March 25th 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 Palm Sunday, 25 March, Sr. Emanuela and Sr. Vianneya from the Congregation of our Lady of Mercy with the young from the “22” community of the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, will go on a mission to Strzelce Opolskie to meet with inmates of two prisons and with the homeless in the “Barka” club. The encounter with the inmates and the homeless to provide will be an opportunity to witness God’s merciful love for every human being and to help them prepare for the experience of the Paschal Mystery and the Feast of Divine Mercy.
On Passion Sunday, March 25, 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.
At the Shrine of Divine Mercy, in the convent chapel of the grace-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina, on March 27th (Tuesday) at 9pm, there will be an opportunity to contemplate the mystery of the Lord’s Passion with Passion hymns. The hymns will be performed by the Santo Canto choir from Krakow, directed by the well-known musician Hubert Kowalski. The meeting will be a good preparation for the entrance to the Easter Triduum. Those who cannot physically come to Łagiewniki are invited to join via the online broadcasting.
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.
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 (March 29) 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.
Good Friday is the first day of the novena before the feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus asked St. Faustina to use it in order to prepare for the celebration, in which we worship God in the mystery of His unfathomable Mercy. The novena consists of nine days of recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Jesus said about the power of this novena that it entreat just about everything which is in accordance with God’s will, which means that is good for us on earth and in eternity. Out of devotion, you can also recite a novena which Jesus dictated to Sister Faustina. The ceremonial start of this novena will take place at the Shrine of Divine Mercy after the prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3:00 pm), which is celebrated and experienced in a special way on Good Friday.
In the Catholic Church, Holy Saturday is a day of mourning after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In churches and chapels, the „Tomb of the Lord” is arranged, we adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, thanking Him for the work of Redemption and graces brought by the Cross for our salvation, and we beg for mercy for us and the whole world. At the Shrine of Divine Mercy in the morning, foods are blessed on the Christmas table. About 3:00 pm, prayer at the Hour of Mercy is observed, combined with the novena before the Feast of Divine Mercy, followed by memoration of the descent of Jesus into the abyss. After nightfall, at 8:00 pm in front of the basilica, the rites of the Easter Vigil will begin with the Eucharist, where candles should be brought, because this liturgy renews our vows of baptism.
The Resurrection procession at the Shrine of Divine Mercy will take place on April 1th at 7:00 am. We will start from the chapel of the Passion and proceed to the basilica, where Holy Mass presided over by Bp. Jan Zając will be celebrated. Allelujah!!! Jesus lives!!! He lives among us and in us, when we are in a state of grace. Love wins over sin and life over death. Jesus overcame all evil and Satan, the enemy of man. Since then we can also can gain the victory over sin and human weakness through Jesus, and thus live more fully in communion with God. Let God’s mercy be praised in us and through us! We wish you all joyous celebration of this greatest mystery of our faith!
On the occasion of Easter and the Feast of Divine Mercy, the Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy would like to wish all our Benefactors, Associates supporting our apostolic works, as well as Visitors to the Congregation’s website and Members of the Facebook group of the Shrine of Divine Mercy. May you all experience a joyful encounter with the risen, merciful Lord. He is the One who brings peace which the world cannot give, fills our hearts with love and always bestows blessings, as we see Him in the Image which He instructed St. Faustina to paint. We also wish you all graces, and on the Feast of Mercy, may you be granted the greatest promise of Jesus, which is complete absolution from sins and punishment. Blessed Easter to you all!!!