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In Poland there are followers of different kinds of religion. The most popular is Roman Catholicism. About 90% of all Poles are Roman Catholics. Other inhabitants of our country include the believers of the orthodox Church, Protestants and also other religions followers. Although approximately 90 % of us consider themselves as believers, the number of people who reguralry go to church for a Sunday service is much lower. Many people are also atheists.


Polish people have not only religious but also secular traditions. Some most important of the religoius ones are connected with celebrating Christmas Eve , Easter and Corpus Christi.
Traditionally on Christmas Eve we decorate the Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve we all dress in an elegant way and meet our families to have a festive meatless dinner. We share the holy wafer, wish each other all the best, pray together, sing carols and read the Holly Bible. In the evening, after the dinner, Santa Claus comes with presents. In some parts of Poland Christmas gifts are brought by angels or Father Christmas called 'Gwiazdor'.
At Easter we prepare traditional " easterbasket" which is blessed by a priest on Easter Saturday. The basket contains some pieces of the food traditionally eaten for Easter Sunday breakfast.

[easterbasket]


Corpus Christi is a day on which we take part in procesions - we walk along our city streets, pray and sing church tunes.


Corpus Christi celebrations in Gdynia

The most important religious symbol in Poland is The Sanctuary of Virgin Mary on Bright Mountain (Jasna Góra) in Czestochowa. Many people come to the Sanctuary in Częstochowa to recieve the blessing of Mother of God.
On Jasna Góra there is a Paulites cloister, the monks take care of the whole temple. On Jasna Góra there is a picture of Matka Boska Częstochowska (so called Black Madonna) to which pilgrims come. Miracles are made thanks to the picture.
Jasna Góra became an important place during the Swedish Deluge in 17th century. Since that moment Polish people have recognized Matka Boska Częstochowska as mother of Poland and patroness of Poland.
The Paulites who came to Poland from Hungary were the aouthours of the place name - Jasna Góra (Clarus Mons / Bright Mountain) as heir home cloister of saint Laurentius was known as: In Claro Monte Budensi. The very first documented record about Jasna Góra cames from the year 1388.

cloister

The picture on Jasna Góra

The picture of Mother of God is the most precious treasure and a mistery of Jasna Góra. This is the thing that makes people from all over the world offer to Holy Mother their requests. However, the history of the picture of Jasna Góra is a kind of legend, some scientist try to find the true origin of this work of art. According to the legend, the picture was painted by saint Lucas on a piece of wood, part of the table of the Holy Family. Later it was taken from Jerosolima to Konstantynopol and deposited in a temple. Russian prince Leon got the picture from emperor Konstanty and took it to Russia. The picture became famous there because of miracles. When Louis the Great was fighting with his army in Russia, the picture got hidden. Władysław Opolczyk found it and moved it to Opole. There is also a legend connected with transporting it there - it says that horses didn't want to move until Opolczyk swore that in the place of depositing the picture he would build a temple to the Glory of God, Blessed Mary and All Saints. In this way the picture came to Częstochowa. However, some researches say that the Miraculous Picture of Mother of God came to Jasna Góra on 31 August 1384, presented to Paulites by Władysław Opolczyk.

Black Madonna

Other saint places in Poland

- temple in Gietrzwałd
- temple in Świeta Lipka
- Góra Św. Anny / Saint Anna's Mountain

Symbols of the Christian religion

They are integral part of faith in Poland. Some of them are:
- rosary- it helps us give our problems to Mother of God, so that She stood up for us at Her Son and obtain favours from God for us.
- cross - symbol of martyrdom of Jesus Christ and Christian faith; shows the Christians they should love God and people.
- pictures of Saints - the Christians believe, that thanks to the intercession of Saints we can receive mercy of God.
- acronyms - letters or signs that have religious meaning for Christians.
The most famous is:

An acronym of the name of Jesus Christ in Greek

The symbol of Ressurrected Jesus who gave His life for us


The symbol Jesus Christ who sacrificed His life for us.

The symbol of Holy Spirit and innocence as well


Created by : Sylwia Graban, Karolina Lipka, Marta Górka, Ada Bartoszek

Images :

http://pl.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plik:Agnus_Dei_Ghent.jpg&filetimestamp=20070525085354{{PD - Jan van Eyck painting "Ghent Altarpiece"}}

http://pl.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plik:USA_Massachusetts_Amherst_Pelican.jpg&filetimestamp=20070121074153{{CC by Rebecca Kennison}}

http://pl.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plik:Holy_Spirit_as_Dove_(detail).jpg&filetimestamp=20090210104700{{PD - Istorija umetnosti, Gianlorenzo Bernini"}}

http://pl.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Plik:Gravestone-ihs.jpg&filetimestamp=20060112214713{{CC}}

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Czestochowska.jpg{{PD}}

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jasna_G%C3%B3ra_260506_01.JPG{{PD by Reytan}}

Corpus Cristi & Easter basket by A. Blalteberg

Source :

http://www.jasnagora.pl/

http://www.polskiedzieje.pl/dzieje-miast-polskich/jasna-gora.html

http://dziedzictwo.ekai.pl/@@jasna_gora_sanktuarium

"Świat wiedzy"-Marshall Cavendish,

"Powtarzać czas poczatku"- Anna Zadrożyńska, Wydawnictwo Spoldzielcze Warszawa 1985r.

Our team:
Gimnazjum #4, Gdynia, Poland
St. Mark's Senior Second. School,
Meera Bagh, New Delhi, India

St. Paul Lutheran School, Farmington, USA


[link to the GVC pages]