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 The Jasna Góra Monastery (Luminous Mount) in Częstochowa, Poland, is the most famous Polish shrine to the Virgin Mary and the country's greatest place of pilgrimage – for many it is a spiritual capital. The site is one of Poland's official national Historic Monuments and tracked by the National Heritage Board of Poland.
Founded in 1382 by Pauline monks who came from Hungary at the invitation of Władysław, Duke of Opole. The monastery has been a pilgrimage destination for hundreds of years, and it contains the most important icon of the Virgin Mary in this part of Europe. The icon, depicting the Mother of God with the Christ Child, known as the Black Madonna of Częstochowa or Our Lady of Częstochowa, which is widely credited with many miracles is Jasna Góra’s most precious treasure. Among others, it is credited with miraculously saving the Jasna Góra monastery during a siege that took place during the 17’th century Swedish invasion. Shortly thereafter, in the cathedral of Lviv, in 1656, Jan Kazimierz, the King of Poland, solemnly pronounced his vow to consecrate the country to the protection of the Mother of God and proclaimed Her the Patron and Queen of the lands in his kingdom. Since then St Mary is the official patron of Poland.
Jasna GóraJasna Góra 2
 Since the Middle Ages, every year thousands of Poles go in pilgrim groups to visit Jasna Góra. It is estimated that 103,000 pilgrims went to the shrine in 2012. The average distance to travel is about 350 kilometres, made by foot in 11 days.   Upon arriving at the location where one would pass in front of the icon of Our Lady, it is expected and a sign of respect for pilgrims to drop to their knees, and traverse the anterior of the shrine on their knees.
 

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