September 12, Our Lady of Piekary (Najświętszej Maryi Panny Piekarskiej)

September 12
In the Archdiocese of Katowice:
Patron Saint of the archdiocese – Solemnity

The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary has been venerated in Piekary ever since the 15th century. In 1703 during the Northern war the image was taken to Opole and a copy was placed in Piekary, where it started to be worshipped. In the 19th century Piekary became the centre of the renewal of religious life in Silesia. The image was crowned 1925, and Pope John XXIII made Our Lady of Piekary patroness saint of the Diocese of Katowice.

Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, except:

[PDF Version]


HYMN O Mother of Piekary, our renowned Guardian as in Evening Prayer II.

CONCLUDING PRAYER as in Morning Prayer.



O Lady, Queen of our nation,
You have been the mainstay and strength
Of those who submitted their hope in you,
Mother of God.

You lead us as a shining cloud,
With your brightness showing us the path
Of faith, unity, peace and harmony,
Mother of God.

In our triumphs and everyday toil
With your help we wish to be faithful
To the Good News of God’s Kingdom,
Mother of God.

Protect us, O Mother, from our weakness,
Be with your people, when an ordeal comes,
Make us all the temple of Christ,
Mother of God.

To the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
To one God let forever be
Glory and thanksgiving for our Queen
Mother of God. Amen.


From the sermon of Saint John Paul II given in Katowice before the image of Our Lady of Piekary
(AAS 75 [1983] 961-966)
Mother of Justice and Social Love

I am here entering a great prayer that has not lasted since the last Sunday of May, since today’s morning – it has lasted for generations; it filled each year, each week, each day.

In the past, when the Silesia of today did not yet exist but there was the image of Our Lady of Piekary, John III Sobieski, King of Poland, joined this prayer when he was marching towards the relief of Vienna.

Today, I, Bishop of Rome and son of the Polish nation, wish to join the prayer of the present-day Silesia that looks to the Lady of Piekary as the image of the Mother of justice and social love.

When, during work, we greet each other saying “God Bless You,” we express our kindness toward the neighbour who works, and at the same time we refer his work to God the Creator, to God the Redeemer.

In order to redeem man, the Son of God became man in the Virgin Mary of Nazareth’s womb by the Holy Spirit. Christ redeemed us by his cross and resurrection, becoming obedient to death. His work of redemption comprises his all the earthly life of the Son of God, his messianic mission of proclaiming the Gospel, and before that the thirty years of hidden life which was dedicated since early years to working in the workshop of Joseph of Nazareth. Therefore, the word of God’s revelation is connected with the gospel of work which is being constantly re-read by the Church and proclaimed to all people. Work is the basic vocation of man in this world.

Human work is at the heart of social life. Through it justice and love are formed – as long as it is governed by the proper moral order.

Calling Mary the Mother of justice and social love, we wish to express how much you care about this moral order which ought to rule the realm of human work.

Work has its basic value because it is done by man. Its dignity also hinges on this and it should be respected no matter what kind of work is done by man. What is important is that it is done by man. Doing any kind of work, man seals it with the sign of man: image and likeness of God himself. The fact that man does his work for someone, for others is also significant.

Work is man’s obligation: both before God and before man; both before their own family and before their nation or society that they belong to. This duty, the obligation of work, is paired with the rights of man of work. They should be included in the broad context of human rights. Social justice consists in respecting and realising human rights in relation to all the members of a given society.

We look to Mary as Mother of social justice to give those rules of social order, on which the real sense of human work and human existence depends, a real shape of social life on earth. For man is not able to work when they do not see the meaning of work; when its meaning ceases to be transparent, when it is somehow obscured. That is why we fervently beg the Mother of social justice to give back the meaning of work to all the people in Poland.

At the same time, we call Mary the Mother of social love. By putting in practice the rules of social justice, the love that Christ told his disciples of becomes possible, “I give you a new commandment: love one another.”

Love is bigger than justice. And social love is bigger than social justice. If it is true that justice has to lay foundation for love, it is ever truer than only love may secure the fullness of justice.

We need to love man if we are to secure human rights. It is the first and basic dimension of social love.

The second dimension is the family. The family is also the first and basic school of social love. We need to do everything we can to let this school be what it is. At the same time the family needs to be filled with God’s strength, that is mutual love for all that form it, so that it may be able to support man among all the destructive currents and painful experiences.

Another dimension of social love is fatherland – sons and daughters of one nation remain in love for the common good that they derive from culture and history, finding support for their social identity there, and simultaneously giving support to other compatriots. This circle of social love is particularly significant in our Polish experience of history and in our present.

Social love is open for all people and all nations. If it is shaped profoundly and diligently in its basic circles – man, family, fatherland – then it work well in the broadest circle as well.

Therefore, my dear participants of today’s meeting on the Silesian land, accept in our great community, which cannot be taken in from here, once again from the mouth of your compatriot and successor of Saint Peter the Gospel of work and accept the Gospel of social justice and love. May it unite you deeply around the Mother of Christ in her sanctuary in Piekary just as she has united whole generations. May she shine upon the lives of man of hard work in Silesia and in all Poland.[1]

RESPONSORY Colossians 3:23-24; 14

Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance;
Be slaves of the Lord Christ.

Over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.
Be slaves of the Lord Christ.

TE DEUM You are God: we praise you.

CONCLUDING PRAYER as in Morning Prayer.



With what bright light you shine
Royal daughter from David’s root;
Holy Mary, you are high
Over angels and saints.

Mother most pure and immaculate,
In your heart and virgin womb
You prepared the dwelling for God,
Who was born man of you.

Hear our call who beg you,
Destroy the sinful shackles and give us joy;
You who are the morning star,
Disperse the shadow of night and show us the Son.

Beg Christ who is praised
By all the living kneeling before him,
So that he help us abandon darkness
Giving us his light and full joy.

Grant us this, we beg you O God,
Father and Son, and Holy Spirit,
You who watches over the whole universe,
Ruling it with might and great wisdom. Amen.


O Almighty God,
your Son, dying on the cross, gave us the Most Blessed Virgin Mary as our Mother,
grant that we may be filled with comfort while we take refuge with hope beneath her mercy and call her maternal name.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.



O Mother of Piekary, our renowned Guardian,
Advocate of all graces,
Who has been known for her miracles for ages,
Clothing our country with shine.

We beg you with the child’s heart,
Protect our pious nation,
We do not have any better Mother
Who would lead us into the blue of virtues.

You saved the whole Christianity,
As the watchful guard of its army,
Once near Vienna you crushed the Turks,
Taking our troops under your coat.

We beg you…

O Mother, before whom monarchs
Would bow their armed temples,
For whom knights, nobles and leaders
Would pay homage with shining armour.

We beg you…

As you protected the forefather’s virtues,
Among our fields and thatches,
Guard us today against the loss of faith,
May the dirty sin not blemish us.

We beg you…

If recited, the chorus We beg you may be omitted.


Ant. God has done great things for us through Mary, all generations call her blessed.

CONCLUDING PRAYER as in Morning Prayer.

[1] Translated by DChojnacki (2014).


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