major holy sites. Without the painting, Jasna Góra would be nothing but a building complex, a museum of artworks which are undoubtedly

precious and beautiful but devoid of any vitality. The painting is the mystery, the fulcrum, the atmosphere of the Jasna Góra sanctuary.

It was painted on a wood panel measuring 122.2 x 82.2 x 3.5 cms. and features a bust of the Virgin with Jesus in her arms. Mary's face dominates the painting and observers find themselves immersed in her eyes. They look at Mary, who looks back at them.
The face of the Child is also turned towards the pilgrim but his eyes are looking elsewhere. The two faces have a serious and thoughtful expression adding to the emotional tone of the painting. Our Lady's right cheek is marked by two parallel slashes and a third horizontal cut. The neck of the image is marred with six scratches, two more visible than others. Jesus, dressed in a scarlet tunic is supported by His Mother's left hand, his right hand is raised in a magisterial gesture, of sovereignty and benediction. The hand of the Virgin rests on Her breast, as if she were indicating the Child. The Virgin's robe and mantle are decorated with lilies, the symbol of the Hungarian royal family. A six-pointed star is featured on Mary's brow. An important element are the auras around the Virgin and Child since their luminous quality contrasts with the dark facial tones.

The painting of the Virgin belongs to the group of Hodigitria icons "she who indicates and guides alon the  road".
The Jasna Góra icon represents the Biblical message and invites prayer and reflection.

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