On February 25th, at the “His Land” retreat house in Lakeville, MA, a day retreat will take place, during which Sr. Confida of the Boston community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will give a conference entitled “Forget not the mercy of God”. The program includes: Holy Mass, Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Hour of Mercy and Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
“In the evening, when I was in my cell I saw he Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment”, St. Faustina wrote in her Diary. “One hand was raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me: ‚Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world’” (Diary, 47). The event took place in St. Faustina’s cell at the Plock convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in the Old Market on February 22, 1931. The first Divine Mercy image was painted in Vilnius in 1934 under the guidance of Sister Faustina herself in the studio of Eugeniusz Kazimirowski and exposed for public veneration for the first time at the Gate of Dawn in 1935. Since then, a number of images have been created. The miracle-famous Divine Mercy image by Adolf Hyła, found in the convent chapel of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy at the Shrine of Divine Mercy is the best known one. The painting was created under the guidance of the Mercy apostle’s Krakow spiritual director, Fr. Józef Andrasz, S.J., who dedicated it on the Feast of Mercy, April 16, 1944. It was this image that fulfilled the words of Jesus spoken to St. Faustina at the first revelation: I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world. Not only pilgrims from around the world who physically arrive at this holy place can pray in front of this image, but also online visitors viewing our live broadcasts and the high quality presentation of the image at www.faustyna.pl.
On February 22, the 86th anniversary of the revelation of Merciful Jesus will be celebrated at the Shrine of Divine Mercy at Stary Rynek 14/18 in Plock. The main celebrations of the historical revelation experienced here by St. Faustina will take place during the Holy Mass at 6:30 am to 10:00 am, 12:00 pm and 3:30 pm. At 3:00 pm, the Hour of Mercy, Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be recited, followed by Mass and adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, which will end with blessing at 9:00 pm. Due to the expansion of the Shrine and the influx of pilgrims, the main diocesan celebrations will be held in the Plock cathedral. At 6:00 pm, Mass will be celebrated by the Bishop Roman Marcinkowski. The celebration of the anniversary will be participated by the inhabitants of Plock and by venerators of Divine Mercy from many towns and villages in Poland, traditionally arriving to witness these events despite the wintry weather.
The nearest “Łagiewniki 22”, which is a monthly meeting of young people at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, will be held on February 22nd, the 86th anniversary of the revelation of Merciful Jesus. The meeting will start at 7.00 pm in the chapel with the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina in its usual rhythm, i.e., with WORD: the conference, entitled “What image do you carry?’, will be delivered by our renowned Guest, Fr. Robert Zych, educator, psychologist, lecturer at UPJP2, and priest ministering in the Basilica of Divine Mercy. Immediately after the conference, ADORATION and WORSHIP of Divine Mercy will take place. Then, there will be time for COMMUNITY over a cup of tea for everyone. Those who cannot physically come to Łagiewniki, can connect to the on-line broadcast at www.faustyna.pl.
On February 22nd, the 86th anniversary of the revelation of Merciful Jesus, at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C., sisters from the Washington community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will be hosting another “Evening with Merciful Jesus”. The event will start at 7.00 pm with the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, adoration and worship of Merciful Jesus, followed by a conference from Sr. Donata, entitled “The Image of Merciful Jesus – a lighthouse for the lost”. The meeting will conclude with Community over tea. “Evenings with Merciful Jesus” are organized for young people who want to follow in the footsteps of St. Faustina and St. John Paul II to discover a new quality of life in friendship with Merciful Jesus.
During every evening Mass in February, the Litany of St. Faustina will be sung or recited in all chapels of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Consideration of the antiphons from this Litany is a way to better understand who the Apostle of Divine Mercy is for the Lord and for ourselves, along with her unusually rich spiritual heritage and her prophetic mission of proclaiming the message of Mercy to the world. At the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, the evening Mass will be celebrated in the chapel of the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina every day at 7:00 pm (except Thursdays).
On February 22 it will be 5 years since the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy started its ministry on Facebook, in our open group “Sanktuarium Bożego Miłosierdzia”. The project essentially involves proclamation of the message of Mercy and support religious formation by disseminating knowledge. The group has more than 22,800 members. On this occasion, we would like to thank the Admins and all participants of the Group for their work. We pray for you all every day in the chapel with the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina. The Congregation has been present on Facebook since 2014 in preparation for the World Youth Day. We run three profiles for the young: Faustyna2016 (in Polish, English and Spanish), and the fan page of the Shrine of Divine Mercy associated with the website: www.krakow.faustyna.pl.
On February 18th, three sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy: Sr. Solange (a Brazilian who served 20 years in Poland), Sr. Christofora and Sr. Hieronima set out from the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki to Brazil. Holy Mass was celebrated at 6:30 am in their intention, followed by farewell from the community of sisters. The Missionary Sisters were joined by St. Faustina on their mission to Brazil, in the sign of her relics, along with Superior General, Sr. Petra, to formally set up a house of the Congregation in that country. In Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, the sisters will proclaim the message of Mercy through the witness of their life, the work of mercy, word and prayer.
On February 18th, at the Shrine of St. Faustina in Kiekrz, Sr. Cherubina will give thanks for 60 years of religious profession. The jubilee Holy Mass at 12.00 will be chaired by a relative of the jubilant, Fr. Adam Miastkowski, PhD, Metropolitan Court Judge and Chairman of the Białystok College of Academic Pastors. The jubilee celebration will be attended by delegations of the sisters from other houses of the Congregation.
Between 12 and 15 February at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, a retreat for members and volunteers of the “Faustinum” Association will take place. It will be led by Fr. Stanisław Łucarz. S.J., and its main theme will be the words “Life from Mercy and for Mercy”.
February 15 is the name day of Sister Faustina and the liturgical memorial of her Vilnius spiritual director, Bl. Fr. Michael Sopocko. The Shrine of Divine Mercy will celebrate the Saint with morning Mass in her intention at 6:30 am, as is the custom of the Congregation. The intention is thanksgiving for the graces received by St. Faustina in her earthly life and for those the Congregation, the Church, Poland and the world were granted through her intercession and asking that she show the merciful love of God to all and support trust in Him along with the attitude of being good neighbors in us. Broadcast at www.faustyna.pl. Anyone can submit their prayer there as well as provide the gift of prayer, which an act of true mercy toward our neighbors, or another spiritual gift.
On February 6th, in the General House of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, an eight-day retreat for sisters will begin. The second week of Ignatian retreats will be led by Fr. Wacław Rusiniak, S.J. The participants will include sisters from the convent at ul. Żytnia, but also from other houses of the Congregation.
This is the motto of the monthly retreat at the Shrine of Divine Mercy organized for young people and devoted to the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. Just as before the World Youth Day, the meetings will be led by guests invited from throughout Poland and the world: renowned bishops, cardinals and leaders of Christian communities. During each of the seven meetings, also selected Polish communities and movements who have been asked for a testimony and a short presentation of the charism will be presented. The second meeting will take already on the 11th of February (Saturday) in the Basilica. The schedule is as follows: 4.30 pm – prayer and interview with the renowned Guest concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit and a testimony of a community leader; 6 pm – Holy Mass, 7.30 pm – conference from our special Guest followed by a prayer vigil. The Guest on this day will be Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.
On the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes (11 February), we will be celebrating the World Day of the Sick. On this occasion, the Shrine of Divine Mercy will host major diocesan events for patients and their caregivers. In the basilica, at noon, solemn Holy Mass combined with anointing of the Sick will be celebrated by the Bishop of Krakow. The live broadcast of the ceremony will be available at the Shrine Rector’s website: www.milosierdzie.pl.
On February 10th, Sr. Faustia of the Košice community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will take part in the Gospel Festival in Ružomberok, Slovakia. After the Eucharist, the participants of this event will celebrate relics of Sister Faustina, and Sr. Faustia will talk about the Saint’s life and communicate the message of Mercy recorded in her Diary.
On February 5th (Sunday), 25th anniversary of religious profession will be celebrated by Sr. Martyna Dudek. Solemn Eucharist at 11.00 am, at which the Jubilarian will renew her vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, will be presided by Fr. Prof. Bogdan Czupryn, Professor at WSD in Płock and lecturer at the Catholic University of Lublin. This community thanksgiving for the gift of vocation and all the graces that Sr. Martyna has received in her religious life, and through her ministry – also the Holy Church and the world, will be attended by sisters from other communities of the Congregation, Family, Priests and invited guests.
On February 4th, the community of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Derdy will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of religious profession of Sr. Pauletta. Solemn Eucharist at 11.00 an will be presided by Fr. Prof. Marek Tatar, PhD. This community thanksgiving for the gift of vocation and all the graces that the Jubilarian has received in her religious life, and through her ministry – also the Holy Church and the world, will be attended by sisters from other communities of the Congregation, Family, Priests and invited guests.
On February 2, the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, the World Day for Consecrated Life will be celebrated in the Church. On this occasion, we can learn more about the gift of God’s mercy that is the vocation to live according to the values of chastity, poverty and obedience. It is a day of thanksgiving for each call to religious service and for the many gifts with which institutions of consecrated life have been bestowed. The Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy, thanks to the gifts received from the founder, Mother Teresa Potocka and the spiritual co-founder, St. Faustina Kowalska, are participating in the life and salvific mission of Jesus Christ by proclaiming the merciful love of God towards every human being by the witness of their lives, deeds, words and prayers. Priests and the laity also participate in this spirituality and apostolic mission of the Congregation in various ways. In particular, members and volunteers of the Association of the Apostles of Divine Mercy, „Faustinum”, who come from more than 90 countries worldwide, are involved in this mission.
“I betroth you to Jesus Christ”. These are the words that. Jana Maria and Sr. Blanka from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will hear from Bishop Stanislav Stlárik of the Rožňava Diocese, Slovakia, on February 2nd during their perpetual vows at 10:30 a.m. The ceremony will take place in the chapel with the famous Divine Mercy image and the tomb of St. Faustina at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. The vows of chastity, poverty and obedience will be made in the presence of the Superior General, Mother Petra Kowalczyk. The ceremony will be attended by sisters from many convents of the Congregation, priests, families and friends. It will be one of the most important days in the lives of these sisters, the Congregation and the Church—the espousal of God and the human soul.
On February 1st, the silver jubilee of religious profession will be celebrated by Sr. Ewa of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy in Petropavlovsk. The jubilee will be celebrated together with the solemnity of the International Day of Consecrated Life, which will gather priests and nuns of the Petropavlovsk deanery at the Shrine of Divine Mercy. The program includes: Eucharistic adoration and Holy Mass presided by Archbishop Tomasz Peta, followed by agape and a meeting for the participants. During the Holy Mass, Sr. Ewa of Our Lady Zeliszewska will renew her vows of chastity, poverty and obedience. Due to the holiday celebrated, they will be also renewed by all other consecrated persons present as a sign of their devotion.
“The message of God’s Mercy will be one of the most important elements of my episcopal ministry. The world does, in fact, needs the Mercy of God badly”, said Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski at a press conference before his ingress. A confirmation of these words will be the first Holy Mass after the ingress, which the new Archbishop of Krakow will celebrate on January 29 at 7.00 am at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki in the chapel of the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina. This Sunday Eucharist will be broadcast, as always, by TVP 1.
On 27-29 January at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, a retreat for girls will be held by the Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. Its basic message is contained in the words: “Why me? About Divine choices”. It will be led by Fr. Robert Zych, Sr. Koleta Fronckowiak and Sr. Christofora Jagła from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. In the program: Holy Mass, conferences, a bibliodrama, individual interviews with retreat leaders, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and time for personal prayer.
The online video broadcast from the chapel of the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki allowed almost 390,000 unique users to pray with us in 2016. On average, 1056 individuals beefits from this service. The video and sound has been broadcast by the American company Livestream and financially supported by donors. The Congregation would like to offer our heartfel gratitude to the donors, who are entrusted in our prayers to Divine Mercy.
The convent at the Shrine of Divine Mercy has received a record number of thanksfor received graces (69,334), along with a record number of requests (as many as 771,986). They were submitted by mail, e-mail, telephone, at the convent gate and at the faustyna.pl website (form available under tab: “Intencje”). In addition, at faustyna.pl, visitors have left 520testimonies. They speak of their experiences of the loving presence of God and His action in the various stories of human lives, and they also build the faith of those who read them. The only vessel for experiencing these graces is confidence expressed in the fulfillment of God’s will. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, Jesus said to St. Faustina, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much (Diary, 1578).
In 2016, our mobile application for Android has been prepared and made available at www.faustyna.pl. The application has 7 language versions: Polish, English, Spanish, French, Italian, German and Russian. It contains news, photo reports, on-line transmission from the Shrine of Divine Mercy and the most important topics related to spirituality and mission of St. Faustina. In 2016, the application was downloaded by almost 14,300 people. 5,900 users have remained active. In 2017, by the effort of the Congregation, the application will be prepared also for iPhones.
You can download a file “Jesus’ message of Mercy” at faustyna.pl for the non-commercial spread of the message of Mercy, which St. Faustina provided us with in her Diary. It contains the most important words of Jesus recorded by the Apostle of Divine Mercy. The pdf file has been translated into 13 languages. In 2016, it was shared 1,358 times via faustyna.pl. The Polish version was downloaded by 313 people, Spanish – 331, Italian – 98, English – 198, German – 92, Slovak – 2, Russian – 24; French – 268, Czech – 7, Ukrainian – 12; Belarusian – 3, Hungarian – 5 and Portuguese – 5.
In 2016, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy who are the sole custodian of the relics of St. Faustina sent 320 particles of these relics (297 relics ex ossibus – from bones – and 23 from the habit) to 44 countries around the world. In Europe, the Apostle of Divine Mercy in the sign of her relics has traveled to 18 countries. In the Americas – to 12 countries, including Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Brazil. In Africa, her relics were admitted at churches in 5 countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire and Zambia. In Asia, the relics of St. Faustina were transferred to 28 churches in 8 countries: Lebanon (7), the Philippines (6), India (3), China, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Vietnam and Papua New Guinea, which belongs to Australia and Oceania. Saint Faustina in the sign of her relic is now present in 117 countries on all continents, in 5,078 churches, shrines or chapels, where Divine Mercy is revered in a special way.
In 2016, 202,000 users accessed the Diary of St. Faustina in Polish and other languages at www.faustyna.pl. In the same year, full translation of the Diary was made available also in Italian. All language versions except French are now available also for tablets and smart-phones. Daily quotations from the Diary have been subscribed by almost 1282 – in Polish, Spanish, German, English, Italian and Russian. Many users have also accessed the Diary Concordance function available in Polish.
For several years, sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy and the faithful venerators of Divine Mercy from around the world have been able to participate in our Perpetual Chaplet of Divine Mercy at www.faustyna.pl. In 2016, 2,646 from dozens of countries joined in this perpetual prayer. Thus, day and night, the incessant cry “have mercy on us and on the whole world” could be heard under the throne of God. We at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki would like to thank all those involved in this great work from the depth of our hearts and commend you all to the Mercy of Jesus through the intercession of St. Faustina.
The super-high quality digital reproduction of miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus from the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki was viewed at our website by almost 77,600 users in 2016. The digital image was downloaded for non-commercial purposes by over 470 users from 50 countries: USA, Germany, Chile, Poland, Italy, Brazil, Croatia, Slovenia, England, Canada, Urugay, Argentina, France, Australia, Slovakia, Spain, Norway, Colombia, Mexico, Burkina Faso, Austria, India, Equador, Switzerland, Bolivia, Romania, Philipines, Russia, Venezuela, Panama, Ghana, Ukraine, Lithuania, Honduras, Serbia, Kongo, Lebanon, Madagascar, Hungary, Ireland, Kameroon, China, Guatemala, Peru, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Ivory Coast, Lichtenstein, Puerto Rico and Portugal.