The Virgin Mary
Mother of Jesus Christ and Patroness of Poland
Written by Margaret Odrowaz-Sypniewska, B.F.A.

This Russian icon is from the 19th century (1874)
Vladimir Mother of God (Bogamater Vlademirskaga)
Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, Washington

The music playing is "Ave Maria" by Schubert.
From: Roman Catholic Authors

According to legend, St. Luke painted three pictures of Christ's mother during her lifetime, but no such images have survived. Unlike her son, she is a minimal presence in the New Testament; she is referred to directly in ten chapters in the four Gospels and speaks only five times. Yet the Virgin Mary is second only to Christ as a subject in Christian art(Wheeler).

Saturday is the day of the Blessed Mother from the early days of the Catholic Church.


  1. Marion doctrines in opposition to gnosticism were found as early as the second century.

  2. In the year 326, Saint Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great, located the icon which would later be known as "Our Lady of Czestochowa."

  3. There was devotion to Mary in the third century in Alexandria, Egypt.

  4. In the fourth century, the Eastern church venerates Mary as Theotokos, Mother of God.

  5. Nestorius develops his philosophy of Nestorianism in the fifth century. however, he is labelled a heretic.

  6. During the sixth century, the shrine of Isis, the pagan goddess of Egypt and surrounding areas, is made into a Christian church.

  7. From the eighth through the thirteenth century, the cult of Mary is prominent in the Latin Church. Mary was thought to be the mediator before God, thus the beginning of many prayers: Hail Mary, full of grace...

  8. In the ninth century through the eleventh century, there was a breaking down of the relationship between the Eastern (Orthodox) and Western (Roman) Catholics. This breakdown became official in the eleventh century. Most of the debate was in regards to icons. The iconoclasts thought holy images were a form of idolatry. As early as 730 the veneration of images was prohibited by Emperor Leo III. In 787, these decrees were overturned.

  9. In 1382, the first recorded history of Our Lady of Czechtochowa begins.

  10. In the thirteenth century, in 1382, the Tartars shot an arrow into the throat of Our Lady of Czestochowa. This scar remains today.

  11. In the sixteenth century, reformers pointed out that in the scriptures, Jesus was the only mediator before God. The scriptures were used as the source of doctrines and liturgies. Martin Luther and John Calvin (Protestant reformers), felt that Mary was worth honor and praise, but not worship.

  12. At the Council of Trent (1545-1563) there were still questions about the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. Not until 1854 would the Immaculate Conception be defined by papal decree. The Assumption was issued as a papal bull in 1950 (by Pope Pius XII).

There are no images of Mary or Christ that can be traced to the first three centuries of Christianity.

Hail to thy blessed name, O Mary.
Thy name which is sweeeter than all perfumes.
... This was a Hymm to Mary by Zerea Jacob, King of Ayssinia.

CLICK HERE for the Feast Days Devoted to the Virgin Mary



Knab, Sophie Hodorowicz. Polish Customs, Traditions, and Folklore. New York: Hippocrene Books, 1998.

O'Laverty, B.A., Fr. H. The Mother of God and Her Glorious Feasts. Rockford, IL.: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1977 (reprinted from The Mother of God's Glorious Feasts, 1908).

Wheeler, Marion. Her Face: Images of the Virgin Mary in Art. Cobb, CA.: First Glance Book, 1998.


Polish Legends and Lore: A Study in Symbolism, Faith, and Literature ... The Role of the Church in the History of the Odrovans (Odrowaz Family) ...
The Great Feast Days of the Orthodox Church ... Icons of the Mother of God
The Blessed Virgin Mary: Apologetics Page ... Mary and the Saints

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