Mary for the Lady's Man
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A Polish Man’s Commander in Chief — 2 of 4
From AmPol Eagle Newspaper, Buffalo, NY -- Aug 13, 2020
Rev Dr Czesław M Krysa, Rector of the Church of St Casimir, Buffalo, NY
Commander in Chief — Poland’s Queen
The modern hymn, “Lady of the Mountain Brilliant” —Jasnogórska Pani (HH, n87) presents a two-fold meaning of Mary’s title Commander-in-Chief. The traditional May crowning hymn, “O, Sing to the Queen of the Angels” —Królowej Anielskiej (HH, n68) expresses her sovereignty over the angelic hosts of heaven. Mary is “Blessed among women and over all angels”. Appropriately, the Polish Military Chorus performed it on its 2012 CD recording.
The power of Mary’s prayer in adversity and when under attack was experienced early in the 8th century defense of Constantinople against barbaric hoards. This victory influenced insertion of the “Commander-in-Chief” intro to the Byzantine devotion, Marian Akathist. Much later, Poland’s diverse Eastern cultures (Kresy) may have influenced Polish knights to adopt her commanding title.
Departing for the decisive battle of Grunwald (1410), King Władysław Jagiełło emblazoned the Black Madonna of Częstochowa on his royal standard. Poland’s first vernacular poetic work and national anthem, “God-Bearer” (Bogurodzica), was sung as the three nations defended Poland from this final aggression of the Teutonic Knights. King Jagiełło was a devoted servant of the Bright Mountain Black Madonna.
Poland’s spirituality hands reign over the nation and its defensive forces to Mary, expressed in the contemporary hymn, “Reigning over us for ages” (HH, n85). Proclaimed at the Lwów Cathedral (1656), the official Oath of King John Casimir, “O Great Mother of God and Man,” officially crowns Mary as Queen of Poland. A year later, the king defeated invading Swedish Protestant Armies occupying and decimating Poland, during what history calls the “Deluge.”
Victory over subsequent aggr withessions: war with Russia (1661); King John Sobieski’s defense of Europe at Vienna (1683); a century of protection during the partitions by Russia, Prussia, and Austria; the Polish-Soviet War (1920); and deliverance from total Nazi and Soviet annihilation during WWII; is attributed to the Queen-Commander.
From the sixteen-hundreds on, her Bright Mountain fortress/shrine becomes the faith capital and fortress of her spiritual kingdom. Entrustment to the Queen of Poland at Częstochowa, documented particularly among the men of the Guzen/Mathausen hard labor, stone quarry concentration camp, inspired hope among imprisoned slave laborers — the most effective resistance to years of Nazi terror and atrocities.
Centuries of aggression by Poland’s neighbors forged a spiritual breastplate of allegiance to Poland’s Queen-Commander at the Bright Mountain capital, acclaimed “Resplendent Star” —Gwiazdo Śliczna, (HH, n82). Bl Stefan Cardinal Wyszynski’s mentor, Cardinal August Hlond, told him, “There will be no victory in Poland [over the communists] except through Mary.”
St John Paul’s motto, “Totally Yours [Mary],” boldly asserted this legacy. Pilgrimaging to her Częstochowa Shrine, the sainted pope asserted, we have “this holy habit…” to come here and “rest our ears on Our Mother’s breast to hear the beating heart of the Nation.” Mary continues her rule “crowned with stars of light” (“Lady of the Mountain Brilliant,” HH, n87), defending children, homes, towns, and the Church.
A more recent adaptation of the military-son relationship surfaces in “Reigning Over Us for Ages” (HH, n85). In long-standing royal tradition, the Queen extends care-filled solicitude to the downtrodden, protects the rights of the suffering, strengthens the courage of disciples, and sustains the perseverance of the doubtful. In her sons, the spirit of “our Fathers,” retains dominion, reigning today over realms of justice and the soul.
NEXT WEEK: Respecting a Knight’s Lady