Icon of Our Lady

Why is the picture dark?

Often referred to as the '' Black Madonna ", the image is of ancient origin, when dark paints were used by artists. The picture of the Mother of God with the Child Jesus on her left arm is done in tempera, covered with a fine woven material and treated with a very fine chalk-like substance.

How old is the holy picture?

Nobody knows for certain, but the colours, technique and composition seem to indicate it as early Christian, Byzantine origin. Recent studies trace it to the 7th or 8th century.

Where do the scars come from?

In 1430 the Shrine in Czestochowa, Poland, was invaded and plundered of its treasures. The bandits removed the holy picture from the chapel and attempted to destroy it with a sword, inflicting notice able scars on the face of our Lady. In restoring the painting these sword slashes were left as reminders of that dreadful desecration the holy image suffered.

Is the Icon actually miraculous?

There are many volumes of miracles recorded which have been attributed to the intercession of Our Lady of Czestochowa. These miracles range from astounding physical healings to spiritual conversions.

Prayers to Our Lady of Czestochowa

Hymn to the Black Madonna

There's a corner of a country
Which the pilgrims gladly seek
Where in glory hangs the portrait
Of a Queen slashed on the cheek.
She is grieving, She is caring,
She invites us, everyone:
"I'm your Mother, be my daughter,
be my son."

Madonna, oh Black Madonna
I'm happy your child to be
Oh grant me, oh Black Madonna
That your arms may cradle me.

In your arms we find the refuge
And the warmth of your great love
In your arms we do find hope, joy
And the strength to go through life.
In your arms is found the Saviour
The Bread, The Truth and our Way,
In your arms is found the Peace
For which we search.

Madonna, oh Black Madonna
I'm happy your child to be
Oh grant me, oh Black Madonna
That your arms may cradle me.

A Prayer to Our Lady of Czestochowa

Holy Mother of Czestochowa, you are full of grace, goodness and mercy. I consecrate to you all my thoughts, words and actions – my soul and body. I beseech your blessings and especially prayers for my salvation.

Today I consecrate myself to you, good Mother, totally – with body and soul amid joy and sufferings, to obtain for myself and others your blessings on this earth and eternal life in heaven.


Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland, pray for us.

Diocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy, commonly known as Penrose Park (located in the Southern Highlands, NSW) is a renowned place of veneration of the replica of the Icon of Our Lady of Jasna Góra, known as the Black Madonna.  The Shrine is ministered by the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit known as the Pauline Fathers, who are the custodians of the original Icon of the Black Madonna for more than 630 years.