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On Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord, which this year falls on April 5, 2020, an English Mass will be celebrated at the Shrine of the Divine Mecy in Kraków-Łagiewniki, Poland at 12 noon (Central European Summer Time zone). The La Salette priest, Fr. Stanisław Witkowski, MS, will preside at this Mass and some English-speaking sisters from the Kraków convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy will be taking part in the liturgy. The Holy Mass is livestreamed from the Chapel of the Merciful Jesus and of the Tomb of St. Faustina, apostle and secrectary of the Divine Mercy.  You are most cordially invited to join us online.

 

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 65 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 5,800 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.

 

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.

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.

 

The importance of daily choices. We may not realize just how much depends on our daily choices and taking on the cross every day to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. In fact, here in the earthly life, we get to decide about everything: not only about what is important for our personal, family, professional, social, or national lives… but above all, our eternal lives. We live on earth only to learn how to love, since eternity will consist of loving. And the cross is inscribed in the art of love: enduring of suffering, forgiveness, and sacrifice. The importance of the ability to carry the cross is important for eternal life, as Jesus told Sister Faustina.

Then I saw the Lord Jesus nailed to the cross. When He had hung on it for a while, I saw a multitude of souls crucified like Him. Then I saw a second multitude of souls, and a third. The second multitude were not nailed to [their] crosses, but were holding them firmly in their hands. The third were neither nailed to [their] crosses nor holding them firmly in their hands, but were dragging [their] crosses behind them and were discontent. Jesus then said to me, Do you see these souls? Those who are like Me in the pain and contempt they suffer will be like Me also in glory. And those who resemble Me less in pain and contempt will also bear less resemblance to Me in glory. Among the crucified souls, the most numerous were those of the clergy. I also saw some crucified souls whom I knew, and this gave me great joy. Jesus then said to me, In your meditation tomorrow, you shall think about what you have seen today Diary, 446).

 

People from many countries of the world participating in the work of the Perpetual Chaplet of Divine Mercy are praying not only in their own intentions, but also asking for “mercy on us and the whole world”. A detailed intention for March is prayer for for a fruitful experience of Lent, and the grace of conversion for all sinners, especially those in danger of losing their salvation..

The work of Perpetual Chaplet is a response to the request of Jesus to constantly implore for mercy “for us and the whole world”. The work has been operated by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy at: www.faustyna.pl since 2011. Anyone can participate in it by filling out a short form and declare to say the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, which Jesus dictated to St. Faustina at least once.

St. Faustina is associated with the revelations of Merciful Jesus, the prophetic mission of proclaiming the biblical truth about the merciful love of God to man to the world, with the devotion to Divine Mercy and the new school of spirituality. She is less frequently mentioned in relation with her revelations of Our Lady, and yet in the Diary, dozens of meetings of the Apostle of Divine Mercy with Mary are reported. One revelation was a special occasion, because it talks about the extraordinary role of St. St. Faustina in Divine Mercy plans. On the Feast of the Annunciation of 1936, in the convent chapel at ul. Żytnia in Warsaw, Sister Faustina saw the Mother of God, who told her: I gave the Savior to the world; as for you, you have to speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the Second Coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Savior, but as a just Judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it. Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for [granting] mercy. If you keep silent now, you will be answering for a great number of souls on that terrible day. Fear nothing. Be faithful to the end. I sympathize with you (Diary, 635). This message from the Mother of God also applies to us and impels us to bring the message of the merciful love of God to man to the world by testimony of life, deed, word and prayer.

Concern for the conversion of sinners. This is the greatest act of mercy, which has us keep in mind the eternal wellbeing of another human being. Sister Faustina, following Jesus’ example, even made the sacrifice of her life with this intention. The mystical experiences she met heaven, purgatory and hell, because she said that no sacrifice is too great to save a man for eternity. Jesus invited her – and through it well and us – to cooperate in the work of saving sinners, even those for which humanly speaking, there is no hope. Many times He asked: I thirst. I thirst for the salvation of souls. Help Me, My daughter, to save souls. Join your sufferings to My Passion; and offer them to the heavenly Father for sinners (Diary, 1032). The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness. You always console Me when you pray for sinners. The prayer most pleasing to Me; is prayer for the conversion of sinners. Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered (Diary, 1397).

At the invitation of Jesus, Sister Faustina responded generously: O Jesus, I want to bring souls to the fount of Your mercy to draw the reviving water of life with the vessel of trust. The soul desirous of more of God’s mercy should approach God with greater trust; and if her trust in God is unlimited, then the mercy of God toward it will be likewise limitless. O my God, Who know every beat of my heart, You know how eagerly I desire that all hearts would beat for You alone, that every soul glorify the greatness of Your mercy (Diary, 1489).

According to the regulations of state and church authorities connected with the coronavirus pandemic, there cannot be more than 5 people at the same time at Mass or other religious rites. Therefore, from on March 25, Masses and other services at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki celebrated in the chapel with the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina will be held without the participation of the faithful. We invite you to participate in prayers and services broadcast by our on-line 24 hours a day service at www.faustyna.pl, on You Tube and through the Faustyna.pl application for Android and iOS devices. In spiritual communion through the intercession of Our Lady of Mercy and St. Faustina, we implore for the pandemic to stop, for the graces needed by all the services that fight against the disease, and especially the sick, the dying, and the health care providers. Jesus, we trust in You!

Pray as much as you can for the dying, pray that they may put their trust in My mercy, for they are the ones most in need of trustfulness, but have it least of all (Diary 1777). These words that Jesus said to St. Faustina also refer to us because we can also save someone for eternity by saying with confidence the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for that person’s intention.

On the website: www.faustyna.pl in English, there is a form available for the exclusive use of submitting names of people who are actually dying. Other intentions should be sent using another form on our website: www.faustyna.pl In this form to submit names of the dying, write only the name of the person, without any additional words. Then, open your e-mail and confirm your submission by clicking the proper link in the e-mail. The name of the dying person is sent to three (3) people who support the dying by praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

 

It is a tradition that before the feast of St. Joseph, a “Forty Hours” devotion is celebrated in the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, at the Image of Divine Mercy and the tomb of St. Faustina. Sisters and pilgrims coming to the Shrine of Łagiewniki throughout the day adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, giving thanks for all the graces and temporal blessings, including the spiritual and material care from St. Joseph for the Congregation and the Shrine, our families and the whole Church.

 

Works of mercy. This fast is what God desires. The following event in the life of St. Faustina is among the things which can convince us of it: The doctor did not allow me to go to the chapel to attend the Passion Service, although I had a great desire for it; however, I prayed in my own room. Suddenly I heard the bell in the next room, and I went in and rendered a service to a seriously sick person. When I returned to my room, I suddenly saw the Lord Jesus, who said, My daughter, you gave Me greater pleasure by rendering Me that service than if you had prayed for a long time. I answered, But it was not to You, Jesus, but to that patient that I rendered this service. And the Lord answered me, Yes, My daughter, but whatever you do for your neighbor, you do for Me (Diary, 1029).

Jesus instructed St. Faustina, and through her, all of us, that there are three ways to provide good to our neighbors: by deed, word, and prayer. He said: In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy. (Diary, 742). Jesus asked Sister Faustina to do at least one act of mercy towards her neighbors during a day, and do it out of love for Him. This is the only wealth on earth that has eternal value. It makes us beautiful in our humanity and our Christian vocation, but also rich before God.

On 8-11 March, in Albuquerque, the largest city in the state of New Mexico, Sisters Gaudia Skass and Gina from the Washington community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will lead a Spiritual Renewal in God’s Mercy Lenten mission at the Church of St Anne. There will be presentations for all and for individual groups at the parish, for youth and for all those preparing to receive the sacrament of baptism. In the evenings, after the lectures, Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is planned. There will also be a possibility to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Due to necessary maintenance works, on the night of March 16-17 (Monday), there will be no video broadcasting from the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki at www.faustyna.pl. We would like to express our gratitude for all the donations made for this purpose and invite you to pray before the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina and to participate in the Liturgy through the virtual visitation of this holy place via the website of the Faustyna.pl application.

 

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the decision not to celebrate Masses with the participation of the faithful, the National Shrine of St. John Paul II in Washington DC broadcasts daily Masses and daily prayer at the Hour of Mercy on it’s YouTube channel:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFTeh0aaqAA3-nAYAI7K6zA and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JP2Shrine/ On Mondays, this prayer is led by a priest from the Shrine, and on other days, this prayer is led by the sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy who have their ministry at the Shrine. In trustful prayer, we beg for all the graces needed for aching humanity during this time of trial. 

 

On March 9, another Monday’s meeting will be held at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, dedicated to contemplating the Catechism of the Catholic Church and prayer at the miracle-famous Divine Mercy image and the tomb of St. Faustina for the recovery of faith in the Eucharistic presence of Jesus, and for priests. At 6.45 pm, Fr. Janusz Kościelniak will lead a short meditation based on the articles of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (50-53). The focal point of the program will be the encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, with individual blessing. Those who cannot physically come to Łagiewniki, can connect to the on-line broadcast at www.faustyna.pl.

After several years of work at the publishing enterprise of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Misericordia, and www.faustyna.pl/en are publishing the Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska in UK English. This translation of the Diary from Polish into British English was made by Teresa Bałuk-Ulewiczowa, born in the UK, speaker of Polish and English, first a graduate of London University and a doctoral student at the Jagiellonian University, and then a researcher and teacher at the university lecturing the art of translation) in collaboration with Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. The work on the translation took several years. The translator admitted that the work on the Diary was perhaps the toughest challenge she had to face in her professional life. In the opinion of those who have already had the opportunity to read this rendering of the Diary, it is a unique translation, amazing in its fidelity and devotion to the subtleties connected with the mystical life of the Apostle of Divine Mercy.

The translation of the Diary into English will serve as a basis for translation into other foreign languages in the absence of translators with the appropriate mastery of Polish. The translation is released before the Feast of Mercy and the 20th anniversary of the canonization of the Apostle of Divine Mercy.

This reference to the “blessed fall” will be the topic for contemplation on Saturday, March 27, at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will lead the Lenten recollection then, which will prepare the participants for a deeper entry into the Holy Week. This prayerful meeting will be available to attend in person. From 10 am to 1 pm, you can listen to a talk by Sr. Gaudia, Adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, access the sacrament of confession and receive the Eucharist.