The Jasna Gora Monastery in Czestochowa, Poland is the most famous shrine to the Virgin Mary in Poland and the country's greatest place of pilgrimage - for many its spiritual capital. The image of Black Madonna of Czestochowa, to which miraculous powers are attributed, is Jasna Gora's most precious treasure. Founded in 1382 by Pauline monks who came from Hungary at the invitation of Wladyslaw, Duke of Opole.
The monastery has been a pilgrimage destination for hundreds of years, and it contains the most important icon of the Virgin Mary in this part of Europe. The icon, depicting the Mother of God with the Christ Child, is known as the Black Madonna of Czestochowa or Our Lady of Czestochowa, which is widely venerated and credited with many miracles. Among these, it is credited with miraculously saving the Jasna Gora monastery during a siege that took place at the time of The Deluge, a 17th century Swedish invasion. Although this event was of little military importance, the event stimulated the Polish resistance. The Poles could not immediately change the course of the war but after an alliance with the Crimean Khanate they repulsed the Swedes. Shortly thereafter, in the cathedral of Lwow, on April 1, 1656, Jan Kazimierz, the King of Poland, solemnly pronounced his vow to consecrate the country to the protection of the Mother of God and proclaimed Her the Patron and Queen of the lands in his kingdom.