The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy has embarked on a further expansion of the Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Kraków-Łagiewniki. The Congregation plans to build a further complex, dedicated for use as follows: provision for pilgrims and Apostles of The Divine Mercy; to house the St. Sister Faustina multimedia museum; for scientific research purposes, a library, archives, documentation of the veneration of The Divine Mercy; and, finally, for the “Misericordia” publishing house.
Donations for the expansion may be paid into the following bank accounts:
Zgromadzenie Sióstr Matki Bożej Miłosierdzia
(The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy)
ul. Siostry Faustyny 3, 30-608 Kraków,
Phone +48 12 351 88 00
BNP Paribas Bank Polska S.A.
Odział w Krakowie, ul Armii Krajowej 28
PLN: 34 1600 1013 0002 0012 3671 2150
EUR: 46 1600 1013 0002 0012 3671 2031
USD: 41 1600 1013 0002 0012 3671 2024
Kod swiftowy banku: PPABPLPK
WHAT IS STILL NEEDED AT ŁAGIEWNIKI?
The Shrine in Łagiewniki is a place known literally on every continent, and every year pilgrims come there from over 80 countries worldwide. Each and every letter of the alphabet could be followed by the names of several countries from which pilgrims come to our Shrine. This place is special for everyone regardless of their origin or language, as can often be evidenced by faces of every colour and folk dressed in their traditional costumes (like Indian saris, Japanese kimonos and Native-American headdresses). Words such as: mercy, Barmherzigkeit, milosrdenstvo, misericordia, милосердие, rahamim … can be heard almost every day at Łagiewniki. No one is surprised at this since Łagiewniki is the centre of the devotion to The Divine Mercy, the heart and source of the message given by Christ to Sister Faustina. It is a spiritual centre for those who, worshipping God, know Him to be “rich in mercy”. It is also known as the place where the relics of one of the greatest saints in the history of the Church are laid to rest. Finally, it is a place where even popes come on pilgrimage, not to mention cardinals, bishops, priests, and priest-chaplains together with the faithful; all come to the source to ask for graces and to strengthen their hope.
What does Łagiewniki already offer?
Pilgrims visiting Kraków Łagiewniki to come before God and make personal contact with Him can already find here what they need, since this is – as Pope John Paul II declared – a special place, a place chosen by God, where people experience His living presence and grace. For this reason, all pilgrims want to make their way to the convent chapel of the miraculous image of Merciful Jesus and kiss the relics of St. Sister Faustina. Pilgrims want to participate in the liturgy of the Holy Mass, to benefit from the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and if possible spend time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Here, close to the relics of The Divine Mercy Apostle, a spiritual exchange between heaven and earth takes place. Imploring her intercession, pilgrims confidently place their petitions, concerning everyday life matters, large and small, and in return they receive supernatural graces and temporal blessings – sometimes these are truly miracles.
It is also possible for pilgrims to find out about Sister Faustina and her mission from all the following: the publications of the “Misericordia” publishing house; the quarterly “Message of Mercy”; the website https://www.faustyna.pl/; and by attending talks arranged for pilgrims. The Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy are trying to share, in a variety of ways, this gift of God for our times, which is the life and mission of St. Sister Faustina. One such way is through the spiritual formation of the Apostles of The Divine Mercy in the “Faustinum” Association, which is the only community in the Church carrying out, in several languages, formation in the spirit of St. Sister Faustina.
Another extremely important feature of this Shrine is the prayer for mercy for the whole world, especially for spiritual transformation and the graces needed for the conversion of sinners, because St. Faustina sacrificed her whole life for them. Here new forms of devotion to The Divine Mercy are nurtured in a special way. That is why so many pilgrims want to participate in the daily prayer of the Hour of Mercy (15:00), followed by the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Moreover, the Feast of The Divine Mercy draws many people to this place, not only from Poland but from all over the world. The chapels in the lower part of the basilica are used for the celebration of the Liturgy in foreign languages. They were funded by local churches in Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Poland and the Ukraine. Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is waiting day and night in the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration, to listen to weary pilgrims and grant them His graces.
The John Paul II Hall, the viewing tower, and the Pastoral House are also available for pilgrims, this last offering hotel accommodation, a restaurant, a café and a small shopping arcade where devotional items are sold.
What is still needed?
It would seem that the present facilities are enough, but it is still too little compared to the needs of the pilgrims and apostles of The Divine Mercy, whom this place calls to stay, pray, and celebrate days of recollection and retreat, as well as to relax in the holy atmosphere. Pilgrims often wish to stay in the Shrine for several days to make friends with this Saint of “the gray and monotonous days” and to recharge their internal “battery” with the special atmosphere of this place. There is a welcome for everyone at this special source of grace; however, not all the needs of pilgrims and apostles of The Divine Mercy can be met. What is primarily still needed is a new complex of buildings which would make available a wealth of spirituality and further the mission of St. Sister Faustina. This is why the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy is planning a further expansion of the Shrine.
The new complex of buildings is being designed to house conference rooms for pilgrims so that at various times conventions, meetings, scientific conferences, national and international congresses devoted to Divine Mercy can be held, as well as other meetings for organized groups. Another part of the plan involves a retreat house, to cater for all who wish to explore the spirituality and mission of St. Sister Faustina while staying in this special place in her spiritual presence. The complex will also house facilities for the formation of the Apostles of The Divine Mercy conducted by the “Faustinum” Association. The design also includes rooms for a multimedia museum where the mementoes, the whole history of “the Secretary of Divine Mercy” and the impact of her message of Mercy on the Church’s life, will come alive and be made accessible to everyone. Some of the exhibits for the museum are at present deposited in a convent house of the Congregation, but due to lack of suitable premises, they are not made available for pilgrims to view. In the new facility there will also be a place for a library, archives, and a bibliographic and documentation workshop for the devotion to The Divine Mercy – which is a necessary basis for research into the heritage and legacy of Saint Sister Faustina and further study of the mystery of Divine Mercy. Additionally, the “Misericordia” publishing house is in need of proper facilities. The publishing house supports the message of Mercy by its publications in many languages. These cover: books, tapes, CDs and DVDs, images and other materials furthering the mission of Sister Faustina, including the edition of the quarterly “Message of Mercy”.
Is this possible?
Naturally, the planned expansion of the Shrine is beyond the strength and capabilities of the Congregation. However, as in the case of the construction of the basilica in Łagiewniki Shrine, the Sisters are counting on the participation of people of good will who want to contribute to this place, to the mission and to the spreading of the message of Mercy to the world. The sisters will continue to return the favour by their prayers and by commending all donors to The Divine Mercy.
Sr. M. Koleta Fronckowiak OLM
This article appeared in the quarterly “Message of Mercy” 72 (2009), pp. 8-9.
Translated by Orest Pawlak