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As part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of St. Faustina’s stay in Łódź and the 600th anniversary of the city she patronizes, the archdiocesan pilgrimage to Głogowiec and the Shrine in Świnice Warckie will take place on September 2. The pilgrimage community will form in front of the family home of the Apostle of Divine Mercy in Głogowiec at 10 a.m. and proceed to her parish church, now the Baptismal Shrine of St. Faustina. At 12 pm, solemn Eucharist will be presided over by the Metropolitan Bishop of Łódź, Cardinal Grzegorz Ryś, who will renew the entrustment of the Church of Łódź to Divine Mercy. At 3 pm, the Hour of Mercy and Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be prayed, which will conclude the event.

Monastic life involves changing one’s place of living and, often, also of the type of apostolic work. Usually, in mid-August, the sisters move to other convents, where they are sent due to their vocation of obedience. This frequently means not only a new place to live, but also a different kind of work. The sisters are sent wherever the Congregation is taking up new tasks or needs to answer to the needs of its apostolic work. For the sisters, it is an opportunity to acquire freedom of all earthly attachments in order to live only for God and His Kingdom.

It happened in Świnice, on 27 August 1905, at one o’clock in the afternoon. Stanislaw Kowalski, aged 40, a farmer from Głogowiec, in the presence of Franciszek Bednarek, aged 35 and Józef Stasiak, aged 40, both farmers from Głogowiec, appeared and showed us the female child born in the village of Głogowiec on August 25 this year, at eight o’clock in the morning, of his wedding wife Marianna née Babel, aged 30. This child received, at baptism held today, the name Helena, and her godparents were Konstanty Bednarek and Marianna Szewczyk. This provision of the rite of baptism from parish records was left by the parish priest, Father Józef Chodyński, who baptized the little Helena Kowalska. The Deed was drawn up in the Russian language, because it was still the time of the Partitions of Poland, when the country was not to be seen on the political map of Europe. Helena’s father, Stanisław Kowalski, signed this record in Polish. The godparents, who were illiterate, confirmed their signatures by an X. In the former parish church, today the Baptismal Shrine of St. Faustina, you can see the same font at which the baby Helena Kowalska became a child of God and a member of the Mystical Body of Christ, baptized two days after her birth, on the eve of the feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa. The grace of baptism was further developed in her life as she achieved the fullness of mystical union with God here on Earth. Today, she is venerated as an apostle of Divine Mercy, because Jesus chose her as a prophet of our time, and sent her into the world with the message of Mercy.

In the last days of August, in the convents of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy which run Youth Education Centers operate (Krakow, Kalisz and Wroclaw), student dormitories, community centers or kindergartens, like in other educational institutions in Poland, preparations for the new school year are under way. Here, the opening of the school year is always accompanied by a Holy Mass, during which the teachers and the pupils and students ask God for His blessing and the graces needed during the next ten months, so that they may become more than just a period of effective learning, but also a time of fruitful spiritual growth.

On the Sunday after the anniversary of baptism of St. Faustina, this year on August 27th, an annual indulgence at the Baptismal Shrine of the Apostle of Divine Mercy in Świnice Warckie will be held. At 10.00 am, a procession celebrating the relics of the Saint will proceed from her family home in Głogowiec to the parish church in Świnice Warckie, where at the field altar at 12.00 pm solemn Mass will be celebrated. Pilgrims coming from all over Poland and other countries will remain there to pray at the Hour of Mercy (3.00 pm) and recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. In the family home and parish of St. Faustina, two communities of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy live and operate: the active one and the closed one.

On August 25-27, the birth anniversary of St. Faustina will be celebrated by the Brazilian Canção Nova TV in São Paulo who will be broadcasting a special show titled The Last Call to Salvation. The featured guests will include Bp. Tiago, Stanisław Błaszczyk from the Diocese of São Sebastiãodo Rio de Janeiro, Bp. Robert Chrząszcz from Krakow, who has many years of experience serving in Brazil for many years, Ewa Czaczkowska, the author of St. Faustina’s biography and Sisters Solange Diniz Pereira and Christofora Jagła from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy in Rio de Janeiro.

On August 22, the 21th bicycle pilgrimage will set off from the parish of St. Joseph in Wola, Warsaw, and the parish of Divine Mercy in Grójec to the family home of St. Faustina in Głogowiec. On the trail, the pilgrims are awaited at six Marian shrines (Rokitno, Niepokalanów, Szymanów, Miedniewice, Domaniewice and Mąkolice). They will reach Głogowiec on August 24th. On August 25, at approx. 8.00 am, Holy Mass will be celebrated outside. After the service, the pilgrims will visit the parish church in Świnice Warckie, which is the Baptismal Shrine of St. Faustina. The will also pray at the nearby cemetery with the graves of the parents and siblings of the Apostle of Divine Mercy. The pilgrims can join even on the day of the departure, on the route from Warsaw, Lodz, Rawa Mazowiecka or Grójec.

August 25th is the 118th birthday of Helena Kowalska – St. Faustina, known throughout the world of the Apostle of Divine Mercy. She was born as the third child in the family of Marianna and Stanisław Kowalski in the village of Głogowiec. The certificate of baptism states that she was born about eight in the morning, and on that year, it was a Friday. Sister Faustina’s mother – Marianna née Babel – recalled that she had sanctified her womb, because the earlier births nearly cost her life, but her subsequent children were born without problems. She said about Helena: “Blessed child, dearest daughter.” Sister Faustina, in turn, constantly thanked God for her parents, God-fearing, righteous and diligent  people who brought up their children in a spirit of faith and love of God and other people. Today, the birthplace of the Apostle of Divine Mercy belongs to her Baptismal Shrine, and remains under the care of the Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy’s convent in Świnice Warckie. The place of her birth is visited by pilgrims not only from Poland, but also other countries in the world, who travel along the trail of her life.

On the eve of the feast of August 24, after Mass at 6 pm, a procession will set out with the Blessed Sacrament  from the parish church of the Baptismal Shrine of St. Faustina to her family home, where there will be an all-night adoration and prayer vigil.

August 25th is the 28nd anniversary of the recognition of Saint Faustina as the spiritual co-founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. The decision was made on the 90th anniversary of her birth at the convent of the Sisters at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki under the leadership of the then Superior General, Mother Paulina Słomka. After prior discernment among theologians and pastors of the Church, at the end of the night vigil in front of the grace-famous Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina, Mother General spoke the words of the act, in which she confessed, among others: Holy Sister Faustinayou are not only a renewal of the spirituality and charism of our Congregation, but also its spiritual co-founder. What God did in your life, fulfilling the works of Mother Teresa Potocka and Mother Teresa Rondeau, and what He allowed us to read, we are glad to acknowledge, thankful to the Mercy of God for the great things that have taken place in you and through you in our Congregation. Sister Faustina received the charism of proclaiming the message of Mercy to the world with action, word and prayer, or to nurture this essential evangelical value, the mercy of God and human mercy. Not only did she enrich the charismatic heritage of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, which was founded by countess Mother Teresa of nee Sułkowski Potocka to save fallen women, but also the Church, beginning with the Apostolic Movement of Divine Mercy (the “new congregation” which Jesus desired to be founded) and bringing a new school of spirituality based entirely on the mystery of Divine Mercy to its history. The first heirs of St. Faustina were the members of the Congregation to which she belonged, therefore, John Paul II during his pilgrimage to Krakow-Łagiewniki in 1997, said: Dear Sisters! There is an extraordinary calling for you. By choosing the Blessed Faustina from among you, Christ made your Congregation a guardian of this place, and at the same time He called for a special apostolate of His mercy. Please, take this work. Today’s man needs your preaching of mercy; he needs your works of mercy and he needs your prayers for mercy. Do not neglect any of these dimensions of the apostolate. The full text of the act of recognition of St. Faustina as the spiritual co-founder of the Congregation is read in every community of the Congregation every year on October 5th, the day of her liturgical feast.

On August 19 this year, worshipers of the Divine Mercy will come to the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki as part of the 10th National Pilgrimage, organized on the anniversary of the consecration of the Basilica of Divine Mercy and entrusting the world to Divine Mercy by St. John Paul II. At 12.00 the Eucharist will be presided over by Archbishop Marek Jędraszewski, Metropolitan of Krakow. During this Holy Mass, the Bell of Hope will be blessed for the Polish National Sanctuary on Kahlenberg on the occasion of the 340th anniversary of the Battle of Vienna and the 40th anniversary of the pilgrimage of St. John Paul II on Kahlenberg. At the end of the Holy Mass. – entrusting the world to God’s Mercy, awarding Beati misericordes medals. The program of the pilgrimage includes a presentation of the works of mercy in tents in the square in front of the basilica, and at 7 p.m. a screening of the film “Sister Faustina” made by the Brazilian TV channel Canção Nova. More information and a detailed program on the website of the Sanctuary Rectorate: www.misericordia.eu.

Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy from several houses in Poland and Kazakhstan will also participate in World Youth Day in Lisbon, along with youth. The next meeting of young people from all over the world will be an excellent opportunity to share the spiritual heritage of St. Faustina, who was a Patron of these youth meetings in Australia in 2008 and in Krakow in 2016.

World Youth Day in Portugal will be held from August 1-6 under the motto “Mary got ready and hurried…” (Luke 1:39). Pope Francis will arrive in Lisbon on 2 August and will remain in Portugal until the last day of the event.

On August 5, the liturgical memorial of Our Lady of the Snows, the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy celebrates its patronal feast, honoring its Patroness – the Mother of Mercy Incarnate. On this day, the election of Mary as the heavenly Superior General of the Congregation has been traditionally renewed since in 1937, in the form of a special, ceremonial prayer. Saint Faustina wrote in her Diary: I saw the Virgin Mary and She said to me, Oh, how very pleased I am with the homage of your love!  And at that moment She covered all the sisters of the Congregation with Her mantle. With Her right hand, She clasped Mother General Michael to herself, and with Her left hand she did the so to me, while all the sisters were at Her feet, covered with Her mantle. Then the Mother of God said hen the Mother of God said, Everyone who perseveres zealously till death in My Congregation will be spared the fire of purgatory (Diary, 1244). This day is the anniversary of the dedication of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the oldest church in the West dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Pope Sixtus III, to celebrate the end of the stormy Council of Ephesus (431 AD), which declared the dogma of the divine motherhood of Mary (Theotokos), introduced the feast of the Mother of the Son of God, which was first celebrated in this particular basilica, and with time, successive Popes expanded it to the whole Church. Today, the liturgical calendar of the Church contains the memorial of Our Lady of the Snows, commemorating the miracle associated with the rise of the basilica, and this name is functioning in the minds of the faithful. Therefore, the first circumstance of the establishment of the feast of Mary as Mother of the Son of God – Mercy Incarnate, has been forgotten. For more information about Mary the Mother of Mercy, Her title, worship and iconography in the Church and Congregation, follow the link: Our Lady of Mercy.

On July 27, a novena before the feast of the Patron of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, which falls on August 5, will start. During the novena, the Chaplet of Our Lady of Mercy is sung or recited. In this prayer we ask Mary to defend us from our enemies, accept us at the hour of death and beg for the Mercy of her Son for us. In the chapel of the miracle-famous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina, the novena is celebrated on weekdays at 7 pm, while on Sundays at 6:30 pm. The words of the Chaplet of Our Lady of Mercy.

On August 1st, it will be 98 years since Helena Kowalska, known throughout the world under her religious name of Sister Faustina, joined the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Despite explicit instructions from Jesus to go to Warsaw and enter a convent to begin monastic life, her way to start following her vocation was not easy. As she wrote in her Diary, she knocked on the doors of many convents, but she was accepted nowhere. It was only in the convent at ul. Żytnia in Warsaw that she received an approval to join, but not before she spends a year working as a maid to earn a modest dowry. Finally, on August 1st, 1925 she stepped over the threshold of the closure, and wrote in her Diary: I felt immensely happy; it seemed to me that I had stepped into the life of Paradise. A single prayer was bursting forth from my heart, one of thanksgiving (Diary, 17). She then spent 13 years in many convents of the Congregation, fulfilling simple duties, and at the same time leading a very deep spiritual life. The Lord sent St. Faustina to the world to remind people of the Biblical truth about the merciful love of God to each human being and call them to proclaim it with a new power of witness, deed, word and prayer.

On July 31st, the liturgical calendar includes a commemoration of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus and one of the patron saints of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, which has benefited from Ignatian spirituality throughout its history. Saint Faustina mentions this Saint twice in her Diary, when she writes about his advice concerning keeping the vow of obedience, and on the occasion of her the vision in 1935: The Feast of St. Ignatius. I prayed fervently to this Saint, complaining and asking how he could watch me and not come to my assistance in such important matters, that is in fulfilling God’s will. I said to the Saint: “You, who are our Patron, you were burning with the fire of love and zeal for the greater glory of God, I humbly ask you, please help me carry out God’s plans.” It was during Mass. Then I saw St. Ignatius on the left-hand side of the altar with a big book in his hands. He said to me: “My daughter, I am not indifferent to your affairs; this rule can be applied to the Congregation as well.” With his hand he pointed to the book and vanished. I was extremely pleased that the Saints have us very much in their thoughts and that they are in close touch with us. O, divine Goodness, how beautiful the spiritual world is, if we can be in communion with the Saints already here on earth. All day long I felt that this Patron Saint, whom I hold so dear, was close by my side.

The Firm In Faith Founded On Love national conference of married couples will be held from July 21-23 in Lincolnshire, Illinois, USA. It will be attended by Sr. Donata Farbaniec of the Washington, D.C., community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy, who will share the message of Mercy as recorded in the Diary of St. Faustina in the context of this year’s theme of the conference. The event is organized by Family Missionaries of Christ.

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.

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 November: for the necessary graces for the sick, the dying  as well as for the joy of heaven for the deceased.

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.

July 16 is the 157th anniversary of the death of Mother Thérèse Rondeau, the founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in France (Laval), and co-founder of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland. She was born on October 6, 1793 in Laval, France. She was christened Theresa Agatha. Under the influence of her confessor, Fr. J. Chanon, S.J., Theresa undertook working with penitent women, that is to say women in need of deep moral renewal and willing to change their lives. In order to prepare better for this work, in 1818 she moved to Bordeaux, where Mother Teresa de Lamourous ran a house for penitent women, which was called “Mercy”. After a two-month stay, Theresa Rondeau made private vows and returned to Laval to become the foundress of a new work, independent from Bordeaux, and in time this became the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in France. Mother Teresa Potocka, née Ewa Sułkowska, who later became the foundress of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland, adopted the spirituality of the French Congregation and their way of conducting apostolic work. Mother Teresa Rondeau died on 16 July 1866 and was buried within the grounds of the Congregation in Laval; her tomb is in a garden belonging to the convent. Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland has named a co-founder. The spiritual co-founder of the Congregation is St. Faustina Kowalska.

On July 9-13, in the Miłosierdzie Retreat House in Derdy near Warsaw, a retreat for members and volunteers of the Faustinum Association will be held. This will be the second in a series of retreats that correspond to the themes of the various stages of formation, either communal or individual. This retreat, with the theme “Invited to trust”, will be attended by those members and volunteers of Faustinum who have completed their second year of formation in the Association. The retreat will be hosted by Fr. Krzysztof Kowal, MS and Sr. M. Emanuela Gemza, ISMM.

On July 3-7, Sr. Hedvig Uličná of the Košice community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will lead meetings about God’s mercy and St. Faustina for Hungarian-speaking children between the ages of 6 and 10. A summer camp for these children is being organized in Košice, Slovakia.

The beautiful tradition of celebrating rosary devotions in October is deeply ingrained in the religious life of the Church in Poland. The devotions are held in every church and in many chapels. In the Shrine of Divine Mercy, the devotion is celebrated in the Convent’s chapel with the miraculous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina, every day at 07:00 pm and at 06:30 pm on Sundays, public holidays and the first Friday of the month. In order to pray the rosary in Krakow-Łagiewniki, you can also join in the on-line transmission. Rosary meditations in the spirit of the Divine Mercy and human mercy (including the writings of St. Faustina) are also available in our Misericordia store at the Łagiewniki Shrine and on our website: www.saint-faustina.org

On 6 July falls the 142th anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa Ewa nee Sułkowska, Countess Potocka, the founder of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland. Is it a small thing to save one soul, she wrote. This idea guided her life and work, which she established to rescue women and girls in need of deep moral renewal (“the Magdalenas”). The Congregation later gave to the Church and the world the trasure that was Sister Faustina, apostle of Divine Mercy who is now recognized as its spiritual co-founder. Mother Teresa Potocka died in the palace of Wilanów. Her mortal remains rest in the tomb of the Congregation at the Powązki cemetery in Warsaw. We do not call her a saint, because only the Church has the right to give that title, said Fr. Zygmunt Golian, her spiritual director, in the funeral speech. However, let our efforts at work, for which he was ready to give her life, prove her sanctity. More information about the life and work of Mother Teresa Potocka can be found here.

From June 30 to July 2, a vocational retreat for girls and women will take place in the Discalced Carmelites monastery in Lorinčík near Košice in the south of Slovakia, themed “Lord, if you want, you can”. It will be led by the Carmelite Fathers and Sr. Benediktína Fečová from the Košice community of the Congregation of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy.

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 October: for faith and love in families and for the reconciliation of marriages broken and in crisis.

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.saint-faustina.org 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.

 

From June 25-28, 75 young women from the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia, will participate in an annual camp organized for the discernment of life’s vocation. The motto of the summer camps is We pray hard and play hard! Sister Faustia and Sister Grace from the Washington, D.C.,  community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will talk about what a vocation is, how to discern it, what types of vocations there are, what it’s like to be a sister…, as well as give personal testimonies, lead prayer and spend time with the girls. The meeting agenda includes Liturgy of the Hours, Mass, Adoration and all kinds of outdoor games.

August 17th is the 21th anniversary of the entrustment of the world to Divine Mercy by Pope John Paul II during his last pilgrimage to Poland at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. After the consecration of the basilica, the Holy Father uttered words in which he entrusted the fate of the world and every human being to God, the Father rich in Mercy. These words became a daily prayer not only for the sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy and the pilgrims coming to the Łagiewniki Shrine, but also to millions of people in the world.

God, Father of Mercy,
Who revealed Your love in your Son, Jesus Christ,
And poured it upon us in the Holy Spirit the Comforter,
today we entrust to you the fate of the world and every human being.
Look upon over us sinners,
heal our weakness,
overcome all the evil,
let all the inhabitants of the Earth experience Your Mercy,
In You, the Triune God,
we have always found a source of hope.
God, Father of Mercy,
for your painful torment and the Resurrection of Your Son
have mercy on us and on the whole world.

The annual retreat for worshipers of Divine Mercy will take place on June 24-26 at the Jesuit retreat house in Prešov, Slovakia. The retreat with God’s greatest attribute, which is His mercy, will be led by Sr. M. Benediktína Fečová ISMM from the Košice community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy together with the Jesuit Fathers from the Prešov community.

On the occasion of the 38th World Youth Day in Portugal, the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy is launching a Brazilian Portuguese version of the Faustyna.pl website, to be operated by Sisters of the convent in Rio de Janeiro. The website features source texts on the mystery of the Divine Mercy, Mary the Mother of Mercy, St. Faustina, her life, mission and spirituality, Shrines of Divine Mercy in Poland and worldwide, and also tells about the life and activities of the Congregation where the Apostle of Divine Mercy lived and died. The website also has the online video streams from the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, the Chaplet for the Dying and the Perpetual Chaplet in addition to contracts for downloading the miracle-famous Divine Mercy Image and the photos and images of St. Faustina.

It is the ninth language version of the website, apart from the Polish, English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian and Slovak ones, which was created thanks to the apostolic service of the team of translators and consultants under the direction of Robert Jankowski, our IT team and the Sisters of the Congregation of the Lady of Mercy.

“I betroth you to Jesus Christ”. These are the words 3 sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will hear from Bishop Jan Zając on August 2nd during their perpetual vows at 10:00 a.m. The ceremony will take place in the chapel with the famous Divine Mercy image and the tomb of St. Faustina at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. The vows of chastity, poverty and obedience will be made in the presence of the Superior General, Mother Miriam Janiec. The ceremony will be attended by sisters, priests, families and friends. It will be one of the most important days in the lives of these sisters, the Congregation and the Church—the espousal of God and the human soul.