August 11

Matka Boża Pocieszenia, Nowy Sącz, Lesser Poland, Poland

In 1569, an unknown artist, probably from southern Poland around Cracow or Nowy Sącz, painted a Madonna and Child in tempera on linden wood. Not long after, Sophie Jordan of Zakliczyn donated the painting to the Church of the Holy Spirit at the Premonstratensian monastery in the Carpathian town of Nowy Sącz, where a family member was enrolled. There it became a focus of devotion under the title Mother of God of Consolation – a devotion cultivated by the Augustinian Order, of which the Premonstratensians were a strict branch – although the Polish painting is iconographically different from the Italian images usually honored with that title.  

With the first partition of Poland in 1772, this Carpathian territory near the present border of Slovakia came under the Austrian Habsburg Empire. In 1784, Emperor Joseph II ordered the dissolution of the monastery, which became a military storehouse. Meanwhile, in 1820, Czar Alexander I expelled another order, the Society of Jesus, from the Russian partition. In 1831, some of those Jesuits took over the complex in Nowy Sącz and established a college there, which they still maintain today.

During World War II, its rector, Joseph Balcarek, made a vow to the Mother of Consolation that if she would protect the college and its residents, he would work for the canonical coronation of her image. The Jesuit complex suffered no losses, and Fr. Balcarek made good his side of the bargain by obtaining permission from Pope John XXIII for the coronation. Communist authorities would not allow the ceremony to take place in the urban center, so on August 11, 1963 Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski crowned the Mother of God of Consolation in an open field on the outskirts of Nowy Sącz.

The shrine celebrates the Mother of God of Consolation on the Sunday after August 28, the Feast of St. Augustine (not Saturday, as usual elsewhere).


“Sądecka Matka Pocieszenia / Pielgrzym / Religia /,”, (picture)
Nowy Sącz : Oficjalna strona miasta,
Parafia Ducha Świętego w Nowym Sączu (Holy Spirit Parish of Nowy Sącz),
“40-lecie koronacji obrazu Matki Bożej Pocieszenia w Nowym Sączu ,” Wiadomości, 30.08.2003

Also commemorated this date:

Inmaculada Concepción de María, Medellín, Colombia. Cathedral dedicated, 1950.
Regina del Monte Santo di Lussari, Camporosso, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy. Statue returned to mountain sanctuary, 1945.
Madonna del Pianto, Sant'Angelo In Vado, Pesaro e Urbino, Marche, Italy (Madonna of the Weeping). Painting crowned, 1947.
Matka Boska ze Swietej Lipki, Swieta Lipka, Reszel, Ketrzyn, Warmia-Masuria, Poland. Icon crowned, 1968.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly