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Thunder Candle, Mother of God of the Blessed

Thunder Candle, Mother of God of the Blessed

Q: What can you tell me about this image Matka Boska Gromniczna - Mother of God of the Blessed “Thunder Candle"?

A: The image captures a Polish legend and is associated to Candlemas Day celebrated on February 2.

The image above by Piotr Stachiewicz (1858-1938) shows snow-covered homes in dim light. The people inside their homes are afraid of the hungry wolves on rampage outside the poor village.

The legend relates that Mary, the Mother of God of the “Blessed Thunder Candle” (Matka Boska Gromniczna), watches over the people on cold February nights. With her thunder candle she wards off the ravenous pack and protects the peasants from all harm.

According to an old tradition, candles are blessed in Catholic churches on February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple. Many people keep the blessed candles (Gromnica) in their homes and light them during storms or other danger. In Poland, dying persons are given the Gromnica to light their way to eternity.

The image above is painted by an unknown artist.

The images on this page are not reproduced from Marian Library collection items.

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