Wednesday 26 March 2008

Jasnogórska Golgota by Jerzy Duda-Gracz

Paweł Łukaszewski was born in 1968 in Czestochowa, spiritual capital of Poland. He lived through the Solidarity era in Polish politics. As a small boy, he worshipped in the Jasna Góra Monastery, praying in front of the ikon of the black Madonna. Jasna Góra has long been a symbol of religious strength in the face of occupation. During the Second World War, the Nazis occupied the monastery and Himmler used to stay there. The monastery contains the ashes of Father Jerzy Popiełuszko, the chaplain of the Solidarity movement who was murdered by the secret police in 1984. In 1982, during the Jaruzełski regime, Lech Wałęsa gave his Nobel Peace Prize medal to the monastery as a votive offering. John Paul II, on becoming Pope, celebrated a mass for a million people on the monastery steps. This painting is one of a series, ‘the Stations of the Cross', housed in Jasna Góra. These paintings were the inspiration for Łukazewski's Via Crucis, which we are performing in Norwich and Cambridge at the end of the week.

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