Referring to the ancient Stations of the Cross Liturgy, the Metropolitan of Krakow Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski introduced it also in Krakow. For the second time on every day of Lent, the inhabitants of Krakow can pray in selected station churches. One of them is the Basilica at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, where the Liturgy of the Stations with the Eucharist will be celebrated on February 19th at 6 pm.
The spirituality of the entire Stations of the Cross Liturgy focuses on three main elements, Fr. Stanisław Szczepaniec explains. The first is the penitential dimension, thanks to which we can experience Lent more deeply. Participants of the “station day” listen to the Word of God, pray, begin fasting, and, during the celebration of the Eucharist they donate to the needy. Those who make pilgrimages to the consecutive station churches follow a spiritual path that brings them closer to the deeper experience of the Lord’s Passover, too.
The second goal of the station liturgy is to show the city as a “sacred space”. The entire city becomes like the Church of God, because in every part of it, the faithful gather at the penitential liturgy. The “station network” covers all the districts of Krakow.
The third aspect of the Liturgy of the station is also important. It is the arrival of the bishop to the community. The Bishop strengthens the participants of the Eucharist in zealous undertaking of prayer, fasting and alms, and his presence is a sign of the unity of the particular Church.
On February 17th, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki, festivities related to jubilees of religious vows, to be presided over by Bishop Jan Zając, will take place. During the solemn Eucharist at 11 am in the chapel with grace-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina, the vows of purity, poverty and obedience will be renewed by Sr. Waleria Krysiak, experiencing the 60th anniversary of her religious profession and Sr. Laura Dudek, experiencing the silver jubilee on the 25th anniversary of her first religious vows. Families of the two celebrants and sisters from many communities of the Congregation will be present at the ceremony to thank the Lord for the gift of life, vocation and mercy received by the two Sisters and through their life, also by the Church and the world.
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 9-11 February, in Vysoka nad Uhom, a Pilgrimage of Joy, a meeting of youth from Slovakia will take place. On February 10, Sr. Jana Maria of the Hrušov community of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy will participate, to accompany the young people in their annual meeting.
On 9-11 February, in the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Gdansk, a retreat for girls named „Onto the deep waters… Trust yourself or trust Jesus?”. The retreat will be hosted by Fr. Karol Wnuk from Gdansk and Sr. Greta Mizeracka, who is responsible for the work of vocations in the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. The program includes: Holy Mass, presentations, workshops, communal and personal prayer time and one-on-one consultations – all in an atmosphere of silence. More information is available here.
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 three in the afternoon, 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 11th, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, a novena will begin before the hundredth anniversary of Poland’s independence. Every 11th day of the month at 6 pm, a thanksgiving Holy Mass will be celebrated in the basilica for the gift of freedom intended to ask for a sense of responsibility for the future of our Homeland. The novenna will have a specific theme and a patron saint every month. In February, the patron of the novena prayer will be St. Szymon from Lipnica, and the main theme will be „Mercy towards those in need”. The Jubilee Novena will also begin in parishes and rectory churches of the Archdiocese of Krakow on a chosen day of the month.
On February 8th, 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. From February 2017, already over 500 married couples from Poland, Italy, France and the USA have enlisted for the prayer and 72 of them are already expecting children, including one couple with twins coming up. Intentions asking for prayer for this purpose (names of married couples) can be sent by email at: email@example.com or through the fanpage of the “Kobieta jest boska” (Woman Is Divine) formation group.
On February 14, Ash Wednesday, we will enter the time of Lent. On that day, during Holy Mass, the priests sprinkle the faithful with ash as a sign of penitence. The ash comes from the “palms” which had been blessed on Palm Sunday and now burnt). While sprinkling ash on the heads of the faithful, the priests say to them: „Repent and believe in the Gospel” or “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return”. These words reminds us about the fragility of human life, the need to believe in the Gospel and to repent in order to reach eternal life. On Ash Wednesday, those above 14 years old should abstain from meat and fast, which implies eating no more than three times a day, including one full meal. Solemn fasting should be observed by those under the age of 60. Holy Mass at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki’s chapel with the Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina will be celebrated at 6:30 am, 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and in the basilica they will be celebrated as on every Sunday. The beginning of Lent is intended to help in self-reflection, repentance, developing one’s mercy imagination and good preparation for Easter.
Under this title, on February 1-4, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, a retreat will take place, hosted by Fr. Sławomir Czajka, a biblical scholar and Sr. Miriam Janiec of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. The atmosphere of silence and prayer will aid the participants in meeting Merciful Jesus in the Eucharist, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer with the Word of God and meditation on excerpts from the Diary of Sister Faustina. During the retreat, sisters from the “Faustinum” Association who organize the event ensure, we will try to reflect on the image of God we carry in our heart and confront our ideas with what He says about Himself through the Word of God and the Diary.