Legend has it that Our Lady of Czestochowa was originally painted by St. Luke on a piece of wood from the Holy Family’s table.
The icon then vanished for over 300 years until being found by St. Helen in Jerusalem. She had it transferred to a shrine on Constantinople. During an attack on the city the icon was raised up on the wall and the enemy fled.
Over the next thousand years the icon passed through many hands before being put in a church in Czestochowa, Poland.
In 1430 the church was pillaged by Hussite raiders and one of the men slashed the icon with his sword twice before dropping dead.
Due to the composition of the paint used on the icon, attempts to paint over the scars failed.
The name “Black Madonna” comes from her very dark skin which is the result of centuries of soot from votive candles and also possibly from the heat of a fire in the church.