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April 30th is the 23th anniversary of the canonization of Sr. Faustina Kowalska from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy, an apostle of Divine Mercy. Her canonization took place at St. Peter’s Square in Rome and at the Shrine in Krakow-Łagiewniki in the year 2000. Saint Faustina described the event with details more than 60 years earlier, at the end of March 1937 (Diary, 1044-1048). Whoever participated in these events knows that her vision was fulfilled accurately. On that day, the Holy Father John Paul II introduced the Feast of Divine Mercy for the whole Church and provided it with the message of Mercy as articulated by St. Faustina for the third millennium of our faith. You can find out more the testimony of miraculous healing which was tested for the canonization, a description of the event and the canonization homily of the Holy Father at faustyna.pl. We give daily thanks for this “gift of God our time”, as St. Faustina and the message of Mercy which she provided us with were called by St. John Paul II. Millions of people around the world are joining in St. Faustina’s prophetic mission of proclaiming the biblical truth about the merciful Love of God to the world through the witness of life, deeds, words and prayer, creating the Apostolic Movement of the Divine Mercy, which is the “new congregation” as demanded by Jesus. May the anniversary of the Apostle of Divine Mercy’s canonization be an opportunity for us not only to give thanks, but also to explore the abundant heritage of the Saint.

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Blisko Rahamim [Around Rahamim] is the name of a YouTube, Facebook and Instagram account opened this January as a new evangelistic space on the Internet, run by Sr. Gaudia Skass and the Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy. It provides a space for sharing the happiness of living close to the merciful God. Blisko Rahamim’s first production is a podcast titled Zbliżenia (Encounters). In the roughly half-hour episodes that appear every Sunday evening, we zoom in on the image of Merciful Jesus, discovering symbol by symbol what God is like, how He presents Himself through the image He asked to be painted. Two primary sources for the podcast musings are Scripture and the Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska.

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 April is prayer for the spiritual rebirth of mankind and its confident turn towards God’s Mercy.

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 April in all the chapels of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, including the one of the miracle-famous Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina at the Shrine in Krakow-Łagiewniki, evening devotions in honor of Divine Mercy will take place, during which the Litany of Divine Mercy will be recited. The words of the litany were written down by St. Faustina in her Diary and her Vilnius confessor, Bl. Fr. Michael Sopocko, composed the prayer on this basis. Praying with her words, we not only praise God’s Mercy, but also get to know the mystery of God’s merciful Love more, which accompanies man in all the dimensions of his earthly life, accompanying him always and everywhere.

The Second National Faustinum Convention will be held in Loreto on April 21-23 this year. It will be attended by Sister Emanuela Gemza, president of the Faustinum Association Divine Mercy of Apostles and Sister Eliana Chmielewska from the Krakow community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy, and Sister Wincenta Mąka from the community in Rome.  The program includes ceremonies for the reception of new members.

On Sunday, April 23, the 7th National Bible Reading will take place, this time selected texts from the Gospel according to St. John. Ceremonial celebration led by bishop Andrzej Kaleta will take place at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki at 7.00 a.m and will be broadcasted together with the Eucharist by TVP1 and on the website: www.saint-faustina.org, You Tube and on mobile applications: faustyna.pl . Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, chairman of the EPP and Mateusz Morawiecki, president of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Poland took the patronage over the event.

The Sisters from the community of our Congregation in Washington, D.C., organize the next “Evening with Merciful Jesus” on April 22nd at the John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, D.C . This month’s special guest will be Michael Corsini – husband, father of five, painter, illustrator and musician, whose life has been transformed by the power of Merciful Love!

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.

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of when relics of St. Faustina Kowalska were introduced, which also is the 10th anniversary of the Faustinum Association formation group in Slovenska Ľupča, a retreat will be held on April 21-22 at the Holy Trinity Parish Church in Slovenska Ľupča, Slovakia. Following the invitation of the Dean, Fr. Petr Ivanič, it will be delivered by Sr. M. Antoniana Štullerová from the community of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Košice, and Sisters M. Clareta Fečová and M. Mariela Lengyjelová from the community at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki.  The festivities will conclude with Sunday Mass at 10.30 am, with Bp. Stanislav Stolárik of Rožňava as the main celebrant.

April 18 is the 30th anniversary of the beatification of Sister Faustina. Therefore, it is an excellent opportunity to thank God for her life, her school of spirituality, her prophetic mission to remind the world of the biblical truth about God’s merciful love for man and to proclaim it with a new strength through the witness of life in a spirit of trust in God and mercy towards others, word and prayer. Today, there is no country left in the world without an image of Merciful Jesus painted according to the vision she had in Płock. The Feast of Mercy has been inscribed in the liturgical calendar of the universal Church, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, dictated by the Lord Jesus in Vilnius, is recited even in tribal languages ​​on tiny islands in the oceans, and prayer is increasingly practiced at the moment when Jesus died on the cross, called the Hour Mercy as more and more people join in spreading the message of Mercy, creating today a multi-million movement of the Apostles of Divine Mercy.

The main celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy is always held at the Shrine in Krakow-Łagiewniki, where, with the death of St. Faustina, God deposited her entire spiritual inheritance, and thus also Jesus’ request for the establishment of this feast. And although Divine Mercy Sunday has been included in the liturgical calendar of the entire Church since 2000, pilgrims from all over the world, from all continents, continue to come to the main celebration of this feast at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, this year from almost 40 countries, even as far-away ones as Burkina Faso, Vietnam, Korea, South Africa, Rwanda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Uganda, India, Indonesia, New Zealand, Philippines, USA and Canada, in addition to Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela) and more than a dozen countries in Europe.

Such is the theme of the first prayerful initiative organized by the Faustinum Apostles of Divine Mercy Association on the Feast of Mercy. This prayer fulfills the request Jesus uttered to St. Faustina. On My feast day, on the Feast of Mercy, you shall go round the whole world – the Lord Jesus said to Sister Faustina – and bring fainting souls to the fount of My mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them (Diary, 206)Participants in the event came from all countries around the world, and everyone who took part in the prayer offered the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the intentions of the people a given country. The largest number of people this year prayed for Poland, Russia, Australia, Italy, Albania, the US and China.

For more information, go to: www.faustinum.pl

On My feast day, on the Feast of Mercy, you shall go round the whole world the Lord Jesus said to Sister Faustina – and bring fainting souls to the fount of My mercy. I shall heal and strengthen them (Diary, 206. Inspired by these words, the Faustinum Apostles of Divine Mercy Association is organizing a prayer action themed Please have mercy on us and the whole world. Anyone who will offer a Divine Mercy Chaplet for the people of a selected country on the Feast of Mercy on April 16 will be a participant. For details and participation guidelines, go to www.faustinum.pl

Mercy Sunday at the Shrine of St. Faustina in Kiekrz will be preceded by a triduum, celebrated by Fr. Hieronim Stypa, O.F.M. From April 13 to 15, Mass will be celebrated at 6 p.m. with a dedicated homily.

On Mercy Sunday, April 16, the solemn service at noon will be presided over by Fr. Krystian Sammer, celebrated at the field altar by “Little Kierskie Lake”, the site of Jesus’ revelation to the Apostle of Divine Mercy. It will be accompanied by live music by Marek Kraśkiewicz and the Blessband. Holy Mass will be preceded by a procession with relics of St. Faustina, which will march from the convent yard to the lake. At 3 pm, the Hour of Mercy and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be prayed.

On the octave of the Resurrection, the greatest feast of the Catholic Church, ends on the Feast of Divine Mercy, widely called the Mercy Sunday. Jesus demanded the establishment of the feast when He revealed Himself to St. Faustina, repeatedly expressing His desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy: He said: I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. (Diary, 699). On this day, we can receive the grace of washing of regeneration (one of the graces of baptism), but also obtain many other graces and earthly blessings, if they are in accordance with the will of God. The condition is a pure heart without attachment to sin and the attitude of trust in God, which is the desire to do His will and active love of one’s neighbors. The only vessel for drawing the graces is trust, as Jesus taught St. Faustina, because God’s Mercy has no limits and the joy of God is to give much – very much. Such is the Merciful Love we can get to know better and venerate as we celebrate the holiday. Click here to learn more about the Feast and its history in the Church.

The Feast of Mercy, in accordance with the wishes of Jesus expressed to St. Faustina and the decisions of the Holy Father John Paul II, is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter (this year it is April 16). The central ceremony held at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki. They will be preceded by a novena of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy made on Good Friday, and a night vigil which starts in the Basilica on Saturday at 9:00 pm. Sunday Masses at the Shrine of Divine Mercy will be the celebrated according to the following program:

12:00 am (midnight) – Bp Janusz Mastalski (basilica).
6:00 am – Fr. Michał Kania (basilica).
8:00 am – Bp Damian Muskus (basilica).
10:00 am – Bp Marek Jędraszewski, Archbishop of Krakow – field altar in front of the basilica – transmission in TVP 1.
10:30 am – Holy Mass in English, Fr. Bernardo Ibarra, IVE (chapel of the miraculous image of Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina).
12:30 pm – ks. Tomasz Szopa (basilica).

3:00 pm – Hour of Mercy and Chaplet of Divine Mercy – Fr. Zbigniew Bielas, Rector of the Shrine and the sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy (basilica).

4:00 pm – Bp Roman Pindel (basilica).
6:00 pm – Bp Robert Chrząszcz (basilica).
7:00 pm – Fr. Grzegorz Zembroń, M.S. (chapel of the miracle-famous Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina).

Masses from the basilica, the Hour of Mercy prayer (3:00 pm), and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be broadcast by TV Milosierdzie at the website of our Rectory, www.milosierdzie.pl, whereas Holy Mass at 10.30 am, 7:00 pm and visitation of the Divine Mercy Image and the tomb of St. Faustina by pilgrims will be live streamed at www.saint-faustina.en .

At the Shrine of Divine Mercy at the Old Market Square in Płock, the site of St.  Faustina’s revelation of the Divine Mercy image and the Feast of Mercy, Mercy Sunday (16 April) services will be celebrated at the following times:  8:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. (High Mass presided over by Bishop Szymon Stułkowski, pastor of the Płock diocese), and 5:00 p.m. At 3 pm, the Hour of Mercy and Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be prayed. At 6 p.m. there will be a live performance of Divine Mercy themed songs.

Mercy Sunday will be preceded by prayer vigil on 15 April, from 9 p.m., which will conclude with Holy Mass at midnight.

On April 12 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.

Good Friday is the first day of the novena before the feast of Divine Mercy. Jesus asked St. Faustina to use it in order to prepare for the celebration, in which we worship God in the mystery of His unfathomable Mercy. The novena consists of nine days of recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Jesus said about the power of this novena that it entreat just about everything which is in accordance with God’s will, which means that is good for us on earth and in eternity. Out of devotion, you can also recite a novena which Jesus dictated to Sister Faustina. The ceremonial start of this novena will take place at the Shrine of Divine Mercy after the prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3:00 pm), which is celebrated and experienced  in a special way on Good Friday. Live broadcast on-line  and TVP 3.

Allelujah!!! Jesus lives!!! He lives among us and in us, when we are in a state of grace. Love wins over sin and life over death.  Jesus overcame all evil and Satan, the enemy of man. Since then we can also can gain the victory over sin and human weakness through Jesus, and thus live more fully in communion with God. Let God’s mercy be praised in us and through us! We wish you all joyous celebration of this greatest mystery of our faith!

On the occasion of Easter and the Feast of Divine Mercy, the Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy would like to wish all our Benefactors, Associates supporting our apostolic works, as well as Visitors to the Congregation’s website and Members of the Facebook group of the Shrine of Divine Mercy. May you all experience a joyful encounter with the risen, merciful Lord. He is the One who brings peace which the world cannot give, fills our hearts with love and always bestows blessings, as we see Him in the Image which He instructed St. Faustina to paint. We also wish you all graces, and on the Feast of Mercy, may you be granted the greatest promise of Jesus, which is complete absolution from sins and punishment. Blessed Easter to you all!!!

In the Catholic Church, Holy Saturday is a day of mourning after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. In churches and chapels, the “Tomb of the Lord” is arranged, we adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, thanking Him for the work of Redemption and graces brought by the Cross for our salvation, and we beg for mercy for us and the whole world. At the Shrine of Divine Mercy in the morning, foods are blessed on the Christmas table. About 3:00 pm, prayer at the Hour of Mercy is observed, combined with the novena before the Feast of  Divine Mercy, followed by memoration of the descent of Jesus into the abyss. After nightfall, at 8:00 pm in front of the basilica, the rites of the Easter Vigil will begin with the Eucharist, where candles should be brought, because this liturgy renews our vows of baptism.

The greatest miracles of Divine Mercy take place in the confessional, as they turn the death of sin to life. Jesus said to St. Sister Faustina: Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy [the Sacrament of Reconciliation] There the greatest miracles take place [and] are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no [hope of] restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God‟s mercy! You will call out in vain, but it will be too late (Diary, 1448). At the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki, priests stay in confessionals every day – from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm in the basilica (from Maundy Thursday until 5:45 pm), and 6:00 am-6:30 am and 4:30 pm-6:00 pm. Since in the Holy Week there are long queues to the confessionals, we recommend coming earlier to confess rather than wait the last days before Easter.

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.

Trust. This distrust of My goodness hurts Me very much.  If My death has not convinced you of My love, what will? (Diary, 580), Jesus complained to St. Faustina. His life, teachings, and miracles most fully revealed the goodness of God and his merciful love to the world. And yet, it so difficult for us to trust in God, so deep is our wound of distrust left by the original sin and our personal sins. Sister Faustina lifts the veil of heaven so we can deepen our knowledge of God’s merciful love, most fully revealed by Jesus’ passion and death on the Cross. This knowledge awakens and grows an attitude of trust in us, which expresses itself in fulfilling God’s will contained in the Commandments, the word of God, duties of the state or inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The will of God, as St. Faustina used to say, is mercy itself, which is why she served it faithfully and prayed with the words: Should You take me in my youth, be blessed; should You let me live to a ripe old age, be blessed. Should You give me health and strength, be blessed; should You confine me to a bed of pain for my whole life, be blessed. Should you give only failures and disappointments in life, be blessed. Should You allow my purest intentions to be condemned, be blessed. Should You enlighten my mind, be blessed. Should You leave me in darkness and all kinds of torments, be blessed. From this moment on, I live in the deepest peace, because the Lord himself is carrying me in the hollow of His hand. He, Lord of unfathomable mercy, knows that I desire Him alone in all things, always and everywhere (Diary, 1264). Doing the will of God is not only an expression of trust in Him, but also a release from fear, pride and selfishness, that brings peace and joy to the heart, so that we can more fully live in the freedom as God’s children and to participate in the life and mission of Jesus. It is the shortest way to union with God in love.

 

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 at 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.

Spending the weekend in prayer and with the Gospel is not only an opportunity to stop and draw new strength, but also to meet the One who loves us unimaginably. The Sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy are welcoming young women between the ages of 18 and 30 to Nižny Hrušov, Slovakia, to attend weekend meetings during Lent on: 17-19 March and from 31 March to 2 April. Meetings begin on Friday with Mass at 6 p.m. and end with Sunday dinner.

For more information, please call 0908 883 251 or send an email at hrusov@milosrdenstvo.sk

From March 31 to April 2, Sr. Anastasis Omelchenko and Sr. Bakhita Voranawa of the Petropavlovsk community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy will share the message of Mercy with the faithful in the parish of Chkalovo in Kazakhstan, which is populated mainly by descendants of deportees of Polish and German nationalities. A special topic will be the dignity of women in the Bible and the Diary of St. Faustina.

Mercy and trust – it’s possible is the theme of a retreat for children, teens and adults to be held from March 31 to April 2 at the Parish of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Rzuców. It will be delivered by Sr. Maria Faustyna Ciborowska and Sr. Maria Vianneya Dąbrowska from the community of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki.

April 2th 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 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.saint-faustina.org). 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.