Marie and I are on a Divine Mercy pilgrimage to Poland. It is organized by the John Paul II Centre for Divine Mercy in Ottawa: http://jp2centre.com
We are among a group of 50 pilgrims including 3 priests from the Companions of the Cross congregation.
What is the Divine Mercy (devotion)? A devotion first of all, is a practice of piety not part of the official liturgy of the Roman Catholic Church but part of the spiritual practice of Catholics. An example is the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The Divine Mercy message is that Jesus Christ’s gift of mercy to each of us is his most important gift. In a series of visits, he conveyed the importance of his mercy to Sister and mystic Faustina Kowalska (now Saint) in Poland during the 1930’s. He asked her to inform the world. She faithfully documented these visions and messages in her extensive diary.
Jesus also asked St. Faustina to:
– have his image painted with the blue and white rays emanating from his heart with the inscription “Jesus I trust in You”
– pray and teach others the Divine Mercy Chaplet using the Rosary
– have the first Sunday after Easter declared Divine Mercy Sunday in the Church
In 2000 Pope John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina and declared Divine Mercy Sunday on the first Sunday after Easter, just as Jesus had requested. Poland is the spark for all this. We are very excited to be going there to see the places where Saint Faustina lived, prayed and experienced Christ’s presence and to visit her shrine in Krakow. We also will be visiting the Marion shrine of our Lady of Czestochowa (The Black Madonna) and the John Paul II Sanctuary shrine in Krakow.
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