Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The last time we were here the new St John Paul II Center was still under construction, though still spectacular. Today we saw the finished product and it was stunning and everyone enjoyed it. In the center of the huge sanctuary is a vial of the Pope’s blood.

A short drive to the Divine Mercy Convent and Basilica. Here we had a talk from one of the Sisters, Mass at the basilica in front of the bones of St. Faustina. We prayed the Divine Mercy Litany during Mass (homily here). Then time to enjoy the church, lunch, shopping for religious items and to walk the grounds.   It was also great to learn more about St Faustina and learn about her life and where she lived.

Then to downtown old city Krakow for a tour of the churches and all the sites, one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Everyone scattered in the later afternoon and evening to enjoy the many wonderful cafés and restaurants in the old city and out in the huge square and open-air markets. Some went to the Chopin concert.

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Since we are visiting the convent of St. Maria Faustina, I thought I would share this meditation on the Divine Mercy of God.

Mary knew mercy. Mary saw mercy. The mercy was so real and visible and close it may have splashed on her face. Sister Faustina’s Divine Mercy shows the blood and water springing from the side of Christ, the fountain of mercy. Mary stood at the foot of the Cross where the blood and water flowed from her Son’s side.

 Mercy became flesh in Mary’s womb in Nazareth; Mary gave birth to Mercy in Bethlehem; she raised her Son and lived with Mercy for thirty years before sending him out to be and show mercy for three years.

Then she saw the ultimate Mercy demonstrated in such a divine and human manner— the Son of God, her own son, hanging on the Cross to make mercy available to all people.

John 19:34  “But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.”

Imagine standing in all these places in the Holy Land when we go and celebrating it here with the nuns at the bones of St. Maria Faustina where we will pray the Divine Mercy with the sisters today. Imagine eating the Body and Blood of Our Lord — mercy itself — in the very places he showed us what mercy was. Join us in the Holy Land this fall.

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Since today we are praying the Divine Mercy at the bones of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska at the convent in Poland, I thought I would share this short biography and history.

Click here for the whole story with pictures….

The Biography of St. Maria Faustina. (August 25, 1905 – October 5, 1938)?

An excerpt from Apostle of Divine Mercy, a biography published by the Vatican.

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, an apostle of Divine Mercy, one of the most popular and well-known saints of the Church. Through her, the Lord Jesus communicates to the world the great message of God’s mercy and reveals the pattern of Christian perfection based on trust in God and on the attitude of mercy toward one’s neighbors.

Sister Faustina was born on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiec, Poland of a poor and religious family of peasants, the third of 10 children. She was baptized with the name Helena in the parish church of Swinice Warckie. From a very tender age she stood out because of her love of prayer, work, obedience, and also her sensitivity to the poor.

At the age of seven she had already felt the first stirrings of a religious vocation. Helen made her first Holy Communion at the age of nine, which was very profound moment in her awareness of the presence of the Divine Guest within her soul. She attended school for three years. After finishing school, she wanted to enter the convent, but her parents would not give her permission. Being of age at 16, Helen left home and went to work as a housekeeper in Aleksandrów, Lodi, and Ostrówek in order to find the means of supporting herself and of helping her parents.

Helen joins Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy: Helen never lost her desire for a religious vocation. After being called during a vision of the Suffering Christ, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on August 1, 1925, and took the name Sr. Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. She lived in the Congregation for thirteen years in several religious houses. She spent time at Krakow, Plock and Vilnius, where she worked as a cook, gardener, and porter.

Externally nothing revealed her rich mystical interior life. She zealously performed her tasks and faithfully observed the rule of religious life. She was recollected and at the same time very natural, serene, and full of kindness and disinterested love for her neighbor. Although her life was apparently insignificant, monotonous and dull, she hid within herself an extraordinary union with God.

Click here for the whole story with pictures….

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