Jasna Gora monastery
The famous Pauline Monastery of Jasna Gora is the main Catholic centre in Poland. Every August, thousands of people join walking pilgrimages to Czestochowa to pray in front of the famous Black Madonna painting. The legend says Saint Luke the Evangelist created it on the wood from Saint Mary’s table in her home in Jerusalem. The monastery is also home to votive objects connected to Saint John Paul II, e.g. a part of the cassock stained with blood with a hole after the assassination attempt in 1981. Many people claim Jasna Gora is a miraculous place, where people with terminal diseases or severe handicaps can be cured. The monastery is beautifully located on a hill, from where you can see a stunning panorama of the whole city. The history of the sanctuary is quite turbulent. In 1655 the monks supported by local volunteers successfully fought off the Swedish Invasion, known as the Siege of Jasna Gora. For Catholics it was a proof of the sacred nature of this place and the miraculous force of the painting. Because of the importance of the sanctuary for the Polish people, Saint John Paul II visited it many times. In 1991, Jasna Gora was the venue for the World Youth Day.