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On March 8-10, at the Shrine of St. Faustina in Warsaw at ul. Żytnia 1, a Lenten retreat for children and young teens from primary schools (1st to 8th grade) will be held. The children will accompany St. Faustina in learning from Merciful Jesus about how to be merciful and finally get to Heaven. Meanwhile, the teens will seek answers to the question what counts in life and how to seek true values. The retreat will be hosted by Sr. Terezjana and Sr. Mariam of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy.

On March 8, as on every eighth day of the month, the community of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Gdansk, Częstochowa, Kalisz, Kiekrz, Łódź, Płock, Świnice Warckie and Wrocław will support married couples praying for offspring. 1050 of them are already expecting children, with many more already enjoying parenthood. Intentions asking for prayer for this purpose (names of married couples) can be sent by email at: www.modlitwaopotomstwo.pl.

The community of people praying for children led by Fr. Andrzej Wiecki and sisters of the Gdańsk community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy cordially invite married couples trying to conceive to Adoration of Merciful Jesus with a prayer for healing, which will take place on 8 March at 7.30 pm at the shrine of the Pregnant Holy Mother in Matemblewo. Live stream: www.facebook.com/modlitwaopotomstwo 

Lent invites us to reflect on our lives and their purpose. Let us help in this the extremely eloquent vision of Sister Faustina. One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures.

People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings” (Diary, 153).

What is the purpose of my life? Which road am I taking?

 

A spiritual retreat of members and volunteers of the Faustinum Apostles of Divine Mercy Association will be held at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki on March 3-5. This will be the first of the retreats revolving around the names of Jesus in the Diary of St. Faustina. The first of them is Merciful Jesus, and the retreat will be delivered by Fr. Grzegorz Szczygieł, M.S., a missionary, retreat giver and provost at the La Salette parish in Krakow, and by Sr. M. Eliana Chmielewska, I.S.M.M., from the board of the Faustinum, the spiritual mentor of the Krakow Faustinum community.

Mary, Mother of the Son of God, Mercy Incarnate and Mother of each of us. Ultimately beautiful in her love for God and man. A role model for every girl, mother and consecrated person. That is why we direct our prayers of thankfulness and supplication. To read more about the most beautiful of Women, Our Lady of Mercy, her veneration, iconography, liturgy and prayers, visit: www.saint-faustina.org.

As part of the anniversary celebration, a Lenten retreat will be held from February 22 to 26 under the theme of What does it mean to trust?, to be delivered by Fr. Teodor Sawielewicz. The meeting agenda includes Holy Mass at 5 pm, with a sermon, conference, adoration of Jesus in the Holy Sacrament and the rosary. The retreat will conclude with a night vigil.

On the occasion of this anniversary, the solemn Eucharist on Sunday, February 24 at noon will be presided over by Bishop Szymon Stułkowski, Ordinary Bishop of the Diocese of Płock, with musical accompaniment by the Pueri et Puellae Cantores Plocenses choir.

On February 22-26, the parish of St. St. John the Apostle and Evangelist in Poznań will hold a Lenten retreat under the theme of God’s Mercy Rescuing the World. It will be led by Sr. Maria Vianneya Dąbrowska and Sr. Maria Faustyna Ciborowska from the community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki.

On 24-26 February, Sister Faustia and Sister Inga from the D.C. Community of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy will deliver a Lenten retreat at the parish of St. Anne in Richmond.

The leaders and participants of the retreat will seek to answer the question of what God expects of us today in light of the message of His mercy as recorded in the Diary of St. Faustina. The preaching will include proclamation of the message of Mercy at every Sunday Mass, meetings with children and youth and adult parishioners, in addition to conferences about what Jesus desires of us, the mercy of the Holy Sacraments and the role of silence in spiritual life.

Regular Mass for the Faustinum Apostles of Divine Mercy Association is celebrated every fourth Friday of the month at the Diocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy in Košice-KVP, Slovakia. This month, it will be celebrated on February 24th at 3:20x pm directly after praying the Hour of Mercy and the Divine Mercy Chaplet together. The main celebrant will be Fr. Radoslav Gönci.

Regular monthly Masses for the intentions of the Faustinum in Slovakia have been celebrated since 2006.

On February 22 at 5 pm, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, Holy Mass will be celebrated at the Image of Divine Mercy and the tomb of St. Faustina, for the intentions of all benefactors and donors who support the media apostolic works of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy: Chaplet for the Dying, online broadcasting from the Łagiewniki Shrine, and the website: faustyna.pl available in several languages. Live stream from the service will be available at Faustyna.pl, our Faustyna.pl YouTube channel and in the Faustina.pl mobile application.

On February 22, 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.

In the evening, when I was in my cell I saw he Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment”, St. Faustina wrote in her Diary. “One hand was raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me: ‘Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world’” (Diary, 47). The event took place in St. Faustina’s cell at the Plock convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in the Old Market on February 22, 1931. The first Divine Mercy image was painted in Vilnius in 1934 under the guidance of Sister Faustina herself in the studio of Eugeniusz Kazimirowski and exposed for public veneration for the first time at the Gate of Dawn in 1935. Since then, a number of images have been created. The miracle-famous Divine Mercy image by Adolf Hyła, found in the convent chapel of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy at the Shrine of Divine Mercy is the best known one. The painting was created under the guidance of the Mercy apostle’s Krakow spiritual director, Fr. Józef Andrasz, S.J., who dedicated it on the Feast of Mercy, April 16, 1944. It was this image that fulfilled the words of Jesus spoken to St. Faustina at the first revelation: I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world. Not only pilgrims from around the world who physically arrive at this holy place can pray in front of this image, but also online visitors viewing our live broadcasts and the high quality presentation of the image at www.saint-faustina.org.

You can download a file “Jesus’ message of Mercy” at www.saint-faustyna.org for the non-commercial spread of the message of Mercy, which St.  Faustina provided us with in her Diary. It contains the most important words of Jesus recorded by the Apostle of Divine Mercy. The pdf file has been translated into 16 languages. In 2022, it was shared 1202 times. The Spanish version was downloaded by the most 523 people, Polish by 100, English by 167, French by 140, Italian by 93 and German by 56.

On February 18th, before the anniversary of the revelation of the Divine Mercy Image, the Shrine of Divine Mercy will hold a ceremony of admitting new members to the Apostles of the Divine Mercy Association. In the convent chapel of the grace-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina, a solemn Eucharist at 17 am will be presided by Fr. Marek Wójtowicz, S.J., the Church assistant of the “Faustinum”. During the ceremony, new “Faustinum” members will receive their ID cards and rule of the Association as a sign of communion and participation in the spirituality and apostolic mission of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.

The “Faustinum” Association, headquartered at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, has nearly 19,000 people from nearly 90 countries around the world, including 753 members. Its primary goal is the formation of apostles of Divine Mercy on the basis of the Holy Scriptures, Church teaching and St. Faustina’s school of spirituality, which it conducts in several languages.

February 15 is the name day of Sister Faustina and the liturgical memorial of her Vilnius spiritual director, Bl. Fr. Michael Sopocko. The Shrine of Divine Mercy will celebrate the Saint with morning Mass in her intention at 6:30 am, as is the custom of the Congregation. The intention is thanksgiving for the graces received by St. Faustina in her earthly life and for those the Congregation, the Church, Poland and the world were granted through her intercession and asking that she show the merciful love of God to all and support trust in Him along with the attitude of being good neighbors in us. Broadcast at www.saint-faustina.org . Anyone can submit their prayer there as well as provide the gift of prayer, which an act of true mercy toward our neighbors, or another spiritual gift.

The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy has made selected digital files of photos and other images of St. Faustina Kowalska available for downloading from all the 7 language versions of the official www.faustyna.pl website. The files are intended for the non-commercial dissemination of the legacy, spirituality and mission of the Apostle of Divine Mercy in the media, book and multimedia publications, teachings, apostolic and pastoral activities, etc. Each such publication should correctly convey the spiritual legacy of the Apostle of Divine Mercy, especially the Divine Mercy devotion in the forms that Jesus provided to her. The source information is available at our website, www.faustyna.pl in its all language versions. The files can be downloaded with a fillable form, from the Saint Faustina tab.

Such is the title of the 33th episode of our short film clip series about the Message of Mercy from Jesus, based on the Diary of Sister Faustina. Every episode contains a dialog between Jesus and St. Faustina. In this episode, Jesus is saying: “ I protect souls that spread the worship of My Mercy throughout their lives, as a loving mother protects her baby; and at the hour of their death I shall not be a Judge unto them, but their merciful Saviour” (Diary, 1075). Saint Faustina responds: “ It is my greatest wish that souls should learn to know You – to learn that You are their eternal happiness, to trust in Your goodness and to praise Your infinite mercy” (Diary, 305).

The script for a series of short films featuring Jesus’ message of mercy was written by Sr. M. Elżbieta Siepak, ISMM. This message reveals God’s merciful love and calls us to respond to it with an attitude of trust in God, that is, by doing His will, and by doing good to others through deeds, words and prayer. The narrators are Fr. Canon Jason Ashleigh Jones and Sr. M. Teresa de la Fuente ISMM, and the music was written by the Krakow composed and musician, Paweł Bębenek. The one-minute film clips with beautiful outdoor scenes are produced by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in cooperation with TVP. You can watch them all on you YouTube channel: Faustina.pl.

On the memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lourdes (11 February), we will be celebrating the World Day of the Sick. On this occasion, the Shrine of Divine Mercy will host major diocesan events for patients and their caregivers. In the basilica, at noon, solemn Holy Mass combined with anointing of the Sick will be celebrated by Bishop Janusz Mastalski. The live broadcast of the ceremony will be available at the Shrine Rector’s website: www.milosierdzie.pl.

Following the invitation of Bp. Stefano Rega, the first Italian bishop belonging to the Faustinum Divine Mercy Apostles Association, Sr. Wincenta Mąka and Sr. Amata Strzepek of the Roman community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will share the message of Mercy with the faithful at the parish of San Nicola di Bari-Giugliano in Naples on February 10. The visual sign of this message is the image of Merciful Jesus, which on the one hand shows God’s merciful love revealed most fully in the life, death and resurrection of His Son, and on the other hand it reminds us to respond to this love, which is contained in trusting Him and actively loving our neighbor. The Sisters will also share their personal testimonies of entrusting themselves to Merciful Jesus and praying with trust at His image, which He Himself asked St. Faustina to paint.

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”. Specific intention for September: mercy and peace for the whole world, and especially for those nations that suffer persecution, lack of freedom, freedom to profess their faith and respect for their human rights.

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. Faustinaat least once.

In 2022, the “Diary” of St. Faustyna on the website: www.faustyna.pl and its 7 language versions was read by almost 234,000 people, including 40,324 in English. All language versions are now available also for tablets and smart-phones.

The words of Jesus said to Sister Faustina are coming true: Secretary of My most profound mystery know that you are in My unique confidence; your task is to write down everything I let you know about My mercy, for the benefit of souls, who on reading thee texts will receive comfort in their souls and draw courage to come up to Me (Diary, 1693).

In 2022, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, who are the sole custodian of the relics of St. Faustina, sent 116 particles of these relics (111 ex ossibus relics – bone – and 5 from her religious habit) to 17 countries around the world. In Europe, the Apostle of Divine Mercy in the sign of her relics went to 6 countries.  In addition, to India, Lebanon, USA, Canada Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Brazil, Peru, Australia and Papua New Guinea. Saint Faustina in the sign of her relic is now present in 128 countries of the world on all continents, in 5,698 churches, shrines and chapels, where Divine Mercy is revered in a special way.

On February 5 at 3 pm, prayer at the Hour of Mercy and Holy Mass celebrated under the presidency of Bp. Grzegorz Ryś, the Archbishop of the Łódź Diocese, will begin the last event in the centenary cycle of St. Faustina’s stay in Łódź and the 5th anniversary of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy’s ministry at Krośnieńska street, in the house where the Apostle of Divine Mercy lived. On that day, after the Eucharist and Agape, there will be a cello classical music concert performed by Krzysztof Łatwinski.

The event is held under the honorary patronage of Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś, the Metropolitan of Łódź, and Mother Miriam Janiec, Superior General of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.

On 3-5 February, a vocational retreat for women of different ages will take place in the Discalced Carmelites monastery in Lorinčík near Košice in the south of Slovakia. The theme of the event will be “Come, rest and draw from the source of life”. It will be led by Fr. Andrej Valent, O.C.D., and Sr. Benediktína Fečová from the Košice community of the Congregation of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy.

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.saint-faustina.org is invited to join in this prayer.