On June 2 (Saturday), the 9. pilgrimage of several thousand Greek Catholics from Slovakia will arrive in the Shrine of Divine Mercy. At 10.00 am, solemn Mass in the archierean liturgy will be celebrated. It will be presided by Archbishop Jan Babjak, S.J., the metropolitan bishop of Presov. After lunch break (about 2.25 pm), a conference from Sr. M. Blanka from the convent of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki will be given. The pilgrimage will end at 3:00 pm with prayer at the Hour of Mercy, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and a pastoral blessing.
On June 2nd, (Saturday) at the Divine Mercy parish in Košice’s KVP neighborhood, ceremonies of admission for new members in the “Faustinum” Association of the Apostles of Divine Mercy and promises of devotion and service to Divine Mercy will take place. In the presence of the President of the Association, Sr. Miriam Janiec, and the sisters engaged in formation in Slovakia, 13 volunteers will receive their ID cards and the rule of the “Faustinum” Association, including one person from the Czech Republic, and one from Germany. Two members will make their perpetual promises of devotion and service to God’s Mercy. Holy Mass will be presided by Fr. Peter Novák, and the day of recollection preceding this ceremony will be led by Fr. Ján Kocurko and Sr. Benediktína Fečová from the Košice community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy.
On May 25th, at the Church of Divine Providence in Warsaw and in other churches, novena before Thanksgiving Day will begin. This time, the novenna prayer will be accompanied by Sr. Faustina Kowalska from the Congregation of the Sisters of our Lady of Mercy, a prophet of our time, given to us by God’s Providence. The Lord sent St. Faustina to the world to remind people of the Biblical truth about the merciful love of God to each human being and call them to proclaim it with a new power of witness, deed, word and prayer. On the Day of Thanksgiving, her relics will be officially introduced to the Church of Divine Providence.
On 31 May, Thursday, the Church is celebrating the feast of Feast of Corpus Christi (Corpus Domini). Holy Mass at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki will be celebrated according to the Sunday schedule. Before noon, the procession of Corpus Christi will set out from the Wawel Hill to the Market Square in Krakow, and in the afternoon, other processions will take place in individual parishes. In the parish church in Łagiewniki, the Eucharistic procession to four altars will begin with Mass at 5:00 pm. The faithful will proceed along the street Siostry Faustyny in the direction of the Shrine of the Divine Mercy. At the basilica, the procession will conclude with a thankful Te Deum and a solemn blessing of the Holy Sacrament. Divine Mercy Mass for the intercession of St. Faustina in the intention of prayers and thanks from the faithful will be celebrated at 7 pm at the convent chapel.
When the Congregation chose Mary for the Heavenly Superior General, St. Faustina had a vision where she saw all the sisters covered under Mary’s coat and heard the words of a great promise: “Everyone who perseveres zealously till death in My Congregation will be spared the fire of purgatory, and I desire that each one distinguish herself by the following virtues: humility and meekness; chastity and love of God and neighbor; compassion and mercy”. After these words, the whole Congregation disappeared from my sight, and I remained alone with the Most Holy Mother who instructed me about the will of God and how to apply it to my life, submitting completely to His most holy decrees. It is impossible for one to please God without obeying His holy will. “My daughter, I strongly recommend that you faithfully fulfill all God’s wishes, for that is most pleasing in His holy eyes. I very much desire that you distinguish yourself in this faithfulness in accomplishing God’s will. Put the will of God before all sacrifices and holocausts” (Diary, 1244).
Saint Faustina is commonly associated with her revelations of Merciful Jesus and not so much with ones of the Virgin Mary. However, she experienced tens of such revelations. While She conversed with Sister Faustina, Mary revealed to her the mystery of Divine Mercy in her own life. She also instructed, reassured and accompanied the Saint in her prophetic mission of Mercy. She told her: Out of the depths of God’s Mercy, I am your Mother (Diary, 449) and I am not only the Queen of Heaven, but also the Mother of Mercy, and your Mother (Diary, 330).
The Blessed Virgin was, for Sister Faustina, primarily the Mother of the Son of God – the Embodiment of Mercy – and thanks to the Divine Mercy, also the mother of every human being. As the caring best Mother of all and a Mistress of spiritual life, she instructed her regarding the contemplation of God in her soul, regarding obedience to the will of God, the art of lovingly accepting one’s own cross and concern for the virtues that condition the attitude of trust in God and mercy towards our fellow human beings. I saw the Mother of God, Sister Faustina noted, who said to me, “Oh, how pleasing to God is the soul that follows faithfully the inspirations of His grace! I gave the Savior to the world; as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for mercy. If you keep silent now, you will be answering for a great number of souls on that terrible day. Fear nothing. Be faithful to the end. I sympathize with you” (Diary 635).
It is a tradition in Poland that Catholics gather in every church and even at small roadside shrines in May to celebrate “Majówki” – a special kind of devotion to the Virgin Mary, during which the Litany of Loreto is sung. At the Shrine in Krakow-Łagiewniki, the May devotions are celebrated in the chapel of the miracle-famous Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina every day at 7:00 pm and on Sundays and other holidays at 6:30 pm. You can also join in the prayer online, at www.faustyna.pl and www.sanktuarium.faustyna.pl.
In May, in a number of parishes in Poland, children participate for the first time in the sacraments of confession and Holy Communion. More and more children in special white clothes arrive with their priests, catechists and parents to the Shrine of Divine Mercy to make thanks for the great gift of God’s mercy which is the Eucharistic presence of the Lord Jesus and His indwelling in the human soul and to ask for fidelity and growth in the love of God and other people.
On May 27, at 4.20 pm at the basilica of the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow, a concert entitled “Salve Mater Misericordiae” dedicated to the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on the occasion of 150 years of its ministry in Krakow will take place. The “Musica ex anima” choir and the orchestra of the Shrine of Divine Mercy directed by Krzysztof Michałek will perform. M. Gomółka, S. Sarzyński, I. Różycki, W. A. Mozart, F. Schubert and P Mascagni will be played. Admission is free.
May 27th is the 12th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s pilgrimage to the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. The Holy Father prayed before the grace-famous painting of Merciful Jesus and at the tomb of St. Faustina, in the chapel of Perpetual Adoration, and in the Basilica he met with the sick, who – as he said – are the most eloquent witnesses of God’s Mercy and have an active part in the salvation of the world. On a general audience in Rome, he recalled this pilgrimage to the Shrine in Łagiewniki: I had the opportunity to point out that only Divine Mercy illuminates the mystery of man. … Contemplating the illuminating wounds of the risen Christ, Sister Faustina Kowalska received a message of trust to humanity, the message of God’s Mercy … This message is indeed the main message of our time: mercy as God’s power and as the boundary for the evils of the whole world.