On December 6-8, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, a retreat for apostles and venerators of Divine Mercy will take place. “How many souls have been consoled by the call of ‘Jesus, I trust in you’, which Providence has intimated through Sr. Faustina! This simple act of abandoning oneself for Jesus dispels the thickest clouds and makes a beam of light penetrate the life of every human being” (St. John Paul II). In an atmosphere of silence and in-depth personal prayer, as well as meeting with the living witness of trust in God, the participants will be invited to explore the power flowing from the words “Jesus, I trust in You!”. The retreat will be hosted by Fr. Marek Chrzanowski, F.D.P., and the organizer of the retreat is the Faustinum Association Apostles of Divine Mercy.
The “Woman is Divine” community and Fr. Andrzej Wiecki – its spiritual director and sisters of the Gdańsk community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy cordially invite married couples trying to conceive to Adoration of Merciful Jesus with a prayer for healing, which will take place on 8 December at 7.30 pm at the shrine of the Pregnant Holy Mother in Matemblewo. Live stream: www.modlitwaopotomstwo.pl.
On December 8th, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, Mass will be celebrated at 7 pm in the intentions of all the sponsors, donors and contributors of the media works carried out by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, and especially those who support the Chaplet for the Dying at www.faustyna.pl . Thanks to this support each year we are helping about twenty thousand dying people. Hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world can make a virtual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Łagiewniki and connect in prayer next to the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina. Sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy pray daily for the donors and benefactors who support the work, but this particular Eucharist will be a special gift of gratitude. You can join this celebration via the live video broadcast at faustyna.pl, and in the Faustyna.pl application.
On December 8, as on every eighth day of the month, the community of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Gdansk will support married couples praying for offspring. Already over 700 married couples from Poland, Italy, France and the USA have enlisted for the prayer and 297 of them are already expecting children, with many more already enjoying parenthood. Intentions asking for prayer for this purpose (names of married couples) can be sent by email at: email@example.com or through the fanpage: www.modlitwaopotomstwo.pl.
The reconstruction of the main entrance to the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki has been completed. New, comfortable stairs on a sturdy foundation laid out with sand stone have been constructed along with a brick structure with an external wheelchair access elevator. On this occasion, also the entrance itself has been renovated. All these works were performed in accordance with the recommendations of the conservator. Starting December 7, the chapel with the grace-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina will be accessible via the main entrance. In the spring, restoration of the wall in front of the entrance and development of greenery around it is planned. The works will be carried out as funds allow it.
On November 29, spiritual preparations for the celebration of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary will begin in all the houses of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. There is to be a communal novena consisting of antiphons and the Litany of Loreto. In addition the sisters will be marking the Holy Day with an annual gift to the Mother of Mercy. Over and above the obligatory prayer in the convents’ chapels and her spiritual exercise, Saint Faustina used to make a novena which consisted in saying 1,000 „Hail Marys” each day. She admitted: Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Apart from recreation, I have only prayed and worked. I have not said a single unnecessary word during these days. Although I must admit that such a matter requires a good deal of attention and effort, nothing is too much when it comes to honoring the Immaculate Virgin (Diary, 1413). You yourselves can also take part in the prayer online, thanks to our live transmissions from the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki.
On 1-3 December, Sr. Anna Maria Trzcińska from the convent of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki will lead a retreat at the Rectory Church of St. Joseph in Sulejówek, which is under the care of the Marian Fathers. At the beginning of Advent, St. Faustina, who is present in this holy place in the sign of her relics, will help the participants to these meetings to explore the depths of the mystery of God’s merciful love, to learn the attitude of childlike trust in Him and the attitude of mercy towards others.
The traditional three-day retreat for devotees of God’s Mercy will be held in the lower Smokovec, in the Tatras, from 29 November to 1 December. The motto of the meeting will be: “I am with you all days”. It will be led by Fr. Ján Bittšanský, and Sr. Clareta Fečová from the Košice community of the Congregation of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. The program includes: Holy Mass, presentations, prayer at the Hour of Mercy and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, all-night adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Stations of the Cross, the Rosary and honoring the relics of St. Faustina.
Following requests from many apostles of Divine Mercy, Sr. M. Elżbieta Siepak, O.L.M., has prepared a second revised and extended edition of her book entitled Życie zwyczajne uczyniła nadzwyczajnym [She made ordinary life extraordinary] which has been released by the Misericordia publishing office in Polish, Spanish, and French. It will soon be also available in English. The book is an encyclopedic look at the life, spiritually, and mission of Sister Faustina. It helps find the gist of the message provided by the Apostle of Divine Mercy in the rich literature concerning her life and mission. It discusses the Divine Mercy devotion in layman’s terms, as recorded in the Diary of Sister Faustina. The book is available at the Misericordia stores at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, and in the online store at www.misericordia.faustyna.pl
On December 1, the 16th Christian Entrepreneurs’ Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki will take place. Solemn Mass at 10.30 am in the Basilica will be presided over by Archbishop Józef Kupny. After the Eucharist, a meeting will take place in the Hall of St. John Paul II. The program of the meeting includes conferences and a concert. The pilgrims will pray at the grace-famous image of Merciful Jesus next to the tomb of St. Faustina. The pilgrimage will end with prayer at the Hour of Mercy, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and a dinner for the participants. Foto: Marek Karnecki.
On November 29-December 1, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, a retreat for young women will take place. The theme of the meeting will be “Prepare your heart”. It will be led by Fr. Krzysztof Kowal, M.S., and Sr. Greta Mizeracka who is responsible for the work of vocations in the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. At this early Advent vigil, the participants will focus on learning how to receive, consider and keep God’s word to that it can transform their lives, leading to faithful carrying out the will of God, as was the case in the life of Mary. The retreat will include a communal Holy Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, listening and meditation on the Word of God, meetings and conversations with the Sisters.
On 18-24 November in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the 4th Congress of Divine Mercy for Africa and Madagascar will be held, organized under the leadership of Philippe Cardinal Ouédraogo. The theme will be the words: “God’s Mercy, grace for our times.” This meeting of apostles of Divine Mercy will be attended by, among others, Sr. M. Diana Kuczek, who will give a conference on: “Groups, associations, brotherhoods of Divine Mercy as a nucleus for the promotion of the spirituality of Divine Mercy”, and Sr. M Miwiana Krzak will deliver a conference entitled: “Trust in God’s Mercy in the school of St. Faustina.”
During the Congress, a person from Benin will be accepted into the “Faustinum” Association of Apostles of Divine Mercy. The sisters will also take part in the opening ceremony of the newly formed Shrine of Divine Mercy, and they will deliver relics of Sister Faustina there.
On November 24th at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, the 3nd anniversary of the proclamation of the Jubilee Act of acceptance of Christ as King and Lord will be celebrated. It will start with devotion to the Holy Spirit at 10 am in the chapel of the grace-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina, followed by penitential Stations of the Cross and procession to the Basilica of Divine Mercy, where at 12.00 am there will be held a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided by Bishop Andrzej Czaja.
On November 24th, another formation meeting of the “Faustinum” Association of Apostles of Divine Mercy will take place at the church of Our Lady of Seven Dolors in Bratislava, Slovakia. A biblical conference will be provided by Fr. Milan Puškár and Sr. Clareta Fečova from the Košice community of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy will talk about the following elements of St. Faustina’s school of spirituality: the love of the Eucharist and its role in spiritual life, love towards the Church, and devotion to Our Lady.
Advent is approaching, Sister Faustina wrote in her Diary. I want to prepare my heart for the coming of the Lord Jesus by silence and recollection of spirit, uniting myself with the Most Holy Mother and faithfully imitating Her virtue of silence, by which She found pleasure in the eyes of God Himself. I trust that, by Her side, I will persevere in this resolution (Diary, 1398). This year, the first Sunday of Advent falls on 1th of December. Liturgically, Advent and the new year in the liturgy of the Church begins with vespers on November 30th. It constitutes a time of joyful anticipation of Christmas, spiritual preparation for this holiday and for the second coming of Christ on Earth, in addition to building our sensitivity to His everyday coming to us here and now, as St. Faustina did, through exercise in silence and recollection of spirit. The joy of experiencing the mystery of faith which tells us of the birth of the Son of God in human flesh, Mercy Incarnate, depends on this expectation and spiritual preparation.
Every evening in November, the Rosary for the Dead is prayed in the chapel with the image of the Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina at the Shrine in Krakow-Łagiewniki, as well as in all other chapels of the Congregation. Praying the Rosary with others in a church, a public chapel, with your family, or in a religious community or pious organization can gain you a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions. In Poland a plenary indulgence can also be obtained by reciting the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Prayer is a great good that those still living on Earth can offer to those who have already departed from it and are expecting our aid, as they cannot help themselves anymore. Mercy rendered to the dead, like any good done to others, is also the wealth of those who practice it.
This is the title of the lecture for women organized by the “Woman is DIVINE” community and the Sisters from the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Gdansk on November 23. The conference will be preceded by Holy Mass celebrated in the Oliwa Cathedral at 10 am. After that, in the John Paul II auditorium, the conference entitled “Divine female DNA” will be given by Sylwia and Witek Wilk, a happily married couple and parents of four children, who have provided various themed retreats and done evangelization work for many years. Sylwia and Witek have founded many communities for prayer and evangelization, which bring together about five thousand people.
On November 18-22, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, a retreat for priests will take place. The theme of the event will be “Priests – witnesses of Mercy”. Biblical scholar Fr. Stanisław Witkowski, M.S., Professor at the John Paul II Pontifical University in Krakow will lead the retreat, and conferences on the role of priests in the mission of proclaiming the message of Mercy to the world will be delivered by Sr. Elżbieta M. Siepak from the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. The organizer of the retreat is the “Faustinum” Association Apostles of Divine Mercy.
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 November 22nd. In this year of formation, the young will meet at 7 pm for an evening of Divine Mercy veneration in front of the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina. After the prayer, there will be refreshments which is conducive for building a community and sharing the experience of God’s Mercy and the apostolate. Those who cannot physically come to Łagiewniki, can connect to the on-line broadcast at www.faustyna.pl.
The forthcoming Evening with Merciful Jesus at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC, this time will be held in on November 22nd. Sisters from the Washington community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will host the event. Sister Confida will deliver a conference on the sacrament of penance and reconciliation on the basis of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical and the Diary of Sister Faustina. The meeting will start at 7 pm in front of the image of the Merciful Jesus with prayer with the words of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. After the speech, Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament will take place. At the end, refreshments will be available. The young will meet to discuss the topic of the evening’s lecture and share their experience of God. “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.
On November 21st another formation meeting of the “Faustinum” Association of Apostles of Divine Mercy in Slovakia will take place. A conference, entitled “The Word of God in the rhythm of Lectio Divina” will be given by Fr. Artur Ciepielski and S. Alžbeta Mikušová from the Košice community of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy will talk about deeds of mercy toward one’s neighbor: instructing the ignorant and comforting the afflicted.
On November 17th, another formation meeting of the “Faustinum” Association of Apostles of Divine Mercy will take place at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Košice, Slovakia. A conference about the attitude of mercy toward one’s neighbors in the Bible will be given by Fr. Jozef Kacvinsky and Sr. Antoniana Štullerová from the Košice community of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy will talk about bilateral relationships in the act of mercy and about mercy provided through one’s words.
November is a special month of acting out of mercy towards the dead, whose souls are maturing in Purgatory to fully experience love. Saint Faustina visited that place in her mystical experiences and described it in the Diary: … I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him.In a moment I was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls.They were praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves; only we can come to their aid.The flames which were burning them did not touch me at all.My Guardian Angel did not leave me for an instant.I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was.They answered me in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God.I saw Our Lady visiting the souls in Purgatory.The souls call her ‘The Star of the Sea’.She brings them refreshment.I wanted to talk with them some more, but my Guardian Angel beckoned me to leave.We went out of that prison of suffering.[I heard and interior voice] which said,My mercy does not want this, but justice demands it (Diary, 20).
On November 15th (the third Friday of the month) at ul. Krośnieńska 9 in Lodz, another meeting devoted to the spirituality of Divine Mercy and the school of Sister Faustina will be held. The program includes Holy Mass at 5 pm followed by two conferences, by Fr. Paweł Gabara, PhD, entitled “Who sees Jesus, sees the Father, too”, and by Sr. Sara Jabłońska, O.E.M., entitled “Remind them of My mercy”. The meetings are connected with the activities of the “Faustinum” Association of Apostles of Divine Mercy. They take place in the same building where St. Faustina lived after she came to Lodz to work as a housemaid.
On 8-10 of November, in the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Nižny Hrušov, a retreat for young women will be held. The theme will be What’s next?. The retreat will be hosted by Fr. Jan Kocurko and Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.
On November 6-10, in Krakow, the 3st International Congress of Religious and Pilgrimage Tourism will be held. The participants expected include ca. 100 tour operators, religious tourism organizers, bishops, priests, diocesan coordinators and NGO leaders, including the Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. The purpose of the Congress is not only to exchange business contacts among the participants but primarily to promote Krakow and Malopolska in the international arena and to strengthen the importance of religious tourism in the context of the global tourism industry. The participants of the Congress will visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki and the Shrine of St. John Paul II in Białe Morza, among others. The Congress is organized by the Ernesto Travel tourist office.
The first day of November is celebrated in the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy as the day when the Church pays homage to all the Saints and, additionally, as the anniversary of the establishment of the Congregation in Poland. On this day, in 1862, Archbishop Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński consecrated the first chapel and House of Mercy in Warsaw at ul. Żytnia. On this day, the sisters refer especially to the early history of their Congregation. They commemorate its founder, Countess Teresa Ewa Potocka nee Sułkowska, who accepted the invitation of Archbishop Szczęsny Feliński and came to Warsaw to aid “fallen” women in returning to a life of dignity, and to establish a house for them inspired by the House of Mercy in Laval (France), which became the model for their apostolic work and religious life. Together with the Church, the sisters also revere all those who have achieved the goal of their lives: eternal union with God. These saints also include the Divine Mercy apostle, Sr. Faustina Kowalska, raised to the altars as a saint and known all over the world. Saint Faustina was the spiritual co-founder of the Congregation, along with St. Archbishop Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński and the deceased sisters, pupils and Divine Mercy apostles who were members of the association “Faustinum” and who participated in the mission of the Congregation by making the merciful love of God present in the world through their lives, deeds, words and prayers. The sisters in all the convents their gratitude for the Congregation’s past, entrusting its present and future to God’s mercy, so that all Divine plans for it are fulfilled.
On the Feast of All Saints, the Church honors those raised to the altars, known by name and biography, but also all the priests, other consecrated persons and lay faithful who have reached the goal of human life that is eternal union with God in love. There are more saints who live among us than there may seem to be. One piece of evidence for this is the history of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, which has been intertwined with the lives of many unusual people, in addition to St. Faustina Kowalska. Throughout the over 150-year-long existence and activity of the Congregation, some of these individuals were raised to the glory of the altars by the Church. They include Archbishop Zygmunt Szczęsny Feliński, who was a co-founder of the Congregation; Pope St. John Paul II, who visited Łagiewniki so often and has done so much for the mission of Mercy; Bl. Julian Nowowiejski, the Bishop who invited the sisters to Płock and who wrote the first history of the Congregation; Bl. Jan Balicki, who initiated the Congregation’s works in Przemyśl and served the sisters and their pupils for three years; Bl. Maria Karwowska, who spent her formation period in the Łagiewniki convent and Bl. Michael Sopoćko, the Vilnius confessor of the convent on the Antokol and spiritual director of St. Faustina. The following are included as candidates for sainthood: the fathers who served as confessors to the convent in Krakow-Łagiewniki: the servant of God Fr. Wojciech Baudiss, S.J.; Fr. Bernard Łubieński (Redemptorist); Fr. Stanisław Bednarski, S.J.; Fr. Stanisław Podoleński, S.J.; Fr. Marian Morawski, S.J.; Fr. Józef Cyrek, S.J.; or the servant of God Fr. Jacek Woroniecki, O.P., the author of The Mystery of Divine Mercy, which was copied from the original manuscript by the sisters in Łagiewniki. This list of saints, blessed and servants of the Lord is much longer, particularly because it can include individuals who did not cooperate with the Congregation permanently, but had a different type of relationship with it. Today, too, saints are among us. They are the people fascinated by the merciful love of Jesus, who participate in His life and His mission to reveal the mystery of Divine Mercy to the world.
November 1, on the 157th anniversary of the founding of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, at the Walendów convent, a ceremony of admitting seven new postulant. General Superior, M. Petra Kowalczyk, will attend. Holy Mass in the intention of the postulants will be celebrated in the convent chapel at 8.00 in the morning. The celebrations will be preceded by a day of recollection in the lectio divina convention.
The period of postulancy is the first trial in religious life. It is intended, first of all, to gradually introduce new sisters into the life of the Congregation, and also to complement and extend their religious knowledge, to shape the culture of coexistence with others according to the etiquette, to develop the practice of natural virtues and to facilitate a closer familiarization with the life and apostolic mission of the Congregation. This is achieved through attending lectures and study, but also through prayer and work in the community of sisters.
The beautiful tradition of celebrating rosary devotions in October is deeply ingrained in the religious life of the Church in Poland. The devotions are held in every church and in many chapels. In the Shrine of Divine Mercy, the devotion is celebrated in the Convent’s chapel with the miraculous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina, every day at 07:00 pm and at 06:30 pm on Sundays, public holidays and the first Friday of the month. In order to pray the rosary in Krakow-Łagiewniki, you can also join in the on-line transmission. Rosary meditations in the spirit of the Divine Mercy and human mercy (including the writings of St. Faustina) are also available in our Misericordia store at the Łagiewniki Shrine and on our website: www.faustyna.pl