On February 28th, the regional stage of the National St. Faustina Knowledge Competition will be held. 140 middle school and 118 high school students will participate. The young people will take competion tests in 7 Polish regions. Exact addresses of the localizations can be found in the tab „REJONY”. 50 senior high school and 50 middle school students with the most points will proceed to the finals, which will take place on April 7th at the Shrine of Divine Mercy.
Since February 12th, a website affiliated with the “Movimiento Apostolico Jouvenil” (MAJ) youth movement of Divine Mercy in Cuba, has been launched. All young people from Latin America wishing to learn about the apostolate of their peers can visit it at misericordiajoven.simplesite.com. The website is still in progress, but considering the conditions in Cuba it is unique and has brought great joy not only to the young but to all interested in the movement of Divine Mercy.
On March 1, 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.
From March 1st, in all chapels of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, including the one with the miracle-famous Divine Mercy image and the tomb of St. Faustina at the Shrine in Krakow-Łagiewniki, evening devotions will be held to memorate St. Joseph. The sisters, since the early history of the Congregation, have had special veneration for St. Joseph, Spouse of the Mother of God and diligent protector of Christ, whose care they entrust themselves to. The Saint provides aid not only in respect to material things, but also spiritual ones. He gave St. Faustina “to know how much he is supporting this work of mercy” which the Lord commanded – one of proclaiming the message of mercy to the world, and promised his protection. However, he also demanded her continuing devotion and asked that she recite three daily prayers and one Memorate to St. Joseph (Diary, 1203). Our daily on-line broadcasts (except Thursdays and Sundays) at 7:00 pm will allow you to join in the singing of the Litany of St. Joseph with the sisters to thank for his fatherly care and to ask for his powerful intercession in our intentions before God.
For the period of Lent, we usually make resolutions, which usually involves doing the deeds that Jesus asked us to do: almsgiving, prayer and fasting, performed secretly with the pure intention of love for God and for people, not for applause or recognition. Saint Faustina also practiced them. In her religious life, however, she made one specific resolution, which she realized not only during Lent, but always, namely, she joined Merciful Jesus living in her soul, through an aspiration. When she wanted to change this decision, Jesus would not let her, because this daily practice leads to the development of a deep relationship with Him, to living our daily lives with Him.
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.
On 4-8 March, Sr. Confida of the Boston community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will proclaim the message of Mercy as recorded in the Diary of St. Faustina on the island of Trinidad located at the north-eastern coast of South America, the largest of 23 islands in the state of Trinidad and Tobago. She will meet with the faithful in two parishes and will take part in the annual meeting of the apostles of Divine Mercy (6th annual Divine Mercy Event), which is organized by the secular community of the Missionaries of Divine Mercy at the Shrine of the Holy Family.
On March 4th, Sr. Terezjana Klepacka from the convent of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy at the Shrine in Krakow-Łagiewniki will share the message of Mercy during a one-day retreat for men (fathers of the children who attend the school run by the Piarist sisters), which will be held at the Major Seminary of the Piarist fathers. The schedule includes a panel discussion and time for answering questions.
Under this motto, on 10-12 March at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Płock – at the Old Market 14/18 – a retreat for girls organized by the Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will be held. It will be led by Fr. Krzysztof Ruciński, diocesan moderator of the Light-Life Movement, member of the Youth Pastoral Council and the Diocesan Council of Catholic Movements and Associations in Płock, and Sr. Koleta Fronckowiak from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. In the program: Holy Mass, conferences, a bibliodrama, individual interviews with retreat leaders, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and time for personal prayer. Please send your applications through the form at: faustyna.pl.
At the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, in the lower part of the basilica, an exhibition entitled „I was born in Wadowice,” dedicated to St. Pope John Paul II, has been open to the public. The specially constructed which house includes three bedrooms, contains the story of the Saint’s childhood and youth in Wadowice, his priesthood and shepherding in the Archdiocese of Krakow and his ministry as the Bishop of Rome. It is told in texts and photos placed on the walls of each room, but also in the various collected artifacts. The exhibition inaugurates a series of cultural events preparing us for the celebration of the centenary of the birth of St. John Paul II. The exhibition can be seen every day until 31 March.