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A Great Miracle of Our Lady of Czestochowa

Hugh O'Reilly
Our Lady of Czestochowa is one of the largest Marian shrines in Poland and the greatest treasure of the city of Jasna Gora. Tradition tells us that St. Luke the Evangelist painted the Icon on the back of the tabletop used by the Holy Family in Nazareth. Many miracles have been worked through the ages by the Virgin of Czestochowa and what follows is one of the greatest and most marvelous.

In 1540, in Lublin, Poland, a butcher named Marcin Lanio went to town to buy some things. His wife Malgorzata stayed home to bake some bread and look after their two little boys, Poitrus, age 4, and Kazimierz, age 2.

.bakers medieval oven

Making bread for the family in the large outdoor oven

As it happened Malgorzata ran short of yeast, and so she went to borrow some from her neighbor, leaving her two boys home alone.

Poitrus, the older of the two, who had often watched the butchers slaughter the livestock in the year, decided to imitate them in play. Without realizing the consequences of such an action, Poitrus took a sharp knife and slashed the throat of his brother, sleeping peacefully in a nearby crib.

Seeing the flow of blood, he realized that something bad had happened. Fearing punishment from his mother, the boy hid in the large baker’s oven left open by his mother.

Soon the mother returned to the quiet house. Suspecting nothing, she started a log fire in the prepared oven and went on with her baking.

Suddenly her blood froze in her veins as she heard the agonizing screams of her son Poitrus coming from the oven. She rushed to pull him out, but the boy was already dead, suffocated in the smoke-filled chamber. Only then did she notice her dead little Kazio in the blood-stained crib.

.Madonna of Jasna Goira

The miraculous image of Our Lady of Jasna Gora

All this was too much for the poor woman, and she went crazy, striking her head on the wall, pulling out her hair and tearing her clothes to shreds.

When her husband Marcin returned home, he saw the terrible scene. Seeing his demented wife he believed she had killed her sons. In uncontrolled fury he took an axe and crushed her skull with a single blow.

When he realized what he had done, a dreadful fear and remorse seized him. His mind, however, became enlightened by a sudden heavenly impulse. Instead of despairing and taking his own life, he placed his entire faith and confidence in the Madonna of Czestochowa, to whom he had a great devotion. He begged her not to forsake him in his critical moment.

By now many of his neighbors had assembled at the scene of the tragedy. Dumbfounded they watched. Marcin Lanio, without a word, load the three corpses into a wagon, make the Sign of the Cross, and turn the horses in the direction of the Shrine of Czestochowa.

In silence Marcin journeyed through the narrow roads, followed by a great number of skeptical people, whose number increased as he drew nearer to the Shrine. Marcin paid no heed to them, because his mind and heart were focused on the Blessed Mother of God.

.blessed Stanislaw Oporowski

Blessed Stanislaw Oporowski, known for his devotion to Our Lady & miracles

When Marcin finally arrived at the Shrine, some of the bystanders helped to carry the dead bodies into the church. He himself did not enter, lacking both the strength and the courage. Instead he lay prostrate before the main door, kissing the feet of the people who entered and begging them to pray to Our Lady for his family before the throne of the Miraculous Madonna.

Inside, Blessed Stanislaw Oporowski, a devout priest, was conducting the Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The portrait of the Black Madonna, high above the main altar, glowed with heavenly splendor. In tears Blessed Stanislaw and all the people prayed and begged the intercession of Our Lady for the poor butcher and his family.

As the Magnificat was entoned, a supernatural air penetrated the chapel. At the words, "Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me, and holy is His Name," a dumbfounded shock came over the congregation. The three lifeless corpses came to life and slowly rose from their places.

For a moment there was a great and profound silence. Then all joined spontaneously in a thanksgiving hymn to the Madonna. Soon the fame of this miracle became known worldwide, and the Emperor himself ordered that a copy of this miraculous portrait be made and placed in the Cathedral in Vienna.

Now then, let no Protestant or heretic refuse this truth of this miracle, for if they do, they will have to face God and Our Lady on this matter, and I would not like to be in their shoes.


Blason de Charlemagne
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Adapted from Saints Who Raised the Dead
by Father Albert J. Hebert, TAN, 1986, NO. 24
Posted September 2, 2023

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