AN ALTAR: A GIFT OF MERCIFUL LOVE AND PEACE
An unusual Altar – A Gift of Merciful Love and Peace’, made by an artist from Gdańsk, Mariusz Drapikowski, has been presented at Jasna Góra. Częstochowa is one of the stations of this work wandering in Poland and Europe. Finally this altar is to be conveyed to the sanctuary of Our Lady the Queen of Peace in Jamusukro, the administrative capital city of the Ivory Coast.
During the presentation of the altar for Jamusukro at Jasna Góra, Fr. Mariusz Tabulski – the general definitor of the Pauline Order said: ‘We know that we should pray for peace all the time, but we often lack impulses to do it. I strongly believe that this altar will encourage us to it with its beauty and artistic expression’. He added that at the time when the world is worried by many military actions and wars, like, for example in Ukraine, in the Holy Land or in Syria, a prayer for peace should be particularly intensive.
The Altar ‘Gift of Merciful Love and Peace’ is the third (after the Jerusalem Triptych’ and ‘The Star of Kazakhstan’) from planned 12 Stars, that is, altars of adoration of the Holy Sacrament, before which there is a prayer said in the intention of peace in the world. The initiative appeared in response to the call of Mary the Queen of Peace and from the need of fulfilling the spiritual testament of the great advocate of peace – St. John Paul II.
The first ones of 12 Stars in the Crown of Mary the Queen of Peace
The form of realization of this purpose was the work ’12 Stars in the Crown of Mary the Queen of Peace’. It is a project of creating twelve centres of Perpetual Adoration of the Holy Sacrament in the world, in the intention of peace. They are going to be set up to exist in places which are particularly touched by the results of military conflicts, lack of international agreement among nations and religions.
In these parts of the world where people, wanting peace and reconciliation, are looking for their real source.
The first Centre of Prayer for Peace in the work of 12 Stars was established in a chapel at the IV station of the Road of Cross in Jerusalem. From 25 March 2009 there is adoration of the Holy Sacrament for the whole day there, in the altar called ‘Jerusalem Triptych’. Another Star has its place in the Central Asia, in the north of Kazakhstan, in the sanctuary of Our Lady the Queen of Peace in Oziornoje, where on 2 July 2014 adoration of Lord Jesus in the altar ‘The Star of Kazakhstan’ was begun.
Each of the altars of the amber craftsman from Gdańsk is full of symbolism taken directly from the life of Jesus and descriptions of the Gospel. The Altar for Africa is based on the Shroud of Turin.
– It is engraved in a crystal and the light is split in it, showing the person of Risen Christ in the way he left his presence of the canvass of the Shroud -explains Drapikowski. He also notes that one can also see the person of Our Lady in the altar: - The central part of this picture was formed in such a way compassionate Mary is clothed in the fragment of the Shroud, who says with her gesture: ‘My Son did not die, my Son resurrected, so come and pay Him tribute’ – he adds.
The Altar ‘Gift of Merciful Love and Peace’ will be at Jasna Góra from Sunday 21 September this year. Adoration is everyday at 6.30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
A Star – for Jamusukro
According to the Guinness Records Book, the basilica of Our Lady the Queen of Peace in Jamusukro, where the altar ‘Gift of Merciful Love and Peace’ will finally get, is the biggest church in the world and the highest church in Africa. Its total area is 30 thousand m2. In the basilica there are 7 thousand seats and about 11 thousand standing places. Its project was based on the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome. The cornerstone under the building of the church was put on 10 August 1985, whereas its consecration was done by John Paul II on 10 September 1990. Since the year 1991 Polish Pallotine Fathers have been taking care of the church.
Mariusz Drapikowski is a famous goldsmith and amber craftsman. His works are owned, among the others, by the queen of Belgium, king of Spain, Bill Clinton or the Prince of Kent. We will also find them in Polish and world museums. The artist from Gdańsk is also famous for an amber-diamond dress of entrustment which he made for the image of Our Lady of Częstochowa at Jasna Góra. In the chapel of Our Lady the Queen of Poland there are also figures of St. Paul I the Hermit and St. Kazimierz Królewicz, engraved in silver. The work of the master Drapikowski is also the tabernacle at Jasna Góra, made from silver, gold and ebony with old goldsmith techniques. He also made the whole range of works in the church of St. Brygida in Gdańsk. Moreover, he made – as usually in silver, wood and amber – a sculptural composition of St. George with a dragon to the order of the Knights’ Order of Hospitallers in Nuremberg.