Rare heritage of the former Pauline monastery

RS_Kieb_Mari_0054_a01Czestochowa in Kiebingen

Decades, if not centuries, was a strange altar painting on the stage above the choir of the old Church of the Assumption in Kiebingen – now it came when inventorying by pointing the church caretaker to light. And the surprise was great.

A typical situation when inventorying: Speaking to the leaders and other community members on site inevitably leads to the subject of “Early” and the deplorable loss of Church Interiors on the times. The more pleasing then the reference to an “image that looks like an icon” in the attic. And indeed, after climbing a narrow hatch: a Madonna representation in the manner of Byzantine icon of the Hodegetria type, ie a Madonna holding the blessing Child on her left arm. Unusually, the representation is limited to the silhouette of the Madonna and Child on the canvas, which was then coated on a gold-colored, patterned wooden beams. Presumably this was done as indicated on the back in 1756, which also matches the rococo décor of “frame”.

Almost exact copy

Upon further consider the dark face of Mary and two strange, oblique strokes fell on her left cheek.These two features are unmistakable signs for the Black Madonna of Częstochowa. Apart from details like the garment pattern, the different colored undergarment Mary, the size of the held by the Child Jesus Bible, the “jagged” halos and crowns of the Kiebinger Madonna is an exact copy of the “original” view from Czestochowa.

How is this finding to explain, but lie between Kiebingen and Czestochowa over 1000 line kilometers – an arduous route in the 18th century and as far as to Rome?

The key to answering the question lies on a green meadow at the foot of the ridge Rammert buried at the bedside of Rohrhaldenstrasse creek on Kiebinger area. There, the tradition was to up in the mid-19th century the “Rohrhaldenstrasse Monastery”, which was probably founded in 1350 as a convent of the Pauline and 1786 dissolved. Probably in connection with the auction of the monastery’s possessions the altarpiece came presumably from the convent church in the parish after Kiebingen.Memo It is likely this is the painting that a Kiebinger widow in 1684 founded the monastery.

Connected to Paulians

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa is closely bound up with the Paulines and found in every religious house as a copy. Prince Ladislaus of Opole called the Pauline monks from Hungary to Poland. 1382 they came to Jasna Góra in Częstochowa today, received a small church and damaged at a Tatar attack on the neck of the Virgin image was brought here by out of town Bełz (Ukraine), the Prince of the Legend. In the Hussitenüberfall to the monastery in 1430 the picture was allegedly desecrated again wantonly by two sword blows. These are still visible in the left half of the face of Mary. Numerous miracles descriptions – legendary and took – go back to the Black Madonna. Multiple it was symbolically crowned Queen of Poland. Also why is the “archetype” often “clothed” by patch, richly decorated masks in.

Currently, the parish Kiebinger discussed gentle stabilizing the substance and subsequent hanging of the altarpiece in the church. This would be very welcome, it is in many respects to a rarity of the first order.

Information – Czestochowa

The Black Madonna of Częstochowa applicable in Poland as a national symbol. annual pilgrimage several million pilgrims to the sanctuary.

Formal details:

Painting: Oil on canvas, probably in 1684
Canvas: wood, color focus, 1756
Dimensions (HxWxD, total): 156.4 x 103.0 x 3.4 cm
Kiebingen, Catholic church of the Holy Spirit

Photo: Diözesanmuseum Rottenburg

Erik Venhorst