PRAYER TO OUR LADY OF CZESTOCHOWA
O Mother of God, Immaculate Mary, to Thee do I dedicate my body and soul, all my prayers and deeds, my joys and sufferings, all that I am and all that I have. With a joyful heart I surrender myself to Thy love. To Thee will I devote my services of my own free will for the salvation of mankind, and for the help of the Holy Church whose Mother Thou art. From now on my only desire is to do all things with Thee, through Thee, and for Thee. I know I can accomplish nothing by my own strength, whereas You can do everything that is the will of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. You are always victorious. Grant, therefore, O Helper of the Faithful, that my family, my parish, and my country might become in truth the Kingdom where Thou reignest in the glorious presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, forever and ever.
The legend concerning the two scars on the Black Madonna’s right cheek is that the Hussites stormed the Pauline monastery in 1430, plundering the sanctuary. Among the items stolen was the icon. After putting it in their wagon, the Hussites tried to get away but their horses refused to move. They threw the portrait down to the ground and one of the plunderers drew his sword upon the image and inflicted two deep strikes. When the robber tried to inflict a third strike, he fell to the ground and writhed in agony until his death. Despite past attempts to repair these scars, they had difficulty in covering up those slashes as the painting was done with tempera infused with diluted wax.
Another legend states that, as the robber struck the painting twice, the face of the Virgin Mary started to bleed; in a panic, the scared Hussites retreated and left the painting.