On January 27, another Monday’s meeting will be held at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, dedicated to contemplating the Catechism of the Catholic Church and prayer at the miracle-famous Divine Mercy image and the tomb of St. Faustina for the recovery of faith in the Eucharistic presence of Jesus, and for priests. At 6.45 pm, Fr. Janusz Kościelniak will present a short meditation on the desire of God, which is inscribed in the human heart and in the search for Him in different ways (based on Articles 26-40 CCC). The focal point of the program will be the encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, with individual blessing. Those who cannot physically come to Łagiewniki, can connect to the on-line broadcast at www.faustyna.pl.
On January 23-26, at the John Paul II National Shrine, in Washington, D.C., pilgrims will be able to meet with St. Faustina in a special way During that time, thousands of Americans from many states of the USA will visit the Shrine during the annual pilgrimage related to the participation in the March for Life. They will be able to honor the relics of St. Faustina presented in a very special reliquary, prepared four years ago during the Saint’s pilgrimage in the Year of Mercy. The curator of this beautiful wooden handmade reliquary created by the artist Eric Winogradoff from the state of New York, is a community of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy of Lakeville, Massachusetts. During the special visitation of the Shrine by St. Faustina, Sisters of the Washington community will share her spiritual heritage with the pilgrims and proclaim the message of Mercy.
On January 26, at the Parish of St. Faustina in Lodz at Plac Niepodległości 1, a Sunday with an Apostle of Divine Mercy will take place. Sister Sara Jabłońska from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will be talking about her experience of God’s Mercy and apostolate. Meetings with apostles of Divine Mercy are held every 4rh Sunday of the month and are an aftermath of the 1st Congress of St. Faustina in Lodz, which took place in the parish at the beginning of October 2018. Sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy from the community at ul. Krośnieńska minister at this parish.
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 January 22nd. The meeting will start at 7.00 pm in the chapel with the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina from the adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The renowned guest will be Fr. Marcin Ciunel from the Congregation of the La Salette missionaries, biblical scholar, preacher and rector of the Seminary of La Sallete priests in Krakow. After the conference, there will be time for community over tea. Those who cannot physically come to Łagiewniki, can connect to the on-line broadcast at at www.faustyna.pl
In 2019, our work Chaplet for the Dying included over 20,000 persons whose names we received by text on + 48 505 060 205 or our mailbox. Every week almost 1,500 participants took part in this work offering their help to the dying each day in a particular time zone by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the intention of a person whose name they received by a text message or email. The contributors also included donors, doctors, nurses, volunteers in hospitals and hospices and all those who provided the names of the dying. We would like to share our deepest gratitude for your merciful attitude towards individuals who found themselves in the hardest moment of human life, when we make the final and the most important decision here on Earth: the one concerning Eternity. Such deeds of mercy make us rich in the face of the Lord and beautiful in our humanity. All the participants are commended to the Mercy of God in our everyday prayers at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. All those willing to join in the project are invited to fill the form available at www.faustyna.pl. Please choose only one time zone per day.
The forthcoming Evening with Merciful Jesus at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC, this time will be held in on January 22. Sister from the Washington community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will host the event. Sister Gaudia will deliver a conference about the brave St. Faustina and her methods of a fighting spiritual battle with the enemy of our salvation and the weaknesses of human nature and tainted by the original sin.
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.
Fulfilling the request of the Lord Jesus to pray with the words of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to constantly implore for “mercy on us and on the whole world”, the spiritual work of Perpetual Chaplet of Divine Mercy is underway at Faustina.pl, in which people from all continents are invited to participate. In order to say this unique prayer that Jesus taught us through St. Faustina even just once, fill in the declaration form. Jesus associated great promises of granting all graces and temporal favors if they comply with the will of God, which means that they are good for us in our earthly and eternal lives, with trustful recitation of this prayer. Thanks to the involvement of people from different parts of the world, the call “have mercy on us and on the whole world.” can constantly echo before the face of God and the grace, blessing and goodness of God can be flowing through this channel also to us, our families, countries and the whole world.
The work of Perpetual Chaplet has been reprogrammed by our IT team and given a new layout. Its new version is already available at Faustyna.pl in 7 languages. We would like to encourage you to enter into this work. Just click on the green word “Subscribe” and fill out the short form, in which you must specify when: on which day, time, and for how long you declare the recitation of the Chaplet. Together we can implore more from God, and today mankind and the world need the experience of the merciful love of God the most.
On January 17th (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, and by Sister from the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of 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.
The Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki received over 739,600 prayer requests in 2019. The intentions refer to prayer at the Hour of Mercy and Chaplet of Divine Mercy celebrated in honor of the Mercy of God by intercession of St. Faustina on Thursdays at 5 pm. These include over 73,600 prayers of gratitude for graces and earthly blessings experienced thanks to trustful prayer to Jesus the merciful and the powerful intercession of Sister Faustina. They were submitted by mail, e-mail, telephone, at the convent gate and at the faustyna.pl website (form available under the “Intencje” tab). In addition, at faustyna.pl, visitors have left 500 testimonies. They speak of their experiences of the loving presence of God and His action in the various stories of human lives, and they also build the faith of those who read them. The only vessel for experiencing these graces is confidence expressed in the fulfillment of God’s will. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, Jesus said to St. Faustina, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is My desire to give much, very much (Diary, 1578).
The online video broadcasting from the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki was accessed by over 1,860,000 Internet users in 2019. On average, 5000 users participated in liturgical and personal prayer at the grace-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina in the liturgical and personal prayer. The Full HD online vide broadcasting is available at: www.faustyna.pl and on the YouTube channel of Faustyna.pl, which is supported by the American Livestream company, which raised the cost of the streaming several times this year. The project is financially supported by donors, who are recommended in the prayers of the Congregation to Divine Mercy. Please accept our deep gratitude for your donations which allowed us to pay the first installment for 2020.
Following the initiative of a group of young faithful, a new cycle of meetings will launch at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki on January 13 at 8.45 pm, dedicated for all those who would like to pray in the chapel of the miracle-famous Divine Merciful image and the tomb of St. Faustina for the recovery of faith in the Eucharistic presence of Jesus, and for priests. The program includes brief reflection on the Catechism of the Catholic Church and Holy Mass presided over by Fr. Dr. Janusz Kościelniak and Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, with individual blessings. The meetings, which will be attended by Sisters of the Łagiewniki convent of the Congregation of the Sisters Our Lady of Mercy, will be held on Mondays every two weeks. Those who cannot physically come to Łagiewniki, can connect to the on-line broadcast at www.faustyna.pl.
In 2019, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, who are the sole custodian of the relics of St. Faustina, sent 170 particles of these relics (162 ex ossibus relics – from bone – and 8 from her habit) to 36 countries around the world. In Europe, the Apostle of Divine Mercy in the sign of her relics traveled to 14 countries, 9 in the Americas; 5 African ones; on top of 9 churches in 6 Asian countries.
Sister Faustina in the sign of her relic is now present in 127 countries on all continents, in 5,569 churches, shrines or chapels, where Divine Mercy is revered in a special way.
On January10-11th, Sr. Ludmila and Sr. Jana Maria from the Hrušov community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will share the message of Mercy as recorded in the Diary of St. Faustina with the faithful at the parish of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the village of Kysucké Nové Mesto in Slovakia. There will be a separate meeting with the young people preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation. The agenda for these meetings also includes communal prayer during the Holy Mass, a Rosary with St. Faustina and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
On January 11 (Saturday), a monthly meeting of the Sychar community at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki will take place. At 5 p.m., in the chapel of the miracle-famous Divine Mercy image and the tomb of St. Faustina, Holy Mass will be celebrated in the intention of married couples who are experiencing problems and are in danger of falling apart, followed by a meeting in the “Faustinum” hall. In this intention – of married couples in crisis – the Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy hold daily Rosary prayer at 8.30 pm at the Łagiewniki Shrine.
In 2019, our website, www.faustyna.pl, recorded almost 12,000,000 views and over 1,500,000 visitors – including almost 1030,000 Polish-language version users, over 172,000 English-speakers, over 127,000 Spanish-speaking, 42,000 Italian-speaking, 57,000 French-speaking, 34,000 German-speaking, 9,000 Russian-language and others. Thanks to our Contributors, IT specialists and Translators, updates were possible at all our language pages. The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy would like to thank all the Cooperators, without whom this work could not be albe to grow, and all online Visitors, without whom this wonderful exchange in the provision of good could not take place and carry the message of Mercy and all spiritual heritage of Saint Faustina to the world. We wish you all that the New Year 2020 be rich in grace and mercy.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy would like to thank all the collaborators, benefactors and donors, thanks to whom www.faustyna.pl was created and has now been updated in seven languages, along with all the works of mercy which are possible thanks to them. These include, above all, our „Chaplet for the dying” and the on-line transmissions from the chapel of the miracle-famous Image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina in the Łagiewniki Shrine. We all participate in the mission of Jesus, who is revealing the merciful love of the Heavenly Father to the world and bestowing His Mercy on His people. Dear IT professionals, translators, Benefactors and Donors, it is also through you that God’s Mercy is poured into the world. Let this Christmas be a time of special joy and peace, for the Lord has come to earth. He is here with us and lives in us when we are in a state of grace. May the New Year 2020, the Jubilee of Mercy, be rich in God’s grace and in mercy provided to our neighbors.
Merciful love of God revealed in the nativity of Jesus is sung in liturgical hymns, and also in Christmas carols that are more secular. A particularly rich repertoire of hundreds of Christmas carols is inscribed in Polish national and religious culture. They are sung in every home, not only at the table on Christmas Eve, but also during Christmas time in churches, accompanying the liturgy and at various festive meetings. Many of these songs have lyrics and music composed by recognized poets and composers, and each year new are created. Christmas carols create a unique atmosphere of the holiday season, helping in prayer, contemplation and living the mystery of God’s Mercy revealed in the fact of the incarnation and nativity of the Son of God.
Jezus Malusieńki [Little Baby Jesus], a popular Polish Christmas carol from the eighteenth century, written in the rhythm of the kujawiak folk dance, was performed by the choir of sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy Krakow’s convent in Łagiewniki, in new arrangement by the musician and composer Piotr Pałka. The premiere performance took place during the Christmas Midnight Mass. The carol quickly became a hit in the Łagiewniki convent.
On January 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 940 married couples from Poland, Italy, France and the USA have enlisted for the prayer and 305 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 “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 January at 7.30 pm at the shrine of the Pregnant Holy Mother in Matemblewo. Live stream: www.modlitwaopotomstwo.pl.
After Christmas, priests in Poland begin visiting their parishioners. This also includes sisters in convents. Although the dates for these visits can change from year to year, the priests traditionally visit the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on the Solemnity of the Epiphany (Three Kings’ Day). On that holiday, priests acting as chaplains for the Congregation, accompanied by Christmas carolers, visit the convent’s assembly halls and other common areas, the sisters’ cells, workshops and guest rooms to bless them with holy water and incense, praying for God’s blessings for all the residents and guests in this next year of their apostolic ministry.
This is how the mystery of the incarnation and birth of the Son of God was referred to by St. Faustina. In a beautifully poetic way, it was expressed by Franciszek Karpiński in the Polish Christmas carol:
Bóg się rodzi, moc truchleje,
Pan niebiosów obnażony.
Ogień krzepnie, blask ciemnieje,
Ma granice Nieskończony.
Wzgardzony, okryty chwałą,
Śmiertelny Król nad wiekami.
A Słowo ciałem się stało,
i mieszkało między nami.
[God is born and the night is shaken,
The Lord of Heaven lies naked,
Fire is frozen, light is veiled
The Eternal now has its limits.
He was scorned, yet clothed with glory,
Mortal King of the Ages!
And the Word was made flesh,
And dwelt among us.]
Infinite and eternal God took human form and became a man. No other religion in the world has such a god who is the Creator and Lord of all that exists, who is the One, holy, infinite, transcendent, all-powerful and all-knowing, ineffable by human or angelic reason, and at the same time so close to man in His Son embodied as a human person. The contemplation of Divine Mercy in this mystery brings the ineffable joy and awe, because God dwells among us, the Word of God, Mercy Incarnate (Diary, 1745).
I too came down from heaven out of love for you; I lived for you, I died for you, and I created the heavens for you, said Jesus to St. Faustina, addressing these words to every human being as well. On the occasion of Christmas and the approaching 2020, we would like to express our heart-felt wishes to our collaborators, benefactors, donors, all those involved with various apostolic works of the Congregation (such as our Chaplet for the Dying and Perpetual Chaplet), online visitors to our website and members of the “Sanktuarium Bożego Miłosierdzia” Facebook group. May you continually discovery the presence of Immanuel – God with us – and recognize signs of His merciful love in all circumstances of your life. May you share your everyday life with Him. We also wish you all the temporal favors so that they bring you joy and lead you to an even greater love of God and fellow human beings. May the New Year be rich in God’s graces and human mercy provided to those in need. We embrace you all in our prayers. May God’s Mercy be praised in us and through us!
Christmas is associated with the custom of decorating the Christmas tree that adorns the interiors of churches, homes, in addition to city squares and other public places. The coniferous tree is a symbol of life, rebirth, longevity and fertility in many cultures. A decorated fir or spruce tree has become Europe’s most recognizable symbol of Christmas. The living tree has also become a Christian symbol of Christ as the source of life. But also some Christmas tree decorations have their own symbolic meanings, although not always recognized today: for example, the star placed on top of the tree was supposed to show the way back home from far away, the lights point to Christ, who is the light of the world, the angels are the ones who take care of the household, the paper chains reminded people about the enslavement of sin from which Jesus frees us… In modern culture, however, presents placed under the Christmas tree seem to be more important. And yet, they are also a foreshadowing of the gifts of Heaven. It is worth to look at the Christmas tree remembering about its symbolic value, which Christian culture carries, to better and more fruitfully live the joyful mystery of Christmas.
As is tradition, on December 31 at 9:00 pm at the Shrine of Divine Mercy, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will begin in the chapel of the famous Divine Mercy image and the tomb of St. Faustina. Adoration this year will be led by the sisters and will conclude at midnight with the celebration of the first Mass. Those unable to come to the shrine can join us by watching our online broadcast beginning with vespers at 7:00 pm and continuing with adoration and Mass. Please visit www.faustyna.pl for more information.
On Sunday, the octave of Christmas, which this year is December 29, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family, that is, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It is also a celebration of every human family, which, like the Family of Nazareth is the work of the Heavenly Father and is intended to lead people to Him, and to be faced with many difficulties in this earthly life. Today, in times of a massive attack on the family, the crisis of marriage and family life, the Holy Family shows a happy model of community life, in which the first place is the Lord God, and relationships between people apply the principle of love and mutual trust.
On this day, we thank God’s Mercy in a special way for the gift of our families and ask for the necessary graces for those who are experiencing difficulties and crises, and for the conflicted and broken families we ask for the grace of reconciliation, mutual forgiveness, a return on the path of mutual love and imitation of the life of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In this intention, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, at the Image of Divine Mercy and the tomb of St. Faustina, a daily Rosary is recited at 8:30 pm, and the second Saturday of the month at 5pm Holy Mass is celebrated. You can join in this prayer online at faustyna.pl where it is be broadcast.
Dobra Novina (Good News) is the name of Christmas caroling in Slovakia. In Nižny Hrušov, on December 26 at 1 pm, five groups of child carolers will be visiting people of their parish in their homes to share the great joy because of the birth of Jesus Christ just like the shepherds of Bethlehem did, and to honor Him with singing Christmas songs. The program of the carolers’ visits was prepared by the Sisters of the Hrušov community of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. The celebration will start at the local manse and the convent.
On the celebration of Christmas Day, December 25, at the church of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ in Nizhny Hrušov, Slovakia, the sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will lead an occasional service. About 2 pm they will pay homage to the new-born Jesus through prayer, poetry, reflection and common carol singing together with children.
It is a tradition that a solemn Mass named Pasterka („Shepherds’ Mass”) is celebrated at midnight on Christmas Eve in Polish churches and chapels, including the ones of our Congregation. It is the first Eucharist of Christmas, which commemorates the expectation and prayer of the Bethlehem shepherds arriving to greet the Son of God born in flesh. A mystical experience of Sister Faustina described in her Diary brings us closer to the joyful mystery of Jesus’ coming to earth and living in clean hearts: As Holy Mass began, I immediately felt a great interior recollection; joy filled my soul. During the offertory, I saw Jesus on the altar, incomparably beautiful. The whole time the Infant kept looking at everyone, stretching out His little hands (Diary, 347). After Holy Communion, she writes elsewhere, I heard the words: I am always in your heart; not only when you receive Me in Holy Communion, butalways (Diary, 575). We would like to wish you all to experience the joy that comes from the presence of God in our souls during the Midnight Mass, throughout the holidays and on every day of the New Year!
The very word for “eve” in Polish, wigilia, comes from the word “vigil”. This particular vigil is filled with prayer, fasting and other mortifications undertaken out of love for Jesus, as a direct preparation for the celebration of His birth in the human form. According to Christian tradition, when the first star appears in the sky (referring symbolically to the Star of Bethlehem, which heralded the birth of Jesus), Poles sit down to supper in their homes, religious orders and various other communities. The wafer that Poles break with their dear ones as they exchange greetings provides an opportunity for forgiveness and reconciliation and creates an atmosphere of love in which God is present. Saint Faustina described several Christmas Eves in her Diary. She commented on her last one, which she experienced in 1937 in Krakow: Before supper, I went into the chapel for a moment to break the wafer spiritually with those beloved persons, so dear to my heart, though far away. First, I steeped myself in a profound prayer and asked the Lord for graces for them all as a group and then for each one individually. Jesus gave me to know how much this pleased Him, and my soul was filled with even greater joy to see that God loves in a special way those whom we love. After I had gone into the refectory, during the reading, my whole being found itself plunged in God. Interiorly, I saw God looking at us with great pleasure. I remained alone with the Heavenly Father. At that moment, I had a deeper knowledge of the Three Divine persons, whom we shall contemplate for all eternity and, after millions of years, shall discover that we have just barely begun our contemplation. Oh, how great is the mercy of God, who allows man to participate in such a high degree in His divine happiness! At the same time, what great pain pierces my heart [at the thought] that so many souls have spurned this happiness (Diary, 1438-1439). May God be invited to every home, every Christmas table and every human heart! Only in Him and His Mercy will the world ever find peace and man will find happiness!