Today, the 3rd May, in Poland is celebrated the Solemnity of Our Lady, Queen of Poland.
On 1 April 1656, when almost the whole country, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, was occupied by the Swedish Army, during a Holy Mass celebrated by the papal legate Pietro Vidoni in Lviv’s Cathedral (at present Ukraine), King John II Casimir of Poland, in a grandiose and elaborate ceremony, entrusted the Commonwealth under the Blessed Virgin Mary’s protection, whom he announced as The Queen of the Polish Crown and other of his countries. This vow made by the king was accepted and ratified by both houses of parliament.
These were the words of the king:
“Oh Great Mother of God-Man, Holy Virgin! I, John Casimir, king by the mercy of your Son, King of kings and my Lord, and your mercy, fall to your most holy feet. Today I take Thee as my Patroness and the Queen of my countries. Just as myself so as well my Kingdom of Poland, Duchies of Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Mazovia, Samogitia, Livonia, Smolensk, Czernichow, and the armies of both nations, and all my peoples to your peculiar care and protection I recommend; In this disastrous and wretched defeat of my kingdom I humbly invoke Your help and kindness against the enemies of the Roman Church. Because I am compelled by your great blessings, together with my nation, I vow, on behalf of my senators and peoples, the new and ardent desire to dedicate ourselves to Your service. To you and to your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, I vow, that in all the countries of my kingdom the honour and devotion to you I will diligently expand. And since by your mighty intercession, and your Son’s great love, I will become victorious over my enemies, and first of all over Swedes, I pledge that I will apply to the Apostolic See, as a thanksgiving to You and to Your Son, this day be celebrated solemnly and to the end of time. I will do my best together with the bishops of my kingdom, so that what I have promised be fulfilled by my people. I confess with the great sadness of my heart, that the plagues, diseases, wars, and other misfortunes of these seven years fell on my Kingdom at the hands of your Son, because of the sighs and oppression of peasants and serfs. I swear furthermore, and vow, that upon the coming of peace I will earnestly strive, together with all the classes, that the people of my kingdom be liberated from all unjust burdens and tribulations. And Thou, O Most Merciful Queen and Lady, as You who have inspired me with the idea of this vow, so plead with Your Son for the grace of fulfilling it. Amen.”
And so it is today that in all Polish churches and in homes of Polish people scattered throughout the world, an Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa is to be found and Our Lady is honoured as truly the Queen of the country and of its people. She is Queen by vow, by act of parliament and by honour.
Regina Poloniae, ora pro nobis.
I have attached three images of the Icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa adorned with different jewellery robes.