Every day tens of thousands of people leave this earth due to illness, old age, wars, disasters, violence or other reasons. Hunger alone kills 11 people every minute, and every 40 seconds someone in the world commits suicide. Jesus asks through St. Faustina that we pray for the dying with the words of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Therefore, the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki runs the Chaplet for the Dying. In 2023, people from Poland and many other countries around the world who declared their willingness to help the dying on a selected day and time zone more than 46,700 people supported with prayers whose names were sent by text message to the following phone number: +48 505 060 205 or by e-mail.
Anyone can join in this work of mercy and rush to the aid of those most in need of support, as they make their last and most important decision, which concerns eternity, at a time when they are most vulnerable and under attack from Satan. When filling out the entry form, choose the day of the week and the time of your vigil, as well as how information about the dying will be notified by text message (only in Poland) or e-mail.
Other participants in this project are donors who support this work financially, doctors, nurses, volunteers in hospitals and hospices, and all those who send text messages with the names of the dying, by which they show that they care for their salvation.
In 2023, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, who are the sole custodian of the relics of St. Faustina, sent 135 particles of these relics (130 ex ossibus relics – bone – and 5 from her religious habit) to 26 countries around the world, for the first time to the Republic of Malawi in East Africa. In Europe, the Apostle of Divine Mercy in the sign of her relics went to 6 countries. In addition, to: China, the Philippines, Indonesia, South Korea, Lebanon, USA, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Saint Faustina in the sign of her relic is now present in 129 countries of the world on all continents, in 5,833 churches, shrines and chapels, where Divine Mercy is revered in a special way.
Due to the eight day retreat that will take place on January 16-24, there will be no news or gallery updates at www.saint-faustina.org. All the remaining works and will continue as will praying for all our coworkers and visitors of our Faustyna.pl website and our Faustyna.pl application.
At www.faustyna.pl and its 8 language versions, Patron Draw for 2024 is open. As of January 3, already 269,700 users have participated, including almost 16,000 people from Poland. The Spanish version was accessed by more than 57,000 persons, the Slovak one by 44,000, the Italian one by over 2,300, while others used the remaining language versions. As witnesses show, the Patrons deliver special responses to people’s lives and situations. It is worth it having such a holy company, because the Inhabitants of Heaven are willing and helpful if we ask them. Numerous testimonials attest to their effectiveness.
In January 2024, new year formation meetings of the Faustinum communities in Slovakia are more festive than usual, since they include agape and Patron draws for 2024. They are attended by Sisters from the two convents of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Košice and Nižny Hrušov with priests involved in the formative work in the communities.
18 January – meeting in Nižny Hrušov hosted by Sr. Hedvig and Sr. Alžbeta.
21 January – meeting in Sabinove hosted by Fr. Miroslav Liška and Sr. Blanka.
22 January – meeting in Hungarian in Borši hosted by Sr. Hedvig.
23 January – meeting in Slovakian in Borši hosted by Sr. Hedvig.
The Sisters from the community of our Congregation in Washington, D.C., organize the next “Evening with Merciful Jesus” on January 22nd at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C. The special guest will be Michael Grasiński, who titled his speech: “Recovering our true identity: the story of God’s mercy!”. You can join the event online atwww.jp2shrine.org/youtube. The lecture will be followed by Adoration of the Lord Jesus and a meet-up with refreshments.
“Evenings with Merciful Jesus” are organized for young people who want to follow St. Faustina and St. John Paul II to discover the new quality of life in friendship with the merciful Lord Jesus.
Faustyna.pl and the website’s other language versions were viewed by over 2,500,000 visitors in 2023.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy would like to thank all Collaborators, Contributors, IT Specialists and Translators, without whom this work would not be able to develop, and all Internet users, without whom this wonderful exchange in the provision of good and bringing the message of Mercy and the entire spiritual heritage of St. Faustina to the world could not be taking place.
Such is the theme of the retreat for members and volunteers of the Faustinum Association as well as for Divine Mercy devotees to be held on January 12-14, 2024 at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. Every one of us christened people is called to give witness of the merciful love of God. This is not an easy task, especially in our closest surroundings, which are often openly indifferent or even hostile to God and the Church. How to be a witness of Mercy in the modern world, based on the Bible and the experience of St. Faustina will be the topic of the retreat provided by Fr. Zbigniew Pałys, M.S., a teacher at the seminary of La Salette fathers and Sr. Maria Faustyna Ciborowska, I.S.M.M., Doctor of Bible Studies involved in the proclamation of the message of Mercy.
On 12-14 and 19-21 January 2024, retreats for women will be held at the Fides et ratio Diocese Retreat House in Shchuchinsk as part of the Samaritan project. The theme of the meetings will be Little girl, I say to you, get up! There will be conferences and Gospel meditations, focusing especially on the healing of the hemorrhaging woman and bringing back Jair’s daughter from the dead. There will also be workshops. The retreat will be delivered by Sr. Anastasis Omelchenko from the community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy in Petropavlovsk, Sr. Kazimiera Wanat, Sr. Madlen Hofmann and Fr. Hans Reiner.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki would like to thank you for all the donations so far for the camera to be broadcasting from the chapel of the miracle-famous Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina. We still have 25,000 PLN to go to be able to purchase a new camera, which would guarantee TV-like quality and continuity of broadcasting on the Faustyna.pl YouTube channel and the mobile application with the same name. The old camera has been working continuously 24 hours a day since 2015. Thus, there is a need to purchase a new one, as the video stream is used by the faithful from all over the world who wish to make a virtual pilgrimage to the holy place to plead for mercy “for us and the whole world”.
Donations for this purpose can be made to the bank account provided below with a note saying “Kamera – transmisja online”.
Zgromadzenie Sióstr Matki Bożej Miłosierdzia
Dom Zakonny w Krakowie
ul. Siostry Faustyny 3
Bank BGŻ BNP Paribas S. A. ul. Kasprzaka 10/16
Sisters of the Krakow community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy are happy to invite everyone to sing Christmas carols together and to participate contests of knowledge about the carols and traditional Christmas songs. This meetup will take place in the House of St. Faustina at 3.40 pm in the hall next to the restaurant at Aleja Adolfa Hyły 1 in Krakow (the building next to the large parking lot at the back of the basilica).
On January 7 (Sunday) at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Plock at the Old Market Square, another formative meeting of the Faustinum Divine Mercy Apostles Association community will be held. The topic of the meeting is: “Spiritual life as a work of God’s mercy in us”. It will begin at 2:15 p.m. with joint adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament with prayer at the Hour of Mercy and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. At 3.20 p.m. Eucharist, followed by agape, conference from the series “ABC of spiritual life” and sharing your thoughts and experience on this topic. The meetings are led by sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy and priests.
Although the dates for these visits can change from year to year, the priests traditionally visit the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on the Solemnity of the Epiphany (Three Kings’ Day). On that holiday, priests acting as chaplains for the Congregation, accompanied by Christmas carolers, visit the convent’s assembly halls and other common areas, the sisters’ cells, workshops and guest rooms to bless them with holy water and incense, praying for God’s blessings for all the residents and guests in this next year of their apostolic ministry.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy would like to thank all the collaborators, benefactors and donors, thanks to whom www.faustyna.pl was created and has now been updated in nine languages, along with all the works of mercy which are possible thanks to them. These include, above all, our “Chaplet for the dying” and the on-line transmissions from the chapel of the miracle-famous Image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina in the Łagiewniki Shrine. We all participate in the mission of Jesus, who is revealing the merciful love of the Heavenly Father to the world and bestowing His Mercy on His people. Dear IT professionals, translators, Benefactors and Donors, it is also through you that God’s Mercy is poured into the world. Let this Christmas be a time of special joy and peace, for the Lord has come to earth. He is here with us and lives in us when we are in a state of grace. May the New Year 2024, the Jubilee of Mercy, be rich in God’s grace and in mercy provided to our neighbors.
Every year on January 1st, in the convents of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, a drawing of annual patron Saints takes place. The Diary tells us how important this was for St. Faustina. Her desire was to be accompanied and supported by Someone from Heaven on all her days of the new year. In the morning during meditation, she wrote, there arose within me a secret desire that the Eucharistic Jesus be my special Patron for this year also, as in the past. But, hiding this desire from my Beloved, I spoke to Him about everything else but that. When we came to refectory for breakfast, we blessed ourselves and began drawing our patrons. When I approached the holy cards on which the names of the patrons were written, without hesitation I took one, but I didn’t read the name immediately as I wanted to mortify myself for a few minutes. Suddenly, I heard a voice in my soul: “I am your patron”. Read. I looked at once at the inscription and read, “Patron for the Year 1935-the Most Blessed Eucharist.” My heart leapt with joy (Diary, 360).
People associated with the Congregation: priests, collaborators, Faustinum members and volunteers, friends, guests… etc. albo participate in the Patron draw, as do our online visitors at www.saint-faustina.org. Along with the Patron, they receive a message, most often from the Diary of St. Sister Faustina, and a practice of mercy, most often an intention to pray.
May the Patron Saints aid us, may they help us more and more fully; participate in the life and mission of Jesus; revealing the merciful love of God to the world!
I too came down from heaven out of love for you; I lived for you, I died for you, and I created the heavens for you, said Jesus to St. Faustina, addressing these words to every human being as well. On the occasion of Christmas and the approaching 2024, we would like to express our heart-felt wishes to our collaborators, benefactors, donors, all those involved with various apostolic works of the Congregation (such as our Chaplet for the Dying and Perpetual Chaplet), online visitors to our website. May you continually discovery the presence of Immanuel – God with us – and recognize signs of His merciful love in all circumstances of your life. May you share your everyday life with Him. We also wish you all the temporal favors so that they bring you joy and lead you to an even greater love of God and fellow human beings. May the New Year be rich in God’s graces and human mercy provided to those in need. We embrace you all in our prayers. May God’s Mercy be praised in us and through us!
On Sunday, the octave of Christmas, which this year is December 30, the Catholic Church celebrates the feast of the Holy Family, that is, Jesus, Mary and Joseph. It is also a celebration of every human family, which, like the Family of Nazareth is the work of the Heavenly Father and is intended to lead people to Him, and to be faced with many difficulties in this earthly life. Today, in times of a massive attack on the family, the crisis of marriage and family life, the Holy Family shows a happy model of community life, in which the first place is the Lord God, and relationships between people apply the principle of love and mutual trust.
On this day, we thank God’s Mercy in a special way for the gift of our families and ask for the necessary graces for those who are experiencing difficulties and crises, and for the conflicted and broken families we ask for the grace of reconciliation, mutual forgiveness, a return on the path of mutual love and imitation of the life of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In this intention, at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, at the Image of Divine Mercy and the tomb of St. Faustina, a daily Rosary is recited at 8:30 pm, and the second Saturday of the month at 5pm Holy Mass is celebrated. You can join in this prayer online at www.saint-faustina.org where it is be broadcast.
As is tradition, on December 31 at 9:00 pm at the Shrine of Divine Mercy, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will begin in the chapel of the famous Divine Mercy image and the tomb of St. Faustina. Adoration this year will be led by the sisters and will conclude at midnight with the celebration of the first Mass. Those unable to come to the shrine can join us by watching our online broadcast beginning with vespers at 7:00 pm and continuing with adoration and Mass. Please visit www.saint-faustina.org for more information.
Christmas is associated with the custom of decorating the Christmas tree that adorns the interiors of churches, homes, in addition to city squares and other public places. The coniferous tree is a symbol of life, rebirth, longevity and fertility in many cultures. A decorated fir or spruce tree has become Europe’s most recognizable symbol of Christmas. The living tree has also become a Christian symbol of Christ as the source of life. But also some Christmas tree decorations have their own symbolic meanings, although not always recognized today: for example, the star placed on top of the tree was supposed to show the way back home from far away, the lights point to Christ, who is the light of the world, the angels are the ones who take care of the household, the paper chains reminded people about the enslavement of sin from which Jesus frees us… In modern culture, however, presents placed under the Christmas tree seem to be more important. And yet, they are also a foreshadowing of the gifts of Heaven. It is worth to look at the Christmas tree remembering about its symbolic value, which Christian culture carries, to better and more fruitfully live the joyful mystery of Christmas.
This is how the mystery of the incarnation and birth of the Son of God was referred to by St. Faustina. In a beautifully poetic way, it was expressed by Franciszek Karpiński in the Polish Christmas carol:
Bóg się rodzi, moc truchleje,
Pan niebiosów obnażony.
Ogień krzepnie, blask ciemnieje,
Ma granice Nieskończony.
Wzgardzony, okryty chwałą,
Śmiertelny Król nad wiekami.
A Słowo ciałem się stało,
i mieszkało między nami.
[God is born and the night is shaken,
The Lord of Heaven lies naked,
Fire is frozen, light is veiled
The Eternal now has its limits.
He was scorned, yet clothed with glory,
Mortal King of the Ages!
And the Word was made flesh,
And dwelt among us.]
Infinite and eternal God took human form and became a man. No other religion in the world has such a god who is the Creator and Lord of all that exists, who is the One, holy, infinite, transcendent, all-powerful and all-knowing, ineffable by human or angelic reason, and at the same time so close to man in His Son embodied as a human person. The contemplation of Divine Mercy in this mystery brings the ineffable joy and awe, because God dwells among us, the Word of God, Mercy Incarnate (Diary, 1745).
Merciful love of God revealed in the nativity of Jesus is sung in liturgical hymns, and also in Christmas carols that are more secular. A particularly rich repertoire of hundreds of Christmas carols is inscribed in Polish national and religious culture. They are sung in every home, not only at the table on Christmas Eve, but also during Christmas time in churches, accompanying the liturgy and at various festive meetings. Many of these songs have lyrics and music composed by recognized poets and composers, and each year new are created. Christmas carols create a unique atmosphere of the holiday season, helping in prayer, contemplation and living the mystery of God’s Mercy revealed in the fact of the incarnation and nativity of the Son of God.
The very word for “eve” in Polish, wigilia, comes from the word “vigil”. This particular vigil is filled with prayer, fasting and other mortifications undertaken out of love for Jesus, as a direct preparation for the celebration of His birth in the human form. According to Christian tradition, when the first star appears in the sky (referring symbolically to the Star of Bethlehem, which heralded the birth of Jesus), Poles sit down to supper in their homes, religious orders and various other communities. The wafer that Poles break with their dear ones as they exchange greetings provides an opportunity for forgiveness and reconciliation and creates an atmosphere of love in which God is present. Saint Faustina described several Christmas Eves in her Diary. She commented on her last one, which she experienced in 1937 in Krakow: Before supper, I went into the chapel for a moment to break the wafer spiritually with those beloved persons, so dear to my heart, though far away. First, I steeped myself in a profound prayer and asked the Lord for graces for them all as a group and then for each one individually. Jesus gave me to know how much this pleased Him, and my soul was filled with even greater joy to see that God loves in a special way those whom we love. After I had gone into the refectory, during the reading, my whole being found itself plunged in God. Interiorly, I saw God looking at us with great pleasure. I remained alone with the Heavenly Father. At that moment, I had a deeper knowledge of the Three Divine persons, whom we shall contemplate for all eternity and, after millions of years, shall discover that we have just barely begun our contemplation. Oh, how great is the mercy of God, who allows man to participate in such a high degree in His divine happiness! At the same time, what great pain pierces my heart [at the thought] that so many souls have spurned this happiness (Diary, 1438-1439). May God be invited to every home, every Christmas table and every human heart! Only in Him and His Mercy will the world ever find peace and man will find happiness!
It is a tradition that a solemn Mass named Pasterka („Shepherds’ Mass”) is celebrated at midnight on Christmas Eve in Polish churches and chapels, including the ones of our Congregation. It is the first Eucharist of Christmas, which commemorates the expectation and prayer of the Bethlehem shepherds arriving to greet the Son of God born in flesh. A mystical experience of Sister Faustina described in her Diary brings us closer to the joyful mystery of Jesus’ coming to earth and living in clean hearts: As Holy Mass began, I immediately felt a great interior recollection; joy filled my soul. During the offertory, I saw Jesus on the altar, incomparably beautiful. The whole time the Infant kept looking at everyone, stretching out His little hands (Diary, 347). After Holy Communion, she writes elsewhere, I heard the words: I am always in your heart; not only when you receive Me in Holy Communion, butalways (Diary, 575). We would like to wish you all to experience the joy that comes from the presence of God in our souls during the Midnight Mass, throughout the holidays and on every day of the New Year!
During the fourth week of Advent, St. Faustina will lead us deep into our souls, which also became the birthplace of Jesus in us. Jesus came to this world to be born in every human heart and make it happy. “I seek no happiness except in my interior”, she wrote, “in which God abides. I rejoice in God within me. Here I dwell constantly with Him; here I am at my most intimate with Him; here I safely dwell with Him, here is a place beyond the reach of human gaze. The Blessed Virgin is encouraging me to abide with God in this manner” (Diary, 454). Let us try to make the last days of Advent a time of the new birth of Jesus not only in our hearts through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but let us strive to make sure that He finds a place in many human souls through our prayer and sacrifice.
The most important aspect of preparing for Christmas is concern about spiritual matters, so as to prepare for the new birth of the Son of God in your soul. This is why during this period we make a number of resolutions intended to organize our spiritual life, attend retreats and participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In many shrines of Divine Mercy, including the ones in Krakow-Łagiewniki and Plock, as well as in other churches, long lines are setting up for confession. Without this, preparations for Christmas will be deprived of the deepest joy that is the presence of God in your soul and they might become just two days off from work and an opportunity to give presents which fill you with joy only briefly. You do believe that God was born in a Bethlehem manger, but woe to you if He is not born in you, wrote the poet Adam Mickiewicz.
On December 16 a novena to the Infant Jesus will start in all the convents of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, including the chapel of the miracle-famous Image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina in the Shrine of Divine Mercy. Traditionally, the antiphons sung and the Litany of the Infant Jesus recited there prepare the faithful spiritually for Christmas.
Let us spend the third week of this Advent contemplating the mystery of Divine Mercy in the Nativity of Christ. Sister Faustina wrote: “And the uncomprehended miracle of Your mercy is accomplished, O Lord: the Word is made Flesh, God – the Word of God, Mercy Incarnate – has come to dwell among us. You have raised us up to Your Divinity by stooping down to us here is the surfeit of Your love, the infinite depth of Your mercy. The Heavens are astounded at the surfeit of Your love. No longer does anyone fear to approach You. You are the God of mercy; You take pity on our wretchedness; You are our God, and we are Your people. You are a Father unto us, and we are Your children by Your grace; may Your mercy be praised for Your gracious coming down to us” (Diary, 1745). Let us follow St. Faustina in considering the merciful love of God in the miracle of the Son of God being born in the stable in Bethlehem and in the soul of man. Let us thank Him for wanting to be so close to us from birth through all the events of life until death, to live with us in the Father’s house and make us heirs to Heaven.
The Sisters from the community of our Congregation in Washington, D.C., organize the next “Evening with Merciful Jesus” on December 22nd at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C . The special guest will be Joseph Roth, who titled his speech The robe, the ring and the fattened calf.Our Loving Father Who Restores Dignity. In it he will also share his own experience of leaving and returning to faith through the grace of a merciful God.
You can also join the event online atwww.jp2shrine.org/youtube. The lecture will be followed by Adoration of the Lord Jesus and a meet-up with refreshments.
“Evenings with Merciful Jesus” are organized for young people who want to follow St. Faustina and St. John Paul II to discover the new quality of life in friendship with the merciful Lord Jesus.
An Advent retreat on divine and human mercy will be held at the parish of Our Lady of Częstochowa in Lipa, Sandomierz diocese, on December 15-17. Based on the Bible and the heritage of St. Faustina, it will be delivered by Sr. Maria Vianneya and Sr. Maria Faustyna from the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. Conferences for adults, teens and kids are on the agenda, as is the practice of forms of Divine Mercy devotion which Jesus Himself entrusted St. Faustina with.
On 15-17 December, a vocational retreat for young women will take place in the Discalced Carmelites’ monastery in Lorinčík near Košice in the south of Slovakia. The theme will be: “With Jesus by your side”. The retreat will be provided by Father Andrej Valent OCD and Sr. Benediktína Fečová from the Košice community of the Congregation of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy.
I have come to know Saint Faustina as a friend. Jesus, I trust in you! Kerry Thornhill, 2024-01-15
I praise, bless and adore The Divine Mercy and The MERCIFUL JESUS everyday via the web cam from the Shrine, and this has helped me in my difficult and sad moments in life. GOD always helps me through The DIVINE MERCY and His Mama MARY. My Mother went home to Heaven on 3rd June 2023 and both she and my (...) Sherman Jude Santa-Maria, 2023-08-23
The many years ago I visited the Arctic and made the photo of never setting sun (three sun in one hour interval). When I was looking at it over the years it came to my senses that it is possible for God to exist three in one. Since then the thought about painting the God in Holy Trinity never left me. (...) Stefan Teczynski, 2023-07-05