Good Friday is the only day in the year when there is no Holy Mass, as the most perfect sacrifice was made by Jesus Himself at the Cross. Jesus told St. Faustina in one of the many revelations associated with His Passion: On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls – no one have I excluded! (Diary, 1182). On Good Friday, the 3:00 pm prayer, recited at the moment of the agony of Jesus on the Cross (Hour of Mercy) the is celebrated in a particularly solemn manner at the Shrine of Divine Mercy and followed by the start of the novena before the Feast of Mercy (transmission available at: www.saint-faustina.org). After the novena, at approx. 3:30 pm, the Way of the Cross will be celebrated. The Good Friday Liturgy of the Passion will begin in the Basilica at 6:00 pm. After Adoration of the Cross and Holy Communion, an Eucharistic procession will set off to the Holy Sepulcher, which is traditionally arranged in the convents’ Chapel of the Passion. There will be a continual adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, which begins the Lenten Lamentations. On Good Friday, strict fasting and abstinence from all meat is required.
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 (April 14) 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.
From April 7 to 11, Sr. Gaudia and Sr. Inga from the Washington, D.C., community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will share the message of Mercy as recorded in the Diary of St. Faustina with the faithful at the parish of St. Matthew’s Church in Sidney, Montana, which borders Canada. In addition to a conference on the living presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the essentials of the message of Mercy, the plan of the meeting includes the Stations of the Cross, the Hour of Mercy and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, as well as adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. The mission concludes with a dinner too be shared with participants in the meetings.
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).
On 8-10 April, 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 “Covered in mercy.” 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.
April 10th 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 April 5, at the Turin Church of St. Christina, a formative meetup of the Faustinum Divine Mercy Apostles Association will take place. This time the meeting will be hosted by Sister Emanuela Gemza from the Krakow community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. The meeting agenda includes: Holy Mass with the veneration of the relics of St. Faustina, a conference on Merciful Jesus the Redeemer of man, and a meeting with refreshments.
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).
The 1st National Convention of the Faustinum Divine Mercy Apostles Association will be held in Loretto on April 1-3. The event will be attended by members and volunteers from all over Italy, as well as Sr. Emanuela Gemza from the Krakow community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy, vice-President of Faustinum, and Sr. Wincenta Mąka from the Rome Center for Spirituality of Mercy. On the agenda: communal prayer, conferences, testimonies, sharing the experience of God’s mercy and apostolic service. On the last day of the Convention, there will be a ceremony of accepting new members into the Association and the entrusting of all Italian members and volunteers to Our Lady.
A retreat titled The Prophetic Message of Divine Mercy for Our Times will be held at Our Lady of the Assumption Parish in Turlock from March 24 to 28. It will be delivered by Sr. Gaudia Skass and Sr. Grace from the DC community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. There is a vibrant Divine Mercy worship in this parish, which provides an opportunity to explore the message of Mercy that Jesus gave to St. Faustina, and Pope St. John Paul II gave the Church and the world for the third millennium, because only in the Mercy of God will the world find peace and man will find happiness. During the retreat there will be opportunities for confession, adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, personal prayer in silence, communal Eucharist and Stations of the Cross.
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 March 27, Sr. Wincenta Mąka of the Roman community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will share the message of Mercy as recorded in the Diary of St. Faustina with the faithful in the parish of Santa Maria di Sovereto in Terlizzi, province of Bari, during Sunday Mass. Separately, she will meet with Divine Mercy devotees to talk more about preparing for and living out the Feast of Divine Mercy and the great promises Jesus has tied to this holiday.
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.
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: thanksgiving for the gift of the Divine Mercy image and all the graces obtained before it, asking that the world may find peace and man may find happiness in God’s merciful love.
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.
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 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.
During every evening Mass in February, the Litany of St. Faustina will be sung or recited in all chapels of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Consideration of the antiphons from this Litany is a way to better understand who the Apostle of Divine Mercy is for the Lord and for ourselves, along with her unusually rich spiritual heritage and her prophetic mission of proclaiming the message of Mercy to the world. At the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, the evening Mass will be celebrated in the chapel of the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina every day at 7:00 pm (except Thursdays).
In March 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.