During the month of May, the Virgin Mary is celebrated throughout the world by Christians and Orthodox Christians because of her special place in history. She is a controversial figure among Christian groups, but her legacy endures. The Black Madonna is a version of the Virgin Mary that has a unique mystique that has only grown since the beginnings of Christianity because the image is one of hope.
It is Mary’s personality, virtues, and appearances that give her appeal beyond her time here on earth. She continues to exhibit human traits from a supernatural place. The uncanny intercessions she has made since the time of Christ have provided hope and universal appeal.
In metaphysics, there are no coincidences, and recognizing signs is important. One sign that has become important over the centuries is an image and/or statue of the Black Madonna. The veneration of this model of the Virgin Mary is not necessarily from an apparition but the presence of this image has become an enduring symbol of hope, survival, perseverance, and protection.
Origins of the Image
You could identify many different origins of the Black Madonna image, but one of the most interesting involves the Apostle Luke. The evangelist Luke was an educated man becoming a doctor and scholar while being a slave! It is said that he was an artist as well and painted the image of the Black Madonna on a table built by Jesus while receiving stories from the Virgin Mary when she was alive.
It is said that this portrayal of the image was carried out in Jerusalem by St. Helen who gave it to her son Constantine, who built a shrine to venerate it in Constantinople. The image was subsequently credited for saving Constantinople against the Saracens when they first attacked the city. It migrated to the care of Charlemagne who presented it to the Prince of Ruthenia which is now known as Hungary.
The image has been moved several times over the course of history to protect it from seizure by forces unfriendly toward Christianity. Its survival and the victories by Christians over invaders have enhanced the importance of the image and veneration of the Black Madonna. She is known in Eastern Europe as Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of Poland. Her nickname is the Black Madonna.
It is believed that there was no coincidence that the revered image of the Black Virgin survived like the natives of the land where she resided. The resiliency and ability to cope during a crisis are attributed to the Virgin Mary who endured great hardship losing her Son and surviving the ordeal. Eastern Europeans are no strangers to hardship and persevering oppression. It is no wonder that the Black Madonna has become a symbol of hope for them.
Other depictions of the Black Madonna have survived the test of time. African artists depict the Virgin and Infant as being black because they saw her as like them. These images moved north out of Africa into Europe as the Islamic religion gained popularity in Africa and the Middle East.
Not Just Eastern European
The image of the Black Madonna can be found in Western Europe as well, especially in France. It is in France where it drew the attention of the Knights of Templar. The Knights who were famous for their fighting skills were popular during the crusades and were devoted to the Virgin Mary. They lost favor after the Holy Land was lost and were famously attacked by the French King’s forces on Friday, October 13th, 1307.
Survivors of the massacre fled to other areas that remained friendly to them and one of these places was Monserrat, Spain. It is here that they found a statue of the Black Madonna residing there. It is just one story of the special status of Mary to the Knights as they were trying to survive the false allegations of the time by the French King.
The Knights were victims of “Fake News” at the time and are associated with erroneous claims of searching for the Holy Grail of Christ. Their legacy lives on after they were disbanded and disgraced. There is a myth that they served as a foundation for the Free Masons, but this is not true about their group.
Other myths about the Knights of the Templar are that the superstitions around Friday the 13th are attributed to the date of their massacre and that the term being 86st, meaning being removed, is a reference to 86 Templars being killed on October 13th, 1307. Research shows 54 Templars were killed that day and the superstition about Friday the 13ths have other origins.
It is not fabled that these fighting men were devoted to the Virgin Mary and one of her representations is the Black Madonna of Monserrat. This statue was carved from wood and has been traced back to the second century. It is a heavy statue that had to be carried up the mountains to Monserrat which is a wonder all its own.
The admiration of the Knights of the Templar continues with fire departments using the cross of the templars for their emblems on their stations and uniforms. The Maltese Cross is your symbol of protection. It means that the Fire Fighter who wears this cross is willing to lay down his life for you just as the crusaders sacrificed their lives for their fellow man so many years ago.
Controversies Surrounding the Black Madonna
The carved image of the Madonna and her Son in Monserrat has contributed to controversies surrounding the image. This statue was carved from light-colored wood and has darkened over the centuries. Other images and paintings of the Virgin Mary have darkened as well but some attribute the darkening to be the lighting of candles and the soot that has accumulated over time.
It is alleged that some believers resent the dark-skinned coloring of the image because the Holy Family likely had light skin. Other believers take the opposite position claiming that Mary was of Middle Eastern descent, and she most likely had dark skin. The claim that Christianity is solely a “white” religion is another false idea since Christ came for all mankind.
A myth about worshiping an image or idol is not supported by the faithful who venerate it. The image itself is known for depicting the Virgin pointing to Christ to indicate that she is not the focus of worship. It is her Son. Nevertheless, controversy will continue to surround it.
The story of the Virgin Mary can be told from many angles. It is not just the apparitions that are attributed to her but reminders of her famous life that seem to show up during a crisis. She is a very controversial character but one that offers appeal because she lived a life with many of the trials that people face today.
May is the month that celebrates Mary and topics regarding her are important because they are inspirational. The model that she represents is criticized but has endured because of the virtues she lived and encourages. She has been a sign throughout the ages that people have recognized as a harbinger of better times ahead.
She provides a guide that cannot be duplicated by any other feminine figure in history. A powerful advocate for justice, protection, security, and setting things right after a crisis. Mother Mary is there for everyone and does not discriminate against anyone.
Eastern Europeans are very aware of the Black Madonna and the miracles attributed to her presence. Throughout history, it has been her image that gave hope during times of hopelessness. The beacon of light that she represents and the comfort she exudes have made her an honored character.
The Knights of the Templar were devoted to the Virgin and appreciated the depiction of the Black Madonna at Monserrat where they found refuge. Their courage in battle is legendary and their model for being willing to lay down their lives during battle is followed by firefighters today who pledge their willingness to sacrifice in crisis. Firefighters use the Maltese Cross as their emblem.
Controversies abound about the Black Madonna but the history of her image showing up in a crisis is legendary. She has been a symbol of hope and better times to come when there has been trouble. If you are ever having problems and you see an image of the Black Madonna, it is no coincidence!
John Cappello, M. B. A., Psychic Medium, Author of Metaphysical Books and Children’s Books about Angels. For more information go to johncappello.com.