The coronation of
the Miraculous Figure of Our Lady of Ludźmierz in Munster, IN
The year 2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the blessing by Pope John Paul II of the authentic copy of the Statue of our Lady of Ludźmierz located in our church. On August 14, 1991, when the saintly Pope designated the Statue for promoting this devotion at our Shrine, he said: “May the Queen of the Polish Highlanders be for you in America this same Queen as she is in Poland. ”In the course of these years, Our Lady of Ludźmierz, through the graces granted through her intercession, has expressed her maternal protection not only in regard to the Polish Highlanders but also in regard to the local community in Chicago and its surrounding area. As an expression of our gratitude, we decided to express our thanks to Mary through a solemn coronation of her “miraculous figure” and once again entrust to her all the faithful who visit this Shrine in such great numbers.
On August 21, 2016, the edifying ceremony of the coronation “with episcopal crowns” took place, at which Bishop Donald J. Hying presided and Fr. Tadeusz Florek, OCD, Provincial Superior of the Kraków Province at that time, delivered the homily.After placing the crowns on the Blessed Mother, Bishop Hying recited the prayer of coronation, and after that, Fr. Provincial, in the name of all those devoted to the Blessed Mother, recited the “Act of Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary.”
During his homily, Fr. Provincial addressed the Polish Highlanders:“The golden crown which you funded is an expression of your trust and surrender to the protection of the Mother of God. It is likewise and expression of your work and your self-denial.It is a simple gesture of saying to the Blessed Mother: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of Your womb.”
At the conclusion of his homily, Fr. Tadeusz Florek read the decree of Bishop Hying, by which our Shrine was officially established as “The Shrine of Our Lady of Ludźmierz.”
Among the honored guests taking part in this ceremony were also the Consul Konrad Zieliński along with his wife, who read the letter of congratulations sent from the Office of the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda. Among the various organizations present, the most numerous were representatives of the Polish Highlanders’ Alliance of North America, whose many “circles” gather here around their Patroness throughout the year. Their President Józef Cikowski said to those assembled:“We, the Highlanders from the mountain region of Podhala gather here today to pray in thanksgivingfor the many graces we have received and to ask Mary, our Lady of Munster for her continued protection. As a token of our gratitude, Holy Mother, we have placed upon your head a crown honoring you as Queen of heaven and earth, as Queen of Polish Highlanders here in our new fatherland, America.”
Of course, the occasion was also marked by the presence of the faithful most closely connected with the Shrine: The Secular Carmelite Family (OCDS), the Committee for the 600th Anniversary of Ludźmierz, our St. Raphael Kalinowski Polish School, as well as the faithful who pray with us on a regular basis here at our Shrine.As befits an authentic Solemnity here at the shrine, the event concluded with a traditional Highlanders’ picnic in our garden.
Before the ceremony, the miraculous figure underwent a thorough renovation at the hands of Leszek Maćkowiak.The golden crown, apple, and scepter for the Blessed Mother as well as the little crown for the Infant Jesus were funded by our benefactors, who in addition to their monetary contributions also offered various golden ornaments for this purpose.
From that day of coronation, every Tuesday during our evening Holy Mass in Polish, we entrust to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Lady of Munster, all the intentions of our benefactors as well as those intentions which are written down day by day in the special Book of Prayer placed under her image.