OUR HISTORY

The Star in the Crown of Mary in Jerusalem appeared as the first one… humanly unexpected, and surprising to those who were to take their roles soon in the Work… Yet, the plan was there, to be carried out.

Mr. Piotr Ciołkiewicz, a budding small-business owner from Radom (Poland), under the influence of his family, rather reluctantly decided to go on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in 1998. Only years later was he able to realize and admit that it was the best birthday gift he has ever received in his life… As he expressed it himself, it was the time he was born again, and his Mother, Mary, covered him with her maternal mantle, guiding him into a wondrous way….

In 2006, a couple of years later, he met in Medjugorje Fr. Casimir Frankiewicz, a Franciscan friar who conducted the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Jerusalem and took care of the volunteers coming there to adore Eucharistic Jesus. What Fr. Frankiewicz shared with him, echoed in Mr. Ciołkiwicz’s heart, full of gratitude for the many graces he had received in his life. During one of his silent adorations in Medjugorje, an inspiration came to donate a monstrance for Jerusalem. However, not knowing how to go about it, he contacted Fr. Albert Szustak, a Pauline monk from the Convent of Jasna Góra in Częstochowa. Fr. Szustak helped him realize that Jerusalem deserved something special, not just a regular monstrance… This idea at first overwhelmed Mr. Ciołkiewicz who thought it would be too challenging…. but having overcome the first hesitation, he decided to meet an artist who, because of his works for Our Lady of Jasna Góra, is called her “Tailor”.

Consequently, still in 2006, Mr. Ciołkiewicz accompanied by a Pauline monk made a trip to the Polish sea-shore, to Gdansk, to visit an amber artist, Mr. Mariusz Drapikowski. The fruit of the meeting of these three men representing apparently three different worlds, yet, who had in mind a single goal of giving glory to God, were the first designs of the monstrance for Jerusalem. In the tangle of pencil lines, appeared on paper an openwork construction of the base out of which emerged Mary, the One who was the first Monstrance ever, holding her Beloved Son to her Heart. The profile of the Mother’s face, its shape and the halos around it call to mind the famous Icon of the Black Madonna of Jasna Góra. Yet in the place of the Infant held by Mary on her left arm, in the monstrance there is a Host – Christ Alive.

The next stage was to present the designs in Jerusalem, to the Exarch of Armenian Catholics – Msgr Raphael Minassian, for the monstrance was to be placed in the Armenian Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Spasm, at the III and IV Station of the Way of the Cross.

The trip to Jerusalem that took place in April 2007 brought about an explosion of unexpected events. Msgr. Minassian led his guests to the chapel in the crypt, opposite the Statue of the IV Station of the Way of the Cross, and suggested that it could be dedicated to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

In the second half of 2007 Kamil Drapikowski, the artist’s son, graduated from the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Art in Sculpture Department. One of the elements of his thesis was “The Gate of Heavenly Jerusalem”, echoing in its symbolism the ideas that can be found in the Book of Revelation of St. John. Mr. Mariusz Drapikowski saw it as a hint from Providence. His son’s work could become a part of the Triptych he had in mind. Christ is the Gate, through which everyone needs to pass in order to attain Eternity, that is New Jerusalem. This would be the exterior of the Triptych. And the interior, shown after opening the panels of the altar, would be filled with Light whose source is Christ, exposed in a centrally placed monstrance.

A design concept, thus prepared and solidly based in Biblical imagery, was presented to the Armenian Exarch in January 2008. Msgr. Minassian loved the project very much. Moreover, the measurements taken then in the chapel confirmed that “The Gate of Heavenly Jerusalem” by Kamil Drapikowski, even though made independently, perfectly fit the Chapel at the IV Station of the Way of the Cross in Jerusalem. This meeting brought forth another important fruit: an idea of creating an International Center of Prayer for Peace.

In view of these unexpected developments, it became clear that there was a need to establish an association which would support this unique initiative both prayerfully and financially. Therefore, the Association was created. It adopted the name of “Communita Regina della Pace” and began its statutory activity on December 11, 2008.

The altar and the monstrance were altogether completed in August 2008. The fact of highest significance is that the material creation of “The Jerusalem Triptych” was accompanied by a wholehearted and ardent prayer of many devoted people. This prayer storm naturally involved the artist himself and the initiators of the Work but also numerous volunteers joined in this crying out to God. Among them there were many disabled persons and the dying, who offered up their sufferings for this intention. Last but not least, hundreds of Holy Masses were offered in Jerusalem, in Jasna Góra Monastery in Częstochowa, Mexico, and other places in the world.

“The Jerusalem Triptych” was blessed by the then Pope Benedict XVI on January 28, 2009 during his General Audience. The Holy Father gave his blessing to the Association and the work it carries out, and assured of his prayer for this initiative.

Before the altarpiece finally reached its destination in Jerusalem, it peregrinated to many shrines and cathedrals in Poland and Germany where adorations for peace in Jerusalem and in the world were held. Many people gathered to pray together for the gift of peace in the human hearts, in the families and in the entire world. The peregrination brought about abundant spiritual fruit, such as, prayer groups being established and adoration chapels being erected in different parishes. The perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in “The Jerusalem Triptych”, at the IV Station of the Way of the Cross was solemnly inaugurated on March 25, 2009, the Solemnity of the Annunciation.

We would like to express our deep gratitude to all those who have participated in any way, spiritually or materially, in the Work of the 12 Stars in the Crown of Mary Queen of Peace, and particularly, in enabling the creation of “The Jerusalem Triptych”. They are many and it is impossible to mention each and everyone but the contribution of each person to this Work is very precious for us. Let us also keep in mind the utmost importance of the cause. We need to do our best to cherish our roots of faith in the Holy Land so that our Christian identity is safeguarded there.