On November 21st another formation meeting of the “Faustinum” Association of Apostles of Divine Mercy in Slovakia will take place. A conference, entitled “The Word of God in the rhythm of Lectio Divina” will be given by Fr. Artur Ciepielski and S. Alžbeta Mikušová from the Košice community of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy will talk about deeds of mercy toward one’s neighbor: instructing the ignorant and comforting the afflicted.
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 November 22nd. In this year of formation, the young will meet at 7 pm for an evening of Divine Mercy veneration in front of the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina. After the prayer, there will be refreshments which is conducive for building a community and sharing the experience of God’s Mercy and the apostolate. Those who cannot physically come to Łagiewniki, can connect to the on-line broadcast at www.faustyna.pl.
The forthcoming Evening with Merciful Jesus at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC, this time will be held in on November 22nd. Sisters from the Washington community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will host the event. Sister Confida will deliver a conference on the sacrament of penance and reconciliation on the basis of Pope John Paul II’s encyclical and the Diary of Sister Faustina. 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.
On November 18-22, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, a retreat for priests will take place. The theme of the event will be “Priests – witnesses of Mercy”. Biblical scholar Fr. Stanisław Witkowski, M.S., Professor at the John Paul II Pontifical University in Krakow will lead the retreat, and conferences on the role of priests in the mission of proclaiming the message of Mercy to the world will be delivered by Sr. Elżbieta M. Siepak from the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. The organizer of the retreat is the “Faustinum” Association Apostles of Divine Mercy.
On 18-24 November in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, the 4th Congress of Divine Mercy for Africa and Madagascar will be held, organized under the leadership of Philippe Cardinal Ouédraogo. The theme will be the words: “God’s Mercy, grace for our times.” This meeting of apostles of Divine Mercy will be attended by, among others, Sr. M. Diana Kuczek, who will give a conference on: “Groups, associations, brotherhoods of Divine Mercy as a nucleus for the promotion of the spirituality of Divine Mercy”, and Sr. M Miwiana Krzak will deliver a conference entitled: “Trust in God’s Mercy in the school of St. Faustina.”
During the Congress, a person from Benin will be accepted into the “Faustinum” Association of Apostles of Divine Mercy. The sisters will also take part in the opening ceremony of the newly formed Shrine of Divine Mercy, and they will deliver relics of Sister Faustina there.
This is the title of the lecture for women organized by the “Woman is DIVINE” community and the Sisters from the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Gdansk on November 23. The conference will be preceded by Holy Mass celebrated in the Oliwa Cathedral at 10 am. After that, in the John Paul II auditorium, the conference entitled “Divine female DNA” will be given by Sylwia and Witek Wilk, a happily married couple and parents of four children, who have provided various themed retreats and done evangelization work for many years. Sylwia and Witek have founded many communities for prayer and evangelization, which bring together about five thousand people.
On November 24th at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, the 3nd anniversary of the proclamation of the Jubilee Act of acceptance of Christ as King and Lord will be celebrated. It will start with devotion to the Holy Spirit at 10 am in the chapel of the grace-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina, followed by penitential Stations of the Cross and procession to the Basilica of Divine Mercy, where at 12.00 am there will be held a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided by Bishop Andrzej Czaja.
On November 24th, another formation meeting of the “Faustinum” Association of Apostles of Divine Mercy will take place at the church of Our Lady of Seven Dolors in Bratislava, Slovakia. A biblical conference will be provided by Fr. Milan Puškár and Sr. Clareta Fečova from the Košice community of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy will talk about the following elements of St. Faustina’s school of spirituality: the love of the Eucharist and its role in spiritual life, love towards the Church, and devotion to Our Lady.
Every evening in November, the Rosary for the Dead is prayed in the chapel with the image of the Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina at the Shrine in Krakow-Łagiewniki, as well as in all other chapels of the Congregation. Praying the Rosary with others in a church, a public chapel, with your family, or in a religious community or pious organization can gain you a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions. In Poland a plenary indulgence can also be obtained by reciting the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Prayer is a great good that those still living on Earth can offer to those who have already departed from it and are expecting our aid, as they cannot help themselves anymore. Mercy rendered to the dead, like any good done to others, is also the wealth of those who practice it.
The Lord Jesus, in the devotion to Divine Mercy, gives us a special time of grace at three o’clock in the afternoon. It is the moment of His dying on the cross, of which he said to Sister Faustina: “This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. … In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion…” (Diary, 1320). In order to take advantage of these promises of Jesus, one must pray with confidence and add deeds of mercy towards others to the trustful prayer. Jesus proposes three ways of experiencing the prayer at the Hour of Mercy: celebrating the Way of the Cross, visiting the Blessed Sacrament, and if it is impossible, connecting with Him, dying on the cross, wherever 3 pm finds us. In this prayer, we turn directly to Jesus, and in our pleading, we appeal to the merits of His painful Passion. It is a privileged time in the Divine Mercy devotion, which is why the Hour of Mercy and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy are practiced every day in all convents of the Congregation. You can join in this prayer through an on-line transmission from the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki at faustyna.pl and via the Faustyna.pl application.
On every Thursday at 5 pm, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, a Divine Mercy Holy Mass is celebrated for the intercession of St. Faustina in the intention of requests and thanks to the faithful offered in the chapel with the image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of the Apostle of Divine Mercy. You can add an intention right before the Mass and those who cannot physically be present at it can join us in prayer thanks to the online broadcast at www.faustyna.pl.
Every Thursday, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, a group of people named Kustodia, meet to pray at the Image of Divine Mercy and the tomb of St. Faustina, in the intention of priests. They are accompanied by Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. From 8 to 9.30 pm, during the prayer of adoration and as the rosary is recited together, they obtain God’s graces for the stewards of God’s Mercy, so that the priests be faithful to their vocation and lead the people entrusted to their pastoral care on the ways of God. Everyone, also those who connect to the Łagiewniki Shrine online at www.faustyna.pl and www.sanktuarium.faustyna.pl, is invited to join in this prayer.
A new English translation of Sr. Elżbieta Siepak’s book from the Misericordia publishing company, She made an ordinarylifeextraordinary, is now available. The book is an encyclopedic look at the life, spirituality, and mission of St. Faustina. It helps find the gist of the message provided by the Apostle of Divine Mercy in the rich literature concerning her life and mission. It discusses the Divine Mercy devotion as recorded in the Diary of Sister Faustina in layman’s terms. The book is available in the Misericordia shops at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki and in the online store at www.misericordia.faustyna.pl, also in Polish, Spanish and French. The Italian translation will be available in the future as well.
The Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy would like to warn everyone againts buying counterfeit relics of St. Faustina which have appeared online, e.g. on Ebay. The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy is the sole custodian of the relics of St. Faustina. Relics of the first and second degree are donated to parish churches or chapels which proclaim the message of God’s Mercy and practice the devotion to the Divine Mercy. Relics of the third degree (the canvas on which the bones of St. Faustina used to be deposited) are available in laminated pictures, medallions and rosaries are designed for the faithful who practice individual devotion.
From September 2nd, the main entrance to the Shrine of Divine Mercy’s convent chapel of the grace-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina will be closed due to reconstruction and installation of an elevator for the disabled. During this period the entrance under the tower will be made available, which is facing the convent yard and the chapel of the Passion. Completion of the works is planned for mid-November.
This is the title of a Misericordia publication by Sister M. Emanuela Gemza, O.L.M., which tells of the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit in the life of St. Faustina. It is a collection of lectures delivered during the last year of ongoing formation in the Krakow community of the Faustinum Association of the Apostles of Divine Mercy. The book is available in the Misericordia stores at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki and in the online store at www.milosierdzie.faustyna.pl
Following requests from many apostles of Divine Mercy, Sr. M. Elżbieta Siepak, O.L.M., has prepared a second revised and extended edition of her book entitled Życie zwyczajne uczyniła nadzwyczajnym [She made ordinary life extraordinary] which has been released by the Misericordia publishing office in Polish, Spanish, and French. It will soon be also available in English. The book is an encyclopedic look at the life, spiritually, and mission of Sister Faustina. It helps find the gist of the message provided by the Apostle of Divine Mercy in the rich literature concerning her life and mission. It discusses the Divine Mercy devotion in layman’s terms, as recorded in the Diary of Sister Faustina. The book is available at the Misericordia stores at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, and in the online store at www.misericordia.faustyna.pl
This is the title of the book by Sister M. Diana Kuczek from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy which has been published by the Misericordia book company in Polish, English, Spanish and French. The author is looking for ways to share the mercy she has experienced. Find at least 14 of them! 7 towards the body and 7 towards the soul! With St. Faustina at her side, Sr. Diana sets out to meet God in her neighbor and become fully human. The book is available in the Misericordia stores at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki and in the online store at www.milosierdzie.faustyna.pl
Sister Faustina came to Krakow for the first time in January 1926. She spent more than 5 years in this city. She lived in the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Łagiewniki, but she also stayed in other places, therefore, while following her footsteps in this royal city, you need to visit: the Church of St. Joseph in Podgórze, which is a former parish of the Łagiewniki convent, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, where St. Faustina participated in the annual procession to the Heart of God, the house at ul. Szewska 22, which housed the publishing company of J. Cebulski, where the first pictures of Merciful Jesus and prayers from the Diary of the Apostle of Divine Mercy were printed, and St. Mary’s Basilica, where St. Faustina prayed after her visit at the printshop. An important place on the trail is also the hospital of John Paul II, the former Municipal Sanitary in Prądnik, where she spent more than eight months on treatment. The hospital chapel can still be seen today, and the spot of her daily prayer is marked there. The route of Sister Faustina in Krakow also includes the Municipal Office, which has issued booklets for people who following in her footsteps in several languages. Learn More.
Sister Faustina spent only several days in the famous spa town of Rabka, in late July and early August 1937, in the convent of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy Street. At ul. Słowackiego 12. Although so many people, especially children, benefit from the local microclimate, it did not serve the Apostle of Divine Mercy, who was suffering from tuberculosis which attacked her lungs and gastrointestinal tract, which is why she could not stay here any longer. However, this short stay had its importance in her life and conveys a message to all of us who follow her footsteps. It is in this convent of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy that Sister Faustina had an important meeting with St. Joseph, who promised her help and special care in her mission of proclaiming the message of Mercy. Also, she listened to the songs of the angel who sang her entire life, which came as a great surprise to her and strengthened her in her suffering. A plaque at the entrance to the convent reminds us of the Saint’s residence here. The convent has also preserved the room where she stayed. Learn More.
Where saints die, God deposits of all of their spiritual heritage. This was the case of St. of Sister Faustina. This is why the property of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, where she died on October 5, 1938, has become the world capital of the Divine Mercy devotion and a center of veneration. Pilgrims from around the world gather here. In terms of the number of countries from which organized pilgrimages arrive to Łagiewniki, the Shrine is the world leader, as it is visited by people from about 100 countries and all continents each year. The Apostle of Divine Mercy had more than 280 revelations and mystical experiences here, and above, this was a place where she could sense the loving presence of God, and where many miracles took place, as evidenced by votive offerings and written testimonies that are being sent to the address of the convent. For more information, visit: faustyna.pl.
Recent months have seen further progress in the development of the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Plock. Currently, work on the facade of the church is under way. Also the tower is being decorated with clinker bricks. Successively, as far as financial possibilities allow it, outside windows and doors are being fixed. The completion of joinery, roofing and facade in matching colors is the main objective of the works by the end of 2019. It is also planned to start works related to land development, of course, as far as the finances allow it.
The Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Plock is being erected by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy thanks to the donations made for this purpose by devotees of Divine Mercy and people of good will. Sisters thank you for every gift of heart that makes the place of the first revelation of Merciful Jesus to St. Faustina. Thanks to these gifts, the church is growing and therefore the sisters would like to ask for further support. Holy Mass is celebrated on the 22nd day of each month and the Sisters pray daily together with the faithful at the Hour of Mercy and with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in the intention of everyone who support the construction of the Shrine spiritually and physically.
Donations for the expansion of the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Płock can be deposited into the account:
Zgromadzenie Sióstr Matki Bożej Miłosierdzia Stary Rynek 14/18
Vilnius, located within the borders of Poland before WWI, is an important spot on the trail of the revelations of the Message of Mercy. The convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on the Antokol, at ul. Senatorska 25 (now Grybo 29) hosted St. Faustina twice: For four the months in 1929 and in the years 1933-1336, a total of more than 3 years. In this city, she met Fr. Michael Sopocko, who was her spiritual director in Vilnius and provided assistance to her in fulfilling the mission ordered by Jesus. Thanks to his efforts at ul. Rasu 6, the first image of Merciful Jesus was painted, and exposed for the first time for public veneration in the Gate of Dawn in April 1935,. A few months later, the Lord Jesus dictated what is now world-known Chaplet of Divine Mercy to St. Faustina. One can say that the building where this historical event took place has survived miraculously because the other monastic buildings, even though they were in a better condition, were completely demolished. The surviving “dacha”, where St. Faustina also started writing her famous Diary and where she received the request regarding the founding of “a new congregation”, or the Apostolic Movement of the Divine Mercy, a small museum has been organized subordinate to the Archdiocese of Vilnius. On the Vilnius trail of St. Faustina, there is also the church of St. Michael, where Fr. Sopocko sometimes listened to the confession by the Apostle of Divine Mercy. He was then rector of the church, where the first image of Merciful Jesus was placed for some time. In Vilnius, the image was also honored in 1985 in the Church of the Holy Spirit, and since 2005 in the Church of the Holy Trinity located in the same street, which is the Vilnius Shrine of Divine Mercy. Sister Faustina probably also witnessed important celebrations in the beautiful Baroque parish church of St. Peter and Paul and at the nearby cemetery, where the graves of Sisters who died in the Vilnius convent of the Congregation are found. Learn More.
A very important place on the trail of the life of St. Faustina is Plock, as her prophetic mission began in this city, in the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in the Old Market. Here, the first revelation of Merciful Jesus happened and here she received His command that the Church establish the Feast of Divine Mercy. Since 2000, this is a Shrine of Divine Mercy, which is currently erecting the new church with facilities for apostles of Divine Mercy and the many pilgrims coming here. It is worthwhile to see the Old Market, the Cathedral and the church of St. Bartholomew while in Plock, as you will also be following in the footsteps of the Apostle of Divine Mercy, who participated in religious ceremonies there during her stay in the Plock convent in the years 1930-1932, together with the Sisters. From the window of her cell she could see the famous “Małachowianka”, the oldest existing school in Poland, founded in 1180, which is adjacent to the convent. From Plock, we can follow St. Faustina’s footsteps to the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Biała, which is 10 km away and where she stayed several times. Learn More.
On the trail of the life of Sister Faustina, another location is Kiekrz near Poznań, a delightfully situated village on the Małe Kierskie lake. While the Apostle of Divine Mercy lived here only briefly in 1929, the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and the nearby lake have been immortalized in her Diary. When she was standing on the shore of this lake contemplating the presence of God in the work of creation, she saw Jesus, who said: All this I created for you, My spouse; and know that all this beauty is nothing compared to what I have prepared for you in eternity (Diary, 158). Because of St. Faustina’s stay here and the spreading veneration, the chapel of the Congregation in Kiekrz was raised to the rank of the Shrine of St. Faustina in 2015. Arriving pilgrims can go the way of St. Faustina to Małe Kierskie lake and to pray along the Stations of the Cross outside. In place of that revelation is the outside altar, at which Holy Mass is celebrated on greater solemnities. You can also see the convent’s small museum with exhibits from the life in the convent during St. Faustina’s lifetime. Learn More.
Following Sister Faustina from Warsaw, we can go to Walendów and Derdy, villages located about 20 km from the Polish capital. The Apostle of Divine Mercy came to Walendów for the first time on a retreat in November 1932, during which she was ensured by Fr. E. Elter, S.J., that what she was going through came from God. On this occasion, she also visited Derdy’s convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy located in a forest one kilometer away. She came for a short stay in Walendów around the end of March 1936, and after a few weeks, she moved to the convent in Derdy. In a letter to Fr. Sopocko, she wrote that the Derdy House is really like taken from a fairy tale. Surrounded by forest, there are not any buildings nearby, peace and quiet. Everything helps to focus the spirit. Forest birds break the silence and worship their Creator with their singing. In all that surrounds me, I see God. Today, the Sisters run a retreat house and a kindergarten in these surroundings. Learn More.
In accordance with the wishes of Jesus, Helena Kowalska, the future St. Faustina, arrived in Warsaw at the turn of July 1924, to look for a place in a convent. In the capital she spent a total of several months, maybe a year and half. Despite the destruction of the city during World War II, you can still see the places she is known to have visited. These include the Main Railway Station, which today houses the Railway Museum, the church of St. James at. ul. Grójecka 58, where she received support when she first came to the city: the address of Mrs Aldona Lipszyc, with whom she stayed and worked in Ostrówek (municipality of Klembów) to earn a modest dowry needed for joining the convent. Her long-term residence after joining the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy was the convent at ul. Żytnia 3/9. She participated daily in the Holy Mass and prayed in the monastery’s church, which then served the sisters and pupils, is now a parish church raised to rank of a Shrine of St. Faustina. Another place connected with Sr. Faustina’s stay in Warsaw was also the second convent at ul. Hetmańska in Grochów, where she visited the sisters, but also lived and worked for a short time. In her Diary, she also mentions a prayer in the chapel of the Sisters of the Family of Mary at ul. Żelazna, during which Jesus made her realize how much depended on the fulfillment of the mission He entrusted her with. Learn More.
Helena Kowalska came to Lodz in 1922 and spent nearly 2 years in this city. Walking in her footsteps, you have to visit a few places that were important in her life. First, the house at Krośnieńska 7, where she lived with her uncle Rapacki’s family, which today is a convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and a meeting place for many people. Nearby, there is the famous ‘Wenecja’ park (today smaller, and called the Słowacki park), that remembers the vision of Jesus suffering, which the young Helena Kowalska had there. This was the place from which, after her interrupted dance, she went from to the Cathedral of St. Stanislaus Kostka, where she heard Jesus’ words calling her to go to Warsaw and enter a convent. The house at ul. Abramowskiego 29, where Helena Kowalska lived and worked as a housekeeper of Mrs. Marianna Sadowska-Wieczorek who owned a grocery shop on the ground floor, also still exists. The young Helena Kowalska must have set off from the Łodz Fabryczna train station to Warsaw in late June or early July of 1924. In 2005, already as a Saint, Sister Faustina returned to Lodz at the invitation of city council, to take patronage over the city. Her beautiful monument is located in front of the church dedicated to her and presents her as a person begging for God’s Mercy for the city and the world. Learn More.
At age 16, Helena Kowalska first left her home in Głogowiec and went to work as a housekeeper for Kazimierz and Leokadia Bryszewski in Aleksandrów Łódzki, who had a bakery and pastry shop at Parzęczewska 7, (today ul. 1 Maja 7). The Bryszewski house has survived to this day, and is now inhabited by other families. Above all, the town still has the church of St. Raphael, where the Apostle of Divine Mercy received the sacrament of confirmation in February 1922. In recent years, it has been a meeting place for youth receiving this sacrament and preparing for it in the Archdiocese of Lodz. Once a center of the weaving industry, the town has a rich history and culture. Part of it was an important religious center of Hasidic rabbis, the tzadikim, and the Evangelical church that today welcomes pilgrims who follow in the footsteps of St. Faustina. Learn More.
Following Sister Faustina from her family house in Głogowiec, one can follow for nearly two kilometers to the parish church in Świnice Warckie, along the path that Helena Kowalska and her parents and siblings tread on Sundays. She also went this way every day to school. The church has preserved the baptismal font at which she became a child of God and was incorporated into the Church on the second day of her life, on August 27, 1905. There is also a confessional which remembers her first Holy Confession and subsequent confessions she made as a child. In this church, she accepted the Holy Communion for the first time and it was also here that she heard a voice calling her to the service of God. Today, this countryside church of St. Casimir is the Baptismal Shrine of St. Faustina and it is visited by countless pilgrims from the country and the world. Unfortunately, the school where the Apostle of Divine Mercy went for three years, which had opened under the Russian occupation in 1917, has not survived. Learn More.