Good Friday is the only day in the year when there is no Holy Mass, as the most perfect sacrifice was made by Jesus Himself at the Cross. Jesus told St. Faustina in one of the many revelations associated with His Passion: On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls – no one have I excluded! (Diary, 1182). On Good Friday, the 3:00 pm prayer, recited at the moment of the agony of Jesus on the Cross (Hour of Mercy) the is celebrated in a particularly solemn manner at the Shrine of Divine Mercy and followed by the start of the novena before the Feast of Mercy (transmission available at: www.faustyna.pl and www.milosierdzie.pl). After the novena, at approx. 3:30 pm, the Way of the Cross will be celebrated. The Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion will begin in the Basilica at 6:00 pm. After Adoration of the Cross and Holy Communion, an Eucharistic procession will set off to the Holy Sepulcher, which is traditionally arranged in the convents’ Chapel of the Passion. There will be a continual adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, which begins the Lenten Lamentations. On Good Friday, strict fasting and abstinence from all meat is required.
Holy Thursday is the day when we give thanks to merciful God for the gift of priesthood and the Eucharist. Jesus allowed me to enter the Cenacle, wrote St. Faustina about her mystical experience, and I was a witness to what happened there. However, I was most deeply moved when, before the Consecration, Jesus raised His eyes to heaven and entered into a mysterious conversation with His Father. It is only in eternity that we shall really understand that moment. His eyes were like two flames; His face was radiant, white as snow; His whole personage full of majesty, His soul full of longing. At the moment of Consecration, love rested satiated – the sacrifice fully consummated. Now only the external ceremony of death will be carried out – external destruction; the essence [of it] is in the Cenacle (Diary, 684).
At the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, on Holy Thursday (April 16) at 10:00 the Holy Chrism Mass will be presided by archbishop Marek Jędraszewski. Oils for the exercise of the Holy Sacraments will be consecrated. Priests from throughout the archdiocese will concelebrate the Eucharist with the Cardinal. They will be accompanied by youth and the Liturgical Service of the Altar. About 6:00 pm, Mass of the Lord’s Supper will be presided by Bishop John Hare, the honorary curator of the Shrine. The Holy Thursday liturgy will be completed by the procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the Altar of Repose, which traditionally arranged in the convent chapel of the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina. Adoration of Jesus in Repose will last all night.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy’s “Misericordia” publishing company has prepared a new graphic design for the online store, which is found at: www.misericordia.faustyna.pl. It mainly offers the works of St. Faustina – her Diary and Letters, as well as various books and multimedia concerning Divine Mercy and its Apostle, reproductions of the famous Divine Mercy image in various formats, devotional items and memorabilia from the Łagiewniki Shrine of Divine Mercy. The store offers publications not only in Polish but also in other languages.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy would like to thank all the collaborators, benefactors and donors, thanks to whom the message of Divine Mercy provided to St. Faustina by the Lord Jesus can reach many people around the world. We are especially thankful to those who support our website, www.faustyna.pl, as it is thanks to them that is has now been updated in seven languages, offers the project of Perpetual Mercy for the Dying, which currently supports 60 terminally ill people and the online broadcasting from the chapel of the miracle-famous Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki which is presently accessed by over 1,700 unique users each day. Together, we can respond to the urgent call from Jesus to proclaim the message of His Mercy to the world. Only Divine Mercy can bring the peace to the world and happiness to humanity. May Merciful Jesus bless your every day and bestow all His graces to our dear Donors and Cooperators, which we pray for many times during each day.
The greatest miracles of Divine Mercy take place in the confessional, as they turn the death of sin to life. Jesus said to St. Sister Faustina: Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy [the Sacrament of Reconciliation] There the greatest miracles take place [and] are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no [hope of] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God‟s mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late (Diary, 1448). At the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, priests stay in confessionals every day – from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm in the basilica (from Maundy Thursday until 5:45 pm), and 6:00 am-6:30 am and 4:30 pm-5:00 pm in the chapel with the miracle-famous Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina. Since in the Holy Week there are long queues to the confessionals, we recommend coming earlier to confess rather than wait the last days before Easter.
On every Friday at Shrine of Divine Mercy, a communal devotion of the Stations of the Cross, or Way of Sorrows, will be celebrated at the Basilica at 4:00 pm and in the chapel of the Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina at 7:00 pm, with the exception of the first Friday, when the Way will be celebrated at 6:15 pm (online broadcast available at www.faustyna.pl). The devotion, in which we contemplate the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ, allows us to discover and explore the merciful love of God to man, to develop the attitude of trusting God in every situation, even the difficult and painful ones and the attitude of mercy toward our neighbors. Jesus took our sins upon Himself and suffered ignominious death for every one of us, to rise again so that we may have life and enjoy it now and forever.
April 9th is Passion Sunday, also celebrated as Palm Sunday, which starts the Holy Week. On this day, the account of Jesus Christ’s Passion is read from the Gospel during the Holy Mass. The Eucharist is preceded by a procession with colorful Polish palms as a celebration of the memory of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The palms symbolize the Divine life being reborn in the souls of the faithful. At the Shrine in Krakow-Łagiewniki, Bp. Jan Zając, priests, religious sisters and the faithful will leave the chapel of the miracle-famous Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina in a solemn procession with palms at 10:15 am and will proceed to the basilica, where Holy Mass will be celebrated. The evangelic description of Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem is supplemented by the account of St. Faustina’s visions from her Diary: I saw Jesus riding on a donkey’s foal, and the disciples and a great multitude with branches in their hands joyfully accompanying the Lord Jesus. Some strewed them before His feet where He was riding, while others raised their branches in the air, leaping and jumping before the Lord and not knowing what to do for joy. And I saw another crowd which came out to meet Jesus, likewise with joyful faces and with branches in their hands, and they were crying out unceasingly with joy. There were little children there also. But Jesus was very grave, and the Lord gave me to know how much He was suffering at the time. And at that moment, I saw nothing but only Jesus, whose Heart was saturated with ingratitude (Diary, 642). Jesus gave me to understand how much He had suffered in that triumphal procession. “Hosanna” was reverberating in Jesus’ heart as an echo of ‚Crucify’. Jesus allowed me to feel this in a special way (Diary, 1028).
On Passion Sunday, April 9, at 6.30 pm, from the Shrine of John Paul II’s “Do not be afraid” Center, the traditional Way of the Cross will set off, and will pass the route to the parish church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Łagiewniki, and then to the Shrine of Divine Mercy, where it will end. Not only the inhabitants of Łagiewniki and Borek Fałęcki are invited to participate, but all the residents of Krakow.
The outdoor Stations of the Cross at the top of Mount Butkov, which was dedicated in September of last year are enjoying huge popularity. A booklet with directions for the celebration of this practice entitled “The Mercy Stations of the Cross at the Mount Butkov”, prepared on the basis of citations from the Diary of Sister Faustina has been already distributed in 15,000 copies (another 10,000 are in print). The Stations of the Cross lead us along the forest slope top to the 11th floor of the stone quarry, where a monumental cross is found, to the chapel of Divine Mercy and the memorial to St. Faustina and St. John Paul II. These objects on top of Mount Butkov, along with a new church in Ladce, are a still very young, and yet so often visited rock Rock Shrine of Divine Mercy in Slovakia.
On April 5th, a three-day retreat will begin in Detva, Slovakia, organized by the formation community of the Association of the Apostles of Divine Mercy “Faustinum”. It will be led by Fr. František Trstenský and Sr. Boromea Chudobová from the Košice community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. In the program: Holy Mass, conferences, prayer at the Hour of Mercy and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, communal adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Rosary and honoring the relics of St. Faustina.