A Pilgrimage to Jasna Góra (Reymont)
Translated by Filip Mazurczak. Foreword by Michał Gołębiowski.
Originally published in Polish in 1895. This edition marks the first English translation of Pielgrzymka do Jasnej Góry by the Nobel laureate Władysław Reymont.
In 1894, Władysław Reymont, one of Poland's most important writers, went on a walking pilgrimage from the right bank of Warsaw to Jasna Góra, Poland's most important Marian shrine in Czestochowa. He went as a journalist to cover the pilgrimage for the press rather than out of piety. Quickly, however, he was won over by the simple but deep faith of the pilgrims, mostly simple peasants among whom he felt like an outsider. Available in English for the first time, A Pilgrimage to Jasna Góra is a masterpiece of late-nineteenth century journalism filled with astute sociological observations of the Poles and their faith under Russian domination and richly sensuous descriptions of the beauty of the Polish countryside.
This timely translation sheds light on problems still plaguing us: the divide between urban and rural, the educated and the credulous, higher and lower social origins, skeptical and religious. It does what journalism today often doesn’t do: fairly describing and observing religious activity and its manifestations. By illuminating the foundations of faith in a country that produced the Christian humanist philosophy of St. John Paul II, it shows how to advance that worldview, which can transform the life of society. Although written over a hundred years ago, this is a book also for our times. – David M. Klocek, Ph.D., UVA College at Wise
Pilgrimage to Jasna Góra brings to the English speaking reader the early work of Poland’s least-known Nobel laureate, Władysław Reymont. The author walks to the shrine of Our Lady of Częstochowa across the countryside of late nineteenth century Poland but not in the company of the great and good. His companions are the humble, the rough, the forgotten. His portrayals of ordinary people are deeply sympathetic and humane, but never romantic or idealized. Pilgrimage to Jasna Góra is reportage at it best, revealing flawed people of deep faith journeying through a countryside on the cusp of momentous change. - John Radzilowski, Ph.D., Professor of History, University of Alaska
Reymont's book is a testimony to the deep impression that the witness of zealous faith can leave on a modern intellectual. It also gives insight into the depths of the spirit of popular Polish Catholicism, which remains vibrant despite the pressures of the mad de-Christianization that has overwhelmed Western civilization. - Tomasz Rowiński, Managing Editor of Christianitas, Poland's leading Traditionalist Catholic publication