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The”'Black Madonna or Black Virgin is a statue or painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary in which she, and often the infant Jesus, were painted or sculptured with dark skin, which can be found all throughout Europe along with African looking disciples that were painted and sculptured along side an African Jesus. The Black Madonna can be generally found in Catholic and Orthodox countries. The term refers to that of the Marian statue or painting that was created to display the true features of the deity Jesus and his mother Mary (the European term). The statues or paintings are mostly wooden but occasionally stone, often painted and up to 75 cm (30 in) tall. They fall into two main groups: free-standing upright figures or seated figures on a throne. The pictures are usually icons which are Byzantine in style, often made in 13th- or 14th-century Italy. There are about 400-500 Black Madonnas in Europe, depending on how they are classified. There are at least 180 Vierges Noires in France, and there are hundreds of non-medieval copies as well. Some are in museums, but most are in churches or shrines and are venerated by devotees. A few are associated with miracles and attract substantial numbers of pilgrims.
Studies and researchEdit
Important early studies of dark images in France were done by Marie Durand-Lefebvre (1937), Emile Saillens (1945), and Jacques Huynen (1972). The first notable study of the origin and meaning of the Black Madonnas in English appears to have been presented by Leonard Moss at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on December 28, 1952. Moss broke the images into three categories: (1) dark brown or black Madonnas with physiognomy and skin pigmentation matching that of the indigenous population; (2) various art forms that have turned black as a result of certain physical factors such as deterioration of lead-based pigments, accumulated smoke from the use of votive candles, and accumulation of grime over the ages, and (3) residual category with no ready explanation.
In the cathedral at Chartres, there were two Black Madonnas: Notre Dame de Pilar, a 1508 dark walnut copy of a 13th-century silver Madonna, standing atop a high pillar, surrounded by candles; and Notre Dame de Sous-Terre, a replica of an original destroyed during the French Revolution. Restoration work on the cathedral resulted in the painting of Notre Dame de Pilar, to reflect an earlier 19th century painted style, rendering the statue no longer a "Black Madonna".
List of Black MadonnasEdit
- Algeria, Algiers: "Our Lady of Africa"
- Senegal, Popenguine: "Notre-Dame de la Délivrance",
- South Africa, Soweto: "The Black Madonna",
- Tsuruoka city, Yamagata prefecture: Tsuruoka Tenshudô Catholic Church features a black Madonna statue given by France during Meiji period 
- Antipolo, Rizal: Nuestra Señora de la Paz y Buen Viaje de Antipolo (Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage of Antipolo)
- Ermita, City of Manila: Nuestra Señora de Guia (Our Lady of Guidance)
- Lapu-Lapu, Cebu: Nuestra Señora de la Regla (Our Lady of the Rule)
- Naga, Camarines Sur: Nuestra Señora de Peñafrancia (Our Lady of Peñafrancia)
- Piat, Cagayan: Nuestra Señora de la Visitación de Piat (Our Lady of Piat)
- Brugge, "Our Lady of Regla"
- Brussels : "De Zwerte Lieve Vrouwo", St. Catherine Church
- Halle (Flemish Brabant) : Sint-Martinusbasiliek
- Liège: La Vierge Noire d'Outremeuse,
- Lier: Onze lieve vrouw ter Gratien
- Scherpenheuvel-Zichem: Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel
- Tournai: Our Lady of Flanders in Tournai Cathedral
- Verviers: "Black Virgin of the Recollects", Notre-Dame des Récollets Church,
- Walcourt: (Notre-Dames de Walcourt)
- Marija Bistrica: Our Lady of Bistrica, Queen of Croatia
- Brno: Assumption of Virgin Mary Minor Basilica, St Thomas's Abbey, Brno
- Prague: The Madonna of Breznice; The Black Madonna in the Church Our Lady Under the Chain; The Black Madonna on the House of the Black Madonna.
- Aix-en-Provence, (Bouches-du-Rhône): Notre-Dame des Graces, Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d'Aix
- Arconsat: (Notre-Dame des Champs)
- Aurillac, (Cantal): Notre-Dame des Neiges
- Beaune: Our Lady of Beaune
- Besançon: Our Lady de Gray
- Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise,(Puy-de-Dôme): Saint-André Church, Notre-Dame de Vassivière
- Bourg-en-Bresse,(Ain): 13th century
- Chartres,(Eure-et-Loir): crypt of the Cathedral of Chartres, Notre-Dame-de-Sous-Terre
- Clermont-Ferrand, (Puy-de-Dôme)
- Cusset: the Black Virgin of Cusset
- Dijon, (Côte-d'Or)
- Douvres-la-Délivrande, Basilique Notre-Dame de la Délivrande, "Notre-Dame de la Délivrande"
- Dunkerque, (Nord) : Chapelle des Dunes
- Guingamp, (Côtes-d'Armor): Basilica of Notre Dame de Bon Secours.
- La Chapelle-Geneste, (Haute-Loire: Notre Dame de La Chapelle Geneste
- Laon,(Aisne): Notre-Dame Cathedral, statue of 1848
- Le Havre,(Seine-Maritime): statue near the Graville Abbey (Abbaye de Graville)
- Le Puy-en-Velay: In 1254 when passing through on his return from the Holy Land Saint Louis IX of France gave the cathedral an ebony image of the Blessed Virgin clothed in gold brocade (Notre-Dame du Puy). It was destroyed during the Revolution, but replaced at the Restoration with a copy that continues to be venerated.
- Liesse-Notre-Dame, (Aisne): Notre-Dame de Liesse, statue destroyed in 1793, copy of 1857
- Marseille,(Bouches-du-Rhône): Notre-Dame-de-Confession, Abbey of St. Victor ; Notre-Dame d'Huveaune, Saint-Giniez Church
- Mauriac, Cantal: Notre Dame des Miracles
- Mende, (Lozère) : Cathedral (Basilique-cathédrale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Privat de Mende)
- Menton, (Alpes-Maritimes): St. Michel Church
- Meymac Abbey, (Corrèze)
- Molompize: Notre-Dame de Vauclair
- Mont-Saint-Michel: Notre-Dame du Mont-Tombe
- Myans, (Savoie)
- Quimper,(Finistère): Eglise de Guéodet, nommée encore Notre-Dame-de-la-Cité
- Riom,(Puy-de-Dôme): Notre-Dame du Marthuret
- Rocamadour, (Lot): Our Lady of Rocamadour 
- Sainte Marie (Réunion) : Black Virgin River Rains
- Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (Camarque) Avignon: Annual Gypsy festival celebrating Sara, the patron saint of Gypsys
- Soissons (Aisne): statue of the 12th century
- Tarascon, (Bouches-du-Rhône): Notre-Dame du Château
- Toulouse: The basilica Notre-Dame de la Daurade in Toulouse, France had housed the shrine of a Black Madonna. The original icon was stolen in the fifteenth century, and its first replacement was burned by Revolutionaries in 1799 on the Place du Capitole. The icon presented today is an 1807 copy of the fifteenth century Madonna. Blackened by the hosts of candles, the second Madonna was known from the sixteenth century as Our Lady La Noire.
- Tournemire, Château d'Anjony, Our Lady of Anjony
- Vaison-la-Romaine, (Vaucluse): statue on a hill
- Vichy, (Allier): Saint-Blaise Church
- Altötting (Bavaria): Gnadenkapelle (Chapel of the Miraculous Image)
- Beilstein (Rhineland-Palatinate): Karmeliterkirche St. Joseph
- Bielefeld (North Rhine-Westphalia)
- Düsseldorf-Benrath (North Rhine-Westphalia): Pfarrkirche St. Cäcilia
- Hirschberg an der Bergstraße (Baden-Württemberg): Wallfahrtskirche St. Johannes Baptist
- Schloss Hohenstein, Upper Franconia (Bavaria)
- Köln (Nord Rhein Westfalen): St. Maria in der Kupfergasse
- Ludwigshafen-Oggersheim (Rhineland-Palatinate): Schloss- und Wallfahrtskirche Mariä Himmelfahrt (Ludwigshafen)
- Mainau (Baden-Württemberg): Schlosskirche St. Marien
- Munich (Bavaria): Theatine Church; St. Boniface's Abbey
- Rastatt (Baden-Württemberg): Einsiedelner Kapelle
- Regensburg (Bavaria): Regensburg Cathedral
- Remagen (Rhineland-Palatinate): Kapelle Schwarze Madonna
- Spabrücken (Rhineland-Palatinate)
- Stetten ob Lontal, Niederstotzingen (Baden-Württemberg)
- Windhausen in Boppard-Herschwiesen (Rhineland-Palatinate)
- Wipperfürth (North Rhine-Westphalia): St. Johannes, Kreuzberg
- Wuppertal-Beyenburg (North Rhine-Westphalia)
St. Matthew's Church
- Biella (Piedmont): Black Virgin of Oropa, sanctuary of Oropa
- Canneto Valley near Settefrati (Lazio): Madonna di Canneto
- Casale Monferrato (Piedmont): Our Lady of Crea. In the hillside Sanctuary at Crea (Santuario di Crea), a cedar-wood figure, said to be one of three Black Virgins brought to Italy from the Holy Land c. 345 by St. Eusebius.
- Castelmonte, Prepotto (Friuli-Venezia Giulia)
- Loreto (Marche): Basilica della Santa Casa
- Naples (Campania): Santuario-Basilica SS Carmine Maggiore
- Positano (Campania): Located in the church of Santa Maria Assunta, the story of how it got there—sailors shouting "Posa, posa!" ("Put it down, put it down!")—gave the town its name.
- San Severo (Apulia): "La Madonna del Soccorso" (The Madonna of Succor), St. Severinus Abbot and Saint Severus Bishop Faeto. Statue in gold garments, object of a major three-day festival that attracts over 350,000 people to this small town. The infant Jesus is white.
- Seminara (Calabria): Maria Santissima dei poveri
- Tindari (Sicily): Our Lady of Tindari
- Venice (Veneto): Madonna della Salute, Santa Maria della Salute
- Viggiano (Basilicata)
- Vitina-Letnica: Church of the Black Madonna, where Mother Teresa is believed to have heard her calling.
- Vilnius: Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn
- Kališta, Monastery: Madonna icon in the Nativity of Our Most Holy Mother of God church
- Ohrid, Church: Madonna with the child
- Ħamrun: Our Lady of Atoċja, a medieval painting brought to Malta by a merchant in the year 1630, depicting a statue found in Atocha, a parish in Madrid, Spain, and widely known as Il-Madonna tas-Samra. (This can mean 'tanned Madonna', 'brown Madonna', or 'Madonna of Samaria'.)
- Częstochowa: Our Lady of Czestochowa
- In the United States, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa, in Doylestown, Pennsylvania houses a reproduction of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa. a second shrine to Our Lady of Częstochowa is located near Eureka, Missouri.
- In Israel there are two reproductions of the Black Madonna of Częstochowa: One in St. Peter's Church in Tel Aviv, and another in the Abbey of the Dormition in Jerusalem.
- Ghighiu: Maica Domnului Siriaca - Manastirea Ghighiu
- Cacica: Madona Neagra - Biserica Cacica
- Bucuresti: Madona Neagra - Biserica Dichiu
- Kostroma (Kostroma Oblast): Theotokos of St. Theodore also known as Our Lady of St. Theodore (Федоровская Богоматерь), in Theophany Monastery
Our Lady of Wladimir 12th century. Russia
- Andújar (Province of Jaén): Nuestra Señora de la Cabeza (Our Lady of Cabeza), named after the mountain, Cerro de la Cabeza or Cerro de Cabezo.
- Chipiona (Province of Cádiz): La Virgen de Regla or Nuestra Señora de Regla (Our Lady of Regla or the Virgin of Regla), considered by some as the custodian of the Rule of Saint Augustine
- Coria (Province of Cáceres): Virgen de Argeme (Our Lady of Argeme)
- El Puerto de Santa María (Province of Cádiz): Virgen de los Milagros (The Virgin of the Miracles)
- Guadalupe (Province of Cáceres): Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe (Our Lady of Guadalupe, Extremadura)
- Jerez de la Frontera (Province of Cádiz): Nuestra Señora de la Merced (Our Lady Of Mercy)
- Madrid (Community of Madrid): Nuestra Señora de Atocha (Our Lady of Atocha)
- Lluc, Majorca (Balearic Islands): Mare de Déu de Lluc (Our Lady of Lluc), Lluc Monastery
- Monistrol de Montserrat (Catalonia): Mare de Déu de Montserrat (Virgin of Montserrat) or "La Moreneta" in the Benedictine abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat
- Ponferrada (Province of León): Virgen de la Encina (Our Lady of the Holm Oak)
- Salamanca (Province of Salamanca): Virgen de la Peña de Francia (The Virgin of France's Rock, named after the local mountain called Peña de Francia)
- Santiago de Compostela (Galicia): ...
- Tenerife (Canary Islands): Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria (Virgin of Candelaria), or "La Morenita"
- Toledo (Province of Toledo): Virgen Morena (Dark Virgin), statue of La Esclavitud de Nuestra Señora del Sagrario in the Cathedral of Toledo (Catedral Primada de Santa María) (The Enslavement of Our Lady of the Tabernacle)
- Torreciudad (Huesca): Our Lady of Torreciudad
- Einsiedeln (Canton of Schwyz): Our Lady of the Hermits
- Sonogno, Valle Verzasca (Canton of Ticino): Santa Maria Loretana
- Uetikon upon Lake (Canton of Zürich): Catholic Church Saint Francis of Assisi
- Metzerlen-Mariastein (Canton of Solothurn): Mariastein Abbey
- Ascona (Canton of Ticino): Black Chapel
- Lugano (Canton of Ticino): Chiesa di Santa Maria di Loreto
Three icons portraying the Theotokos with black skin survived in Turkey to the present day, one of which is housed in the church of Halki theological seminary.
- Aparecida,(São Paulo): Our Lady of Aparecida or Our Lady Appeared (Nossa Senhora Aparecida or Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida) in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
- Andacollo,(Elqui Province): La Virgen Morena (Spanish for The Brunette Virgin)
- Cartago,(Cartago Province): Basílica de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles (Our Lady of the Angels Basilica)
- Regla,(Havana Province): Nuestra Señora de Regla (Spanish for Our Lady of Regla)
Trinidad and TobagoEdit
- Siparia : La Divina Pastora
- "Black Madonnas—Introduction". udayton.edu.
- Filler, Martin "A Scandalous Makeover at Chartres", The New York Review of Books, December 14, 2014
- Ramm, Benjamin. "A Controversial Restoration That Wipes Away the Past", The New York Times, September 1, 2017
- "Algiers". interfaithmary.net.
- "Senegal". interfaithmary.net.
- "Soweto". interfaithmary.net.
- Baybay, Felicito S., "Patron Ng Kapayapaan At Mga Manlalakbay" Archived 2014-08-08 at the Wayback Machine.
- KD. "Our Lady Of The Rule National Shrine – Quirks of Life". quirksoflife.com.
- Darang, Josephine. "Special Mass for Our Lady of Piat held July 9 at Sto. Domingo Church", Philippine Daily Enquirer, June 26, 2011
- "Your Question". udayton.edu.
- "Brno – The Black Madonna". brno.cz.
- "Church of Our Lady Below the Chain in Prague", Prague.cz Archived November 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- Channell, J., "Notre-Dame des Graces", Aix-en-Provence
- "Black Virgin of Aurillac". amigo.net. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008.
- "Notre Dame de Clermont". Web.archive.org. 2007-12-19. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
- "Douvres". interfaithmary.net.
- "Notre Dame de La Chapelle Geneste". amigo.net. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008.
- "Notre Dame du Puy, Cathedrale...: Photo by Photographer Dennis Aubrey". photo.net. 2007-11-09. Archived from the original on 2009-02-07. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
- "Black Virgin of Marseilles". amigo.net. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008.
- "Black Virgin of Mauriac". amigo.net. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008.
- "Meymac". interfaithmary.net.
- "Black Virgin of Riom". amigo.net. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008.
- "The Sanctuaries". visit-dordogne-valley.co.uk.
- Garth Cartwright. "Partying with the Gypsies in the Camargue". the Guardian.
- "Gypsy's Pilgrimage – Les Saintes Maries de la Mer – Camargue – France". avignon-et-provence.com.
- "Notre Dame du Château". amigo.net. Archived from the original on 14 May 2008.
- "Vierge des Croisades". Web.archive.org. 2007-12-19. Archived from the original on 2007-12-19. Retrieved 2009-07-25.
- Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe, Norman Davies
- Dhalai, Richard, "La Divina Pastora", Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, March 19, 2007
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- Sciorra, Joseph. "The Black Madonna of Thirteenth Street", Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, Vol. 30, Spring-Summer 2004
- Black Madonna in modern art - see Black Madonna by BystreetSky Artist https://www.bystreetsky.com/bystreetsky-art?lightbox=dataItem-j74w6ola