Warsaw via Częstochowa

1656: King Jan Kazimierz dedicates Poland to the protection of the Blessed Virgin
1656: King Jan Kazimierz vows to dedicate Poland and its territories to the protection of the Blessed Virgin

From Auschwitz we bused to  Częstochowa, and visited Jasna Góra, a pretty monastery that houses the much venerated Black Madonna. A photo I had taken  out of pure curiosity in the monastery provided a clue that helped broaden my understanding of the period when things began coming apart for the Polish-Lithuanian Coalition and the huge geographical area controlled by that alliance. As we passed through the Monastery a large painting with a big Polish sign underneath intrigued me, so I snapped it. Looking at it a few days ago, I translated the sign and the painting was indeed important. It refers to what is called the Lwów Oath sworn on April 1, 1656. The Swedes had invaded Poland. They marched into Warsaw in 1655. This was the beginning of the 5-rear-long Swedish Deluge. In November 1655 the Swedes threatened to take the monastery at Jasna Góra, but a force of 3200 was fought off by about 150 monks and locals successfully. Their heroism inspired all of Poland to rise up. The Black Madonna (Mary) became the “miraculous” power behind the Polish resistance.

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