On September 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, already over 200 married couples from Poland, Italy, France and the USA have enlisted for the prayer and 20 of them are already expecting children. 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.
In the last days of August, in the convents of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy which run Youth Education Centers operate (Krakow, Kalisz and Wroclaw), student dormitories, community centers or kindergartens, like in other educational institutions in Poland, preparations for the new school year are under way. Here, the opening of the school year is always accompanied by a Holy Mass, during which the teachers and the pupils and students ask God for His blessing and the graces needed during the next ten months, so that they may become more than just a period of effective learning, but also a time of fruitful spiritual growth.
For the twentieth time, apostles of the Divine Mercy from Nowy Sącz, associated in the “Faustinum” Association, will organize a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. More than 250 people led by Fr. Jan Drożdż from the parish of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary will experience the Eucharist at the Basilica of Divine Mercy at 7:30 am and then pray in the Shrine chapel in front of the graces-famous painting of Merciful Jesus and at the tomb of St. Faustina. From the Shrine, the pilgrims will travel to Kalwaria Zebrzydowska to pilgrimage along the “Paths” at the Shrine of Our Lady of Kalwaria.
Monastic life involves changing one’s place of living and, often, also of the type of apostolic work. Usually, in mid-August, the sisters move to other convents, where they are sent due to their vocation of obedience. This frequently means not only a new place to live, but also a different kind of work. The sisters are sent wherever the Congregation is taking up new tasks or needs to answer to the needs of its apostolic work. For the sisters, it is an opportunity to acquire freedom of all earthly attachments in order to live only for God and His Kingdom.
On August 31st, the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy will end their ministry in Jerusalem. For the past 16 years (2001-2017), the sisters ministered at the Collegium Biblicum Franciscanum at Via Dolorosa in the Old Town and at the Shrine of the Scourging of Jesus, proclaiming, by word and prayer, the message of Mercy delivered by St. Faustina. At that time, they published the Diary of St. Faustina in Arabic, in addition to minor publications, and they organized celebrations in honor of Divine Mercy and St. Faustina in Jerusalem, prayed for the Mercy of God for the Holy Land and the whole world. We trust that the grains of the message of Mercy sown in this city will continue to grow for the greater glory of Divine Mercy and to the benefit of souls.
On the Sunday after the anniversary of baptism of St. Faustina, this year on August 27th, an annual indulgence at the Baptismal Shrine of the Apostle of Divine Mercy in Świnice Warckie will be held. At 10.00 am, a procession celebrating the relics of the Saint will proceed from her family home in Głogowiec to the parish church in Świnice Warckie, where at the field altar at 12.00 pm solemn Mass will be celebrated. Pilgrims coming from all over Poland and other countries will remain there to pray at the Hour of Mercy (3.00 pm) and recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. In the family home and parish of St. Faustina, two communities of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy live and operate: the active one and the closed one.
In August, during evening devotions, the Chaplet of Our Lady of Mercy is sung or recited in all the chapels of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. At the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, evening devotions are celebrated on weekdays at 7 pm (except Thursdays). You can join through on-line video stream at www.faustyna.pl or www.krakow.faustyna.pl. The words of the Chaplet of Our Lady of Mercy and more information about Mary as Our Lady of Mercy, in particular concerning this title of Mary, her worship and iconography in the history of the Church and the Congregation, can be found at www.faustyna.pl, tab: Our Lady of Mercy.
It happened in Świnice, on 27 August 1905, at one o’clock in the afternoon. Stanislaw Kowalski, aged 40, a farmer from Głogowiec, in the presence of Franciszek Bednarek, aged 35 and Józef Stasiak, aged 40, both farmers from Głogowiec, appeared and showed us the female child born in the village of Głogowiec on August 25 this year, at eight o’clock in the morning, of his wedding wife Marianna née Babel, aged 30. This child received, at baptism held today, the name Helena, and her godparents were Konstanty Bednarek and Marianna Szewczyk. This provision of the rite of baptism from parish records was left by the parish priest, Father Józef Chodyński, who baptized the little Helena Kowalska. The Deed was drawn up in the Russian language, because it was still the time of the Partitions of Poland, when the country was not to be seen on the political map of Europe. Helena’s father, Stanisław Kowalski, signed this record in Polish. The godparents, who were illiterate, confirmed their signatures by an X. In the former parish church, today the Baptismal Shrine of St. Faustina, you can see the same font at which the baby Helena Kowalska became a child of God and a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, baptized two days after her birth, on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The grace of baptism was further developed in her life as she achieved the fullness of mystical union with God here on Earth. Today, she is venerated as an apostle of Divine Mercy, because Jesus chose her as a prophet of our time, and sent her into the world with the message of Mercy.
On August 27th , Bishop Aleksander Kaszkiewicz, an Ordinary of the Grodno Diocese, will celebrate a thanksgiving Mass for the 25 years of service of the sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy in this parish and diocese in the Church at the Most Holy Trinity in Szydłowice, Belarus. The Sisters arrived in this locality on August 25, 1992 and began their apostolic work in the parish with the priests from the congregation of the Michaelite Fathers. From the beginning (25 years ago) those ministering in Szydłowice have included Sr. Eligia Artemiuk, proclaiming the message of Mercy by the testimony of consecrated life, action, word and prayer. The prayers of thanksgiving are also joined by sisters from other convents of the Congregation.
On August 22, the 15th bicycle pilgrimage will set off from the parish of St. Joseph in Wola, Warsaw, and the parish of Divine Mercy in Grójec to the family home of St. Faustina in Głogowiec. On the trail, the pilgrims are awaited at six Marian shrines (Rokitno, Niepokalanów, Szymanów, Miedniewice, Domaniewice and Mąkolice). They will reach Głogowiec on August 24th. On this day, at 9.00 pm, in the house of St. Faustina, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will begin, during which the pilgrims would like to thank God for her life and mission, for their personal salvation through the message of God’s mercy, and ask Him to deliver tens of thousands of people from despair and give them the sense of a meaning in life. The pilgrims will also pray for our homeland, for the politicians, and that they are given the courage to defend the interests of the Polish nation. That night, on the eve of the birth of the Saint, a campsite will be arranged in front of her house. On August 25, at approx. 8.00 am, Holy Mass will be celebrated outside. After the service, the pilgrims will visit the parish church in Świnice Warckie, which is the Baptismal Shrine of St. Faustina. The will also pray at the nearby cemetery with the graves of the parents and siblings of the Apostle of Divine Mercy. The pilgrims can join even on the day of the departure, on the route from Warsaw, Lodz, Rawa Mazowiecka or Grójec. The pilgrimage will be led by Fr. Michał Dłutowski and Fr. Mariusz Bernyś.