THE RULE OF
THE MEMBERS OF
THE “FAUSTINUM” ASSOCIATION
I. Preliminary remarks
3. A member of the Faustinum Association can be a person who has attained majority [completed the eighteenth year of age]; who, having discovered within himself a calling to a life and apostolate in the spirit of mercy and having followed a year-long volunteer period in the Association, has submitted the necessary documents (letter of application, personal questionnaire, reference from the parish priest, and two other references confirmed by a member of the clergy with the signature and seal); and who has subsequently been accepted among its members in a secret ballot of the Executive Board of the Faustinum Association.
4. Out of many possible ways of imitating Christ and of being involved in His salvific mission, the members of the Faustinum Association select the one which is marked out by the charism of St. Faustina.
5. Having discovered within themselves the charism of St. Faustina, the members of the Faustinum Association oblige themselves to proclaim to the world Jesus’ message of Mercy through the testimony of their own lives, lived in the spirit of trust in God and mercy towards neighbors, as well as by word and prayer.
6. Their involvement in the work of St. Faustina is at the same time a participation in the spirituality and mission of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy; thus, the members of the Faustinum Association are the Congregation’s closest collaborators who fulfill its charism in various environments throughout the world. By doing so, they are able to participate in the spiritual goods of the Congregation.
II. Knowledge of the mystery of God’s mercy and its contemplation in everyday life
- Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church, particularly that of pope John Paul II.
- St. Faustina’s Diary.
- Sacramental life, personal prayer and reflection which enable one to better perceive the signs of God’s mercy in one’s life.
- Literature concerning the mystery of God’s mercy as well the life and mission of St. Faustina; the above literature should have the imprimatur of the Church and be recommended for the Faustinum formation.
9. Knowledge of the mystery of God’s mercy is facilitated by a specially designed formation program prepared for the apostles of Divine Mercy grouped in the Faustinum Association; this course of study, followed either individually or in a community, is mandatory for all members.
10. As far as possible, members of the Faustinum Association shall participate in formation meetings and take advantage of the specially organized days of recollection and retreats.
11. Systematic penetration into the mystery of God’s mercy should lead members to its contemplation in everyday life and to the discovery of the gift of the indwelling of the Holy Trinity in the souls of the just (those who are in a state of grace). Among others, St. Faustina’s practice serves this purpose. This practice consists in uniting oneself frequently with the Merciful Jesus, who is present within the soul, through an exclamatory prayer selected for a given month.
III. Proclaiming God’s mercy with one’s life
IV. Proclaiming God’s mercy by word
V. Proclaiming God’s mercy by prayer
- Every day, they recite the chaplet of the Divine Mercy.
- As far as is possible, they should practice prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3 p.m.) on a daily basis.
- They venerate the image of Merciful Jesus, i.e., they pray before it with trust and combine their trustful prayer with acts of mercy.
- They solemnly celebrate Mercy Sunday (the first Sunday after Easter), for which they prepare themselves by a good confession of sins and a novena of the chaplet of Divine Mercy.
28. Acting upon the advice of the Lord Jesus, members of the Faustinum Association shall join their prayers, works and sufferings with His prayer, work and suffering, so that they will have power before God and fruitfully contribute to the mission of revealing the merciful love of the heavenly Father towards people and to their salvation.
29. In a special way, members of the Faustinum Association shall implore mercy for sinners and the dying, so that they take advantage of the time of mercy and not perish forever; they shall also entreat mercy for priests and religious, so that they effectively lead the people of God along the paths of salvation. Their prayers should moreover embrace the apostles of Divine Mercy united in Faustinum, deceased and living, as well as the sisters of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy and the priests involved in the work of Faustinum.
30. In their prayers, members of the Faustinum Association shall call upon the mighty intercession of Our Lady of Mercy and St. Faustina, by reciting, e.g., the rosary, the chaplet to Our Lady of Mercy, the litany of Loreto, the litany of Saint Faustina, and the prayer to obtain graces through the intercession of Saint Faustina.
31. The patronal feast of the Faustinum Association is the liturgical solemnity of St. Faustina – October 5. On this day, priests may offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass using the formula of the votive Mass for St. Faustina, while everyone may say the Liturgy of the Hours of Saint Faustina, virgin. By tradition, on this day take place the ceremonies of acceptance of members to Faustinum, the handing out of Association badges, and the making of promises of devotion and service to the Divine Mercy.
- Continually strive for sanctity.
- Fathom the mystery of God’s mercy.
- In the course of the day unite themselves with the Merciful Jesus dwelling in their souls and experience with Him all daily events.
- Give an ever more perfect witness of trust in the Lord God in all circumstances of life, particularly in the experience of the cross.
- Proclaim the message of Mercy in all possible ways through deed, word and prayer.
34. Promises may be taken by those members of the Faustinum Association who meet the following conditions:
- hey have completed a 4-year formation program and have obtained a positive grade from a sister responsible for the formation in a given language (have passed the so called “formation test”).
- They desire to dedicate themselves more fully to the Divine Mercy and serve the work of mercy, which they will express in a letter of application addressed to the Executive Board of the Faustinum Association.
- They present a written certificate from the priest who leads a Faustinum community in their parish, or else a priest who acts as the spiritual director of the given person, expressing approval to make this act.
35. When taking the decision to make promises, the members of the Faustinum Association shall remember that it is better not to make promises but to live them than to make promises and not fulfill them (or: shall remember that they enter more deeply into the spiritual life and should strive for faithfulness in fulfilling the obligations).
36. Promises may be made for one year and may subsequently be renewed for 5 successive years. After this period, they may be taken for one’s entire life. In order to take temporary or perpetual promises, the Executive Board of the Association has to grant its approval with an absolute majority of votes (50% + 1), based on the application letter submitted by the Faustinum member which presents his motivation for the request and on the basis of the certificate of the priest who leads a given Faustinum community or the person requesting to make the promises.
37. The formula of the promises is the following:
Responding to the grace of the Holy Spirit, in union with the Merciful Jesus, I………………..dedicate myself to You, the Triune God, and promise for one year (my entire life) to proclaim Your mercy to the world with my life, word and prayer, so that through me the message of Mercy might reach many people and fill their hearts with hope. I desire to be an instrument in the hands of Your mercy which will fulfill Your holy will. May Mary, the Mother of Mercy, and Saint Faustina help me in this. Amen.
38. The office of the Faustinum Association keeps a book of members who have made promises. In it is recorded their personal data, the day the promises were made, and the period for which they were made. In the personal files are also kept copies of the formula of promises, signed by the person making and the person receiving the promises.
39. For serious reasons, a Faustinum member may be released from the promises by the Executive Board of the Association upon the member’s request or in the event of membership cessation.
40. Membership in the Faustinum Association terminates as a consequence of the following:
- Acceptance by the Executive Board of a member’s written resignation.
- Removal by the Executive Board of a member from the circle, after two prior reprimands due to neglect of the obligatory formation or failure to pass the formation test in the course of 8 years from the date of admittance into the circle of Faustinum members.
- Removal by the Executive Board, after two prior reprimands due to reprehensible conduct, incompatible with the dignity of an apostle of the Divine Mercy, or due to disobedience to the authorities of the Association, which was
declared at the time of applying for membership, and likewise because of neglect of other statutory obligations.
VII. Final resolutions
|Sr. M. Elżbieta
|Mother. M. Gracjana
Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of
Warsaw, October 13, 2003