Our Lady of Koden gets new crowns 300 years after first coronation
Of dozens of images and statues of Mary across the globe coronated with papal crowns, one in Poland clearly has the most bracing story.
The image was most probably stolen from the pope by one of Poland’s noblemen many centuries ago. Now, it’s a symbol of unity in a region troubled by risks of war.
“It was Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, future Pope John Paul II that called Our Lady of Koden ‘Mother of Unity.’ He was visiting our sanctuary many times,” Father Pawel Gomulak, spokesman for the Missionary Oblates of Mary, the religious order that looks after the Koden sanctuary in eastern Poland, told OSV News. “But apart from big unifying miracles of Our Lady, especially in ecumenical terms, many married couples come here and their bonds are strengthened, which counts for endless little miracles,” he said.
In 1723, the image was crowned with papal crowns. It was the third coronation of an image on the territory of Poland at the time, after the coronation of Our Lady of Czestochowa in 1717 and Our Lady of Troki in 1718. (Troki is today the territory of Lithuania.).
“Since Our Lady has already shown throughout history that she is the Mother of Unity, today we pray in a special way that this unity and peace will exist not only here, but also in our homeland, Ukraine, Belarus, Europe and throughout the world,” said Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who is a personal representative of the pope, or papal legate.
He arrived in Koden Aug. 13, when a three-day celebration of the 300th anniversary of the coronation of the miraculous image began.
The cardinal presided over Mass Aug. 15, the feast of the Assumption of Mary, during which new crowns blessed by Pope Francis were imposed on the image.