Saturday, February 11, 2006

Polish Black Madonna gets a make-over

Religious groups outraged as magazine tampers with image of the Virgin Mary.

The pop culture magazine Machina has relaunched after a three year break this week with the perfect PR stunt – wind up religious people by superimposing the face of pop diva Madonna onto Poland’s most holy icon, the Black Madonna of Jasna Gora monastery in the southern city of Czestochowa.. reports:

Pop magazine Machina published a photograph [on its front cover] of the sacred icon, with singer Madonna's face transposed over the face of the Virgin and one of the singer's children in the place of the baby Jesus, on the cover of the issue which hit the news stands today after a three-year publishing hiatus.

"The icon, along with the crucifix and the Bible, are key symbols of faith for all Christians," the monks said in a statement on their website.

"Current events have shown us where abuse of religious images and symbols can lead," the statement said, referring indirectly to the wave of protests that have hit the Muslim world since the publication of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in several European newspapers.

The Black Madonna icon was brought to Poland in 1382 from Byzantium or the Orient.
Besides being credited with many miraculous healings, Poland's faithful attribute several battleground victories to the icon, including the halting of Soviet Russian troops at the doorstep of Warsaw on May 3, 1920.

That’s when the Poles beat back Trotsky’s Red Army, thereby foiling the Bolshevik attempt at world revolution.

But will the protests over the Danish cartoons unleash a biblical-sized flood of complaints from all sorts of religious groups demanding special treatment and protection from being offended?


DBN said...

If I may add a word of clarification: The Black Madonna, is foremost known to Poles for stopping the advancement of Swedish troops in what is called the "Swedish Deluge" in 1655.

The myth has it, that when one of the Swedes slashed the picture, the Poles started to win the war. This is supposed to explain the two scars that can be seen on the Madonna's face (the original, of course).

You can see the original with the scars here:

StefanMichnik said...

Dear beatroot,

The team of is sending you many greatings. You has taken a picture to this post from their site but unfortunatelly you forgot to mention about the boycot in your comments. Despite the fact that you know about it since Tuesday, correct me if I am wrong....

If you readers forgot where are you I remind you that this is
"the beatroot
Politics and current affairs of Poland, Central Europe and the EU from a British journalist in Warsaw"

Sorry, but Braslians, despite the fact they are not "based in Warsaw" are faster than you...:)


Frank Partisan said...

I don't have a clue about what StefanMichnik is saying.

It is actually humorous. Madonna wants to be a Kabbalah religious icon.

StefanMichnik said...

Well, I think that beatroot has a clue...:)

beatroot said...

Actually I am a bit consuded too. The photo (of the black modona?) is on the front of Machina magazine. It's in the public domain. I got it not from but from Google images...

michael farris said...

Beatroot, not as fast as the wily Brazilians, how will he ever live down the shame?

Now I know how to scare Beatroot,

(scared you didn't I?)

beatroot said...

Please don't mention Brazillians...

gumish said...

dbn - the scars of Madonna do not by any chance originate from the Swedish Deluge times - the Swedes and their allies never entered the Czestochowa monastery - this is why. There is definitely much myth believed in the public about what actually happened when troops on Swedish services tried to sack the monastery but the truth is did not succeed. The contemporanous prior of the monastery - Augustyn Kordecki gave a description of the siege which suggested supernatural forces where there to defend the monastery (e.g. Mother Mary) but his report was largely exagerated or plainly propagandist lie. This report was used later in the conflict to incite the Poles against Swedish rule who whowever were already incited when the Swedes gradually changed their methods to harsher and harsher.

As for the scars on Madonna picture - I once heard a popular explanation of where they come from but for I am not sure if the story is true I am not going to put it here.

gumish said...

Sorry for some mistakes in the message above. Fast is not always the best. :) :P

beatroot said...

Any more on Swedish deluge?~(No, I am not talking about IKEA).

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