On the occasion of this year’s „Cracovia Sacra” events, on August 15th, OCTAVA Ensemble vocal octet will perform after Holy Mass at 7.00 pm at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. The band has been recognized by music critics as one of the most interesting vocal formations, quickly establishing its leading position among Polish chamber ensembles. Awarded at many festivals and vocal competitions, the ensemble is the winner of the most prestigious award in the field of Polish choral music and it is present in all parts of the world (Austria, France, Turkey, Spain, Slovenia, Switzerland, United States and China). In the chapel of the miracle-famous Divine Mercy image and the tomb of St. Faustina, we will hear them in a unique program entitled VOX ORBIS, which contains compositions from different parts of the world, from many musical eras, with different stylistics, forms and messages. The program includes works by such composers as Giovanni Croce, Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki, Bartłomiej Pękiel and Mikolaj Zieleński.
In the context of events related to the “Cracovia Sacra” night this year, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, manuscripts of St. Faustina’s letters will be available for viewing. There letters have never been presented before. An exhibition prepared in Polish and English will include letters of the Apostle of Divine Mercy – to her family, her confessors Bl. Fr. Michael Sopocko and Fr. J. Andrasz, S.J., superiors and sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy – and will allow visitors to get to know the addressees of these letters. The exhibition will be open in the convent building (at the entrance gate) only on Monday, August 14, from 9.00 am to 9.00 pm. Visitors to the St. Faustina Museum which presents original items from the life of St. Faustina and the exhibition with the manuscripts of her letters will be able to take with them special cards with the spiritual message that the Secretary of Merciful Jesus addressed to many sisters while she was in hospital in Prądnik 80 years ago.
On August 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 this year, 200 couples have been added on this list, and 14 of them are already expecting children. Intentions asking for prayer in this intention (names of married couples) can be sent by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or to the fanpage of the KOBIETA JEST BOSKA formation group: https://www.facebook.com/Kobieta-jest-BOSKA-447266535664684/?fref=ts.
From 30 July to 6 August, Sr. Matylda and Sr. Loretta from the convent of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki will take part in the “Przystanek Jesus” music festival, to testify, by word and prayer, the merciful love of God for every human being. It will be an evangelizing action directed at young people who participate in the “Przystanek Woodstock” festival. The trip to “Woodstock” will be preceded by a 3-day retreat for the evangelists led by Bishop Edward Dajczak. There will be many famous musicians from Poland and abroad, who will join in the evangelization, such as 2Tm2,3 (Tymoteusz), Propaganda Dei, Arkadio, TAU, Wild Magnolia (New York), Hubert Kowalski and the ICE team. This year, for the first time, the base of the “Przystanek Jezus” festival will be located in the immediate vicinity of “Przystanek Woodstock”. For the evangelizers, the largest tent in Poland will be installed, which will accommodate 5 thousand people.
Between 1 and 5 August, the youth of the MAJ Divine Mercy Movement will meet in Nuevitas, Cuba. The meeting will be attended by young people from all over the island: Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Matanzas, Manzanillo, Santa Clara and Camagüey. Sisters Filipa and Filipina from the Camgüey community will take part as well. During the congress, the following activities are planned: prayer, conferences, sharing of experiences from the last year of work and resting on the beach.
On August 5, the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of the Snows, the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy celebrates its patronal feast, honoring its Patroness – the Mother of Mercy Incarnate. On this day, the election of Mary as the heavenly Superior General of the Congregation has been traditionally renewed since in 1937, in the form of a special, ceremonial prayer. Saint Faustina wrote in her Diary: I saw the Virgin Mary and She said to me, Oh, how very pleased I am with the homage of your love! And at that moment She covered all the sisters of the Congregation with Her mantle. With Her right hand, She clasped Mother General Michael to herself, and with Her left hand she did the so to me, while all the sisters were at Her feet, covered with Her mantle. Then the Mother of God said hen the Mother of God said, Everyone who perseveres zealously till death in My Congregation will be spared the fire of purgatory (Diary, 1244). This day is the anniversary of the dedication of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the oldest church in the West dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Pope Sixtus III, to celebrate the end of the stormy Council of Ephesus (431 AD), which declared the dogma of the divine motherhood of Mary (Theotokos), introduced the feast of the Mother of the Son of God, which was first celebrated in this particular basilica, and with time, successive Popes expanded it to the whole Church. Today, the liturgical calendar of the Church contains the memorial of Our Lady of the Snows, commemorating the miracle associated with the rise of the basilica, and this name is functioning in the minds of the faithful. Therefore, the first circumstance of the establishment of the feast of Mary as Mother of the Son of God – Mercy Incarnate, has been forgotten. For more information about Mary the Mother of Mercy, Her title, worship and iconography in the Church and Congregation, follow the link: Our Lady of Mercy.
In the entire Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, perpetual prayer of the Rosary (24 hours a day) will be recited on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the election of Mary, Mother of Mercy for the Heavenly Superior General for 81 days (from May 16th to August 4th, 2017). The Novena of All Novenas is, above all, a thanksgiving for Her special care of the Congregation and for all graces solicited by Her. It is also recited for rewarding and supplicatory intentions: for the holiness in life for the sisters, for new vocations and the further development of the Congregation, so that it remains a living sign of Divine Mercy acting in the Church and in the world.
On July 27, a novena before the feast of the Patron of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, which falls on August 5, will start. During the novena, the Chaplet of Our Lady of Mercy is sung or recited. In this prayer we ask Mary to defend us from our enemies, accept us at the hour of death and beg for the Mercy of her Son for us. In the chapel of the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina, the novena is celebrated on weekdays at 7 pm, while on Sundays at 6:30 pm. The words of the Chaplet of Our Lady of Mercy.
On 2 August, at 11:00 am at the Shrine of Divine Mercy, four sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy, after serving a two-year novitiate and making an eight-day retreat, will make their first vows before the Superior General, Mother Petra Kowalczyk. The ceremonies, taking place in the convent chapel of the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina will be presided by Fr. Krzysztof Kowal, a La Salette priest. The ceremony will be attended by sisters from many convents of the Congregation and families of the sisters. During the first profession, sisters make vows of chastity, poverty and obedience to Jesus for a year, which are then renewed for five consecutive years. After this period, perpetual vows take place.
August 1st is the 92nd anniversary of the entrance of Helena Kowalska – St. Faustina – to the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw at ul. Żytnia. She described this day in her Diary: “At last the time came when the door of the convent was opened for me – it was the first of August , in the evening, the vigil [of a feast] of Our Lady of the Angels. I felt immensely happy; it seemed to me that I had stepped into the life of Paradise. A single prayer was bursting forth from my heart, one of thanksgiving” (Diary, 17). Now the prayer of thanksgiving for the gift of her life, the vocation and the prophetic mission of proclaiming the message of God’s merciful love to the world by witness of life, deed, word and prayer comes not only from her mother Congregation, which has regarded her as its spiritual founder, but by all apostles of Divine Mercy in the world.