In August, during evening devotions, the Chaplet of Our Lady of Mercy is sung or recited in all the chapels of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. At the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, evening devotions are celebrated on weekdays at 7 pm (except Thursdays). You can join through on-line video stream at www.faustyna.pl or www.krakow.faustyna.pl. The words of the Chaplet of Our Lady of Mercy and more information about Mary as Our Lady of Mercy, in particular concerning this title of Mary, her worship and iconography in the history of the Church and the Congregation, can be found at www.faustyna.pl, tab: Our Lady of Mercy.
On August 22, the 16th bicycle pilgrimage will set off from the parish of St. Joseph in Wola, Warsaw, and the parish of Divine Mercy in Grójec to the family home of St. Faustina in Głogowiec. On the trail, the pilgrims are awaited at six Marian shrines (Rokitno, Niepokalanów, Szymanów, Miedniewice, Domaniewice and Mąkolice). They will reach Głogowiec on August 24th. On this day, at 9.00 pm, in the house of St. Faustina, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will begin, during which the pilgrims would like to thank God for her life and mission, for their personal salvation through the message of God’s mercy, and ask Him to deliver tens of thousands of people from despair and give them the sense of a meaning in life. The pilgrims will also pray for our homeland, for the politicians, and that they are given the courage to defend the interests of the Polish nation. That night, on the eve of the birth of the Saint, a campsite will be arranged in front of her house. On August 25, at approx. 8.30 am, Holy Mass will be celebrated outside. After the service, the pilgrims will visit the parish church in Świnice Warckie, which is the Baptismal Shrine of St. Faustina. The will also pray at the nearby cemetery with the graves of the parents and siblings of the Apostle of Divine Mercy. The pilgrims can join even on the day of the departure, on the route from Warsaw, Lodz, Rawa Mazowiecka or Grójec. The pilgrimage will be led by Fr. Michał Dłutowski and Fr. Mariusz Bernyś.
August 25th is the 113th birthday of Helena Kowalska – St. Faustina, known throughout the world of the Apostle of Divine Mercy. She was born as the third child in the family of Marianna and Stanisław Kowalski in the village of Głogowiec. The certificate of baptism states that she was born about eight in the morning, and on that year, it was a Friday. Sister Faustina’s mother – Marianna née Babel – recalled that she had sanctified her womb, because the earlier births nearly cost her life, but her subsequent children were born without problems. She said about Helena: “Blessed child, dearest daughter.” Sister Faustina, in turn, constantly thanked God for her parents, God-fearing, righteous and diligent people who brought up their children in a spirit of faith and love of God and other people. Today, the birthplace of the Apostle of Divine Mercy belongs to her Baptismal Shrine, and remains under the care of the Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy’s convent in Świnice Warckie. The place of her birth is visited by pilgrims not only from Poland, but also other countries in the world, who travel along the trail of her life.
August 25th is the 23nd anniversary of the recognition of Saint Faustina as the spiritual co-founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. The decision was made on the 90th anniversary of her birth at the convent of the Sisters at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki under the leadership of the then Superior General, Mother Paulina Słomka. After prior discernment among theologians and pastors of the Church, at the end of the night vigil in front of the grace-famous Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina, Mother General spoke the words of the act, in which she confessed, among others: Holy Sister Faustina … you are not only a renewal of the spirituality and charism of our Congregation, but also its spiritual co-founder. What God did in your life, fulfilling the works of Mother Teresa Potocka and Mother Teresa Rondeau, and what He allowed us to read, we are glad to acknowledge, thankful to the Mercy of God for the great things that have taken place in you and through you in our Congregation. Sister Faustina received the charism of proclaiming the message of Mercy to the world with action, word and prayer, or to nurture this essential evangelical value, the mercy of God and human mercy. Not only did she enrich the charismatic heritage of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, which was founded by countess Mother Teresa of nee Sułkowski Potocka to save fallen women, but also the Church, beginning with the Apostolic Movement of Divine Mercy (the “new congregation” which Jesus desired to be founded) and bringing a new school of spirituality based entirely on the mystery of Divine Mercy to its history. The first heirs of St. Faustina were the members of the Congregation to which she belonged, therefore, John Paul II during his pilgrimage to Krakow-Łagiewniki in 1997, said: Dear Sisters! There is an extraordinary calling for you. By choosing the Blessed Faustina from among you, Christ made your Congregation a guardian of this place, and at the same time He called for a special apostolate of His mercy. Please, take this work. Today’s man needs your preaching of mercy; he needs your works of mercy and he needs your prayers for mercy. Do not neglect any of these dimensions of the apostolate. The full text of the act of recognition of St. Faustina as the spiritual co-founder of the Congregation is read in every community of the Congregation every year on October 5th, the day of her liturgical feast.
On August 25th, the anniversary of the birth of St. Faustina Kowalska, at her Baptismal Shrine, the 10th “Merciful Nights” Festival of Songs will be taking place. It is attended by various teams from the Lodz Province, teams with special care children among them. The festival concert will start at 12.00 pm. The patron of the event is the Marshal of the Province of Lodz, Witold Stępnia, and it is organized by the Commune Culture Center in Świnice Warckie in cooperation with the Shrine.
In connection with the construction of the Łagiewniki Route in Krakow, from mid-July 2018, road access to the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki will be hindered. From July 15th, Turowicza street will be closed. Mororists will be able to drive in and out through the streets: Herberta, Brata Alberta and Totus Tuus. From mid-August, one lane of Herberta street and Turowicza street will closed as well. Mororists will be able to drive in and out through the streets: Połomskiego and Fredry.
From 1 August, the Italian ‘Tele Giovanni Paolo II’ television is broadcasting the prayer at the Hour of Mercy and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy from the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki recited by sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. It is the first foreign station that transmits the online broadcast signal from www.faustyna.pl. Also Polish cable TV and ten radio stations in Poland have been doing this.
The Bialy Kruk publishing company has released another audiobook f the Diary of St. Faustina in Polish. This time it is read by Halina Łabonarska, a recognized actress who has presented portions of the book for several years in Radio Maryja. The recording of the text is complemented by soothing music by Piotr Łabonarski. The audiobook consists of three discs and includes 30 hours of recordings. It can also be purchased at the “Misericordia” shops at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki.
In the Church of St. Casimir in Świnice Warckie, the baptismal shrine of the Apostle of Divine Mercy, restoration works are under way. On Monday, May 14th, after the May devotions and a Mass of thanksgiving and supplication (in a way, closing the over 150 years of the church’s rich history), the Holy Sacrament was carried from the church to the new part of the Baptismal Shrine of St. Faustina in the presence of the moved parishioners. During the next days, the movable objects were removed from the church, cataloged, pre-evaluated as to their state of preservation and underwent initial restoration works. Saint Faustina’s beloved little church will be closed until fully renovated. The first stage of the planned work has already been completed. This year, the ceiling and the roof are to be replaced, and the wall which separates the old part of the church with the new one will be partially taken down. All the services are taking place according to the schedule in the new part of the Shrine, which has been open for the faithful since 23 August 2015.
At www.faustyna.pl, a pdf file containing our leaflet entitled Jesus’ Message of Mercy Leaflet is now available in Danish. It contains the key quotations by Lord Jesus recorded in the Diary of St. Faustina, which concern the message of Mercy He provided for the Church and the world. The Message was a gift from St. John Paul II for the third millennium of the faith, so that people can get to know the true face of God and the true face of man better. The introduction and quotations from the Diary were translated from Polish by Karen and Andreas Grzelak. Danish is the 15th language in which the Jesus’ Message of Mercy leaflet is shared for non-commercial spread of the Message of Mercy.