All our students and pilgrims visit her. She’s Poland’s queen. She’s the Mother of God, and our Mother.

If you are unfamiliar with “Our Lady of Częstochowa”, suffice it to say here that she is to Poland as “Our Lady of Guadalupe” is to Mexico. 

Here’s what Pope John Paul II said to the young people at Częstochowa gathered at World Youth Day 1991. His words ring powerfully true for our youth today.

Happy Feast Day!

“Young friends!

Now is the moment to say goodbye. We part under the maternal gaze of the Black Madonna, the Virgin of Jasna Góra, whom we look at today with the eyes of faith in the glory of the Assumption.

In it, human nature has reached its peak. She is only surpassed by the perfection of the Son, the Incarnate Word. Mary appears to us today as a model of life growing towards full maturity.

“Maturity”: this is the task of the young person. In the biological sphere, stagnation and lack of development are signs of the beginning of old age.

The same law applies to the spiritual life. There is only one difference: the spirit knows no biological limits to growth. This is why it may not be aging.

Dear girls and boys, this is the task that Our Lady leaves you: grow as persons, develop talents proper to the body and soul, grow as Christians in the pursuit of holiness ; grow as witnesses of Christ who is “the light of the world” ( Joel 8:12 ).

Mary also shows you the way of this development: the way that is Christ . It is a steep, narrow and difficult road. However, for those who wish to go further according to the indications of the Gospel, it is the path that leads to true joy.

Dear young friends, “You have received a spirit of adoption as sons” ( Rom . 8:15 ). Do not waste this wonderful heritage! Be demanding of the world around you, but most of all, be demanding of yourself. You are sons of God: be proud of it!

Do not fall into mediocrity, do not succumb to the dictates of changing fashions, which impose a lifestyle inconsistent with Christian ideals, do not let yourselves be deceived by the delusions of consumerism. Christ calls you to do great things. Don’t disappoint Him, because that would be a disappointment for you.

With the power that Christ gives you, tell all people that God wants to make everyone his son . May your testimony be the leaven of the new world that every human being desires: a truly just, united and fraternal world.

On this path, may the Mother of God and people, Lady of Jasna Góra, accompany you.”

– Pope Saint John Paul II’s parting words to the young people, 

World Youth Day, 1991, Częstochowa, Poland.