Street Fair of Our Lady and Our Lady of Herbs (Matka Boska Zielna) Mass and bouquets blessing ensemble


Throughout the long year of struggling with the land to make ends meet, there was little time in the life of a Polish farmer for fun and frivolity. It was filled with constant hard work to feed the family and try to move forward in life. There were, however, special occasions which brought joy and celebration into the life of the Polish people. None were so eagerly awaited as the celebration of a patron saint’s feast or a special holy day associated with the local church. In Poland, this is called an odpust.

The word has two meanings. The first meaning is linked to religious practices and refers to an indulgence, that is to say a way of performing penance for having committed sins. Participation in religious celebrations on the feast day of the church gave the participant the opportunity to obtain full forgiveness of sins. This opportunity to receive indulgences was a very serious spiritual need and attracted a large number of devout and faithful people.
The second meaning of odpust: a street fair attracting many street vendors selling devotional items such as medals, rosaries, prayer books and holy statues which were avidly purchased by locals and visiting pilgrims. Sweets, regional products and souvenirs were also sold.
It has become an important event in the religious and spiritual sense, but also in the worldly sense of providing an opportunity to socialize, meet new people, hear news, look at the knick-knacks in the booths and hang out. to have fun.
This year, St. Casimir’s Church, 160 Cable St., Buffalo in the Kaisertown neighborhood, will host an old-fashioned odpust, in honor of the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on August 14, 2021 – the day before the actual feast day which is August 15th. This day is also known in Poland as Matka Boska Zielna, Our Lady of the Herbs, and the day’s activities will celebrate the Blessed Mother who blesses the harvest and the herbs of the earth at this time of year.
From 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., in the traditional way of our Polish ancestors, there will be food from Eddy and Rosie in the Polish Villa Food Truck, traditional Polish refreshing drinks and WNY; Potts Express giving samples of some of their imported products; pierniki (gingerbread) and placek; beekeeper David Newman selling honey and beeswax products; booksellers Karen Macius and Joanne Herminiak with new and old books in Polish and English; Kathy Sacilowski offers an exhibition of religious art and wares from Poland; a Loren and Jenn Atkins booth devoted to herbs and flowers and their medicinal uses; and I, author Sophie Hodorowicz Knab, will be there as a resource to answer any questions about customs and traditions and have copies of my latest book, Polish Herbs, Flowers, and Folk Medicine. Do not miss the traditional harvest bread beautifully decorated and baked by Diane Woloszyn.
To entertain the children there will be balloons, strings of street fair cookies made by tradition bearer Michael Szafranski and a guest juggler. Church tours led by Linda Smith will take place every hour and half hour, visit the Saint-Jean-Paul prayer hall where Saint-Jean-Paul, who at the time was Cardinal Karol Woytyla, stayed during his visit to Buffalo.
There will also be the opportunity to view submissions for the Bright Mountain Black Madonna Heritage Art Discovery Contest. This is a booklet intended to help people of all ages discover Our Lady of Częstochowa (translated as the Black Madonna of the Bright Mountain) through reading and coloring. You can download and print your featured image at
The kiosks and activities will close at 6.30 p.m. (reopening from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.) in order to focus on the spiritual side of the event in honor of Notre-Dame. At 6.30 p.m., a call to prayer or Byzantine Akathist Marian service will begin at the statue of Our Lady of Victory in the field by the celebrant Reverend Czesław Krysa.
It will be followed by an outdoor mass and the blessing of individual bouquets of herbs and flowers. Bringing bouquets of herbs and flowers to bless on this day is an old tradition and everyone is encouraged to bring their favorite flowers and herbs, or flowers from the field or orchard, to be blessed and then brought back to the home. house to be placed behind the holy pictures or crumbled and stored for medicinal purposes. Mass will end with the anointing of the women present with holy rose oil. Please join us! Bring a chair or blanket for Mass. The entire western New York community is invited to attend.
All donations to support the St. Casimir pantry.


About Author

Comments are closed.