John Paul II prayed for Divine Mercy 20 years ago

Twenty years ago today, on August 17, 2002, Pope John Paul II dedicated the International Shrine of the Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki, Poland, entrusting the world to the mercy of God.

 

The pope said, “I desire solemnly to surrender the world to Divine Mercy,” as he stood in front of the picture of Divine Mercy. I do this with a burning desire for all peoples of the world to know about and find hope in Saint Faustina’s message of God’s gracious love, which is being preached here.

He prayed the following after his homily:

God, merciful Father,

in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed your love

and poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter,

We entrust to you today the destiny of the world and of every man and woman.

Bend down to us sinners,

heal our weakness,

conquer all evil,

and grant that all the peoples of the earth

may experience your mercy.

In You, the Triune God,

may they ever find the source of hope.

Eternal Father,

by the Passion and Resurrection of your Son,

have mercy on us and upon the whole world!

For Maria Faustina Kowalska, the consecration and entrustment of the world to Divine Mercy symbolised the accomplishment of a mission (1905-1938).

A young, underprivileged nun from Poland named Faustina had visions of Jesus in which he begged her to spread the word about his message of unending love and compassion to all people.

She entered the visions into her journal under the direction of her spiritual guide.

Jesus urged her to have a painting created of him as he appeared to her during his visits. She wrote down the vision in her diary:

 

“Paint a picture using the pattern you see, and add the words, “Jesus, I trust in You.” I want this picture to be revered, first in your church, then all around the globe. I guarantee that no person that worships this picture will perish.

 

In a different encounter, he requested the nun’s assistance in establishing Divine Mercy Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter, as a means of extending salvation to all people.

 

“This Feast arose from the very depths of My kindness, and it is reinforced in the enormous depths of My loving mercies,” Jesus said in the words Faustina recounted. Every person that trusts and believes in My kindness will get it.

Pope John Paul II also felt compelled to contribute to the accomplishment of this purpose.

 

If St. Faustina served as the first recipient of the Divine Mercy message, her Polish compatriot made sure that the demands Jesus made of the nun were granted and that the devotion spread all over the globe.

 

Karol Wojtyla initially became aware of St. Faustina’s insights and the doctrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow as a young seminarian in 1940. Later in life, when he was a priest, he often stopped by the monastery where Faustina stayed to pray and organise retreats.

 

He spearheaded the attempt to have Faustina’s case heard by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints after he was appointed Archbishop of Krakow, and he stood up for her when the veracity of her allegations was contested in Rome.

On November 30, 1980, the pope released his second encyclical, Dives in misericordia (Rich in compassion).

 

Pope John Paul II visited The Shrine of Merciful Love in Collevalenza, Italy, the following year while recuperating from an attempted assassination. There, he disclosed that he believed preaching about Divine compassion to be his greatest vocation.

 

“Right from the start of my ministry at the St. Peter’s See in Rome, I saw this message as my unique responsibility. In the context of the current state of man, the Church, and the world, Providence has given it to me. One may argue that this particular circumstance gave me the job of bringing that message to God.

 

On April 18, 1993, during Saint Faustina’s beatification, the pope expressed his joy at seeing the spread of the Divine Mercy devotion.

“Her mission is still going strong and bearing incredible results. It is absolutely amazing to see how her commitment to the compassionate Jesus is capturing the hearts of so many people today! the pope stated.

 

There was still work to be done. Pope John Paul II canonised Saint Faustina Kowalska on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 30, 2000, and proclaimed the Second Sunday of Easter as “Sunday of Divine Mercy

 

Pope John Paul II expressed his hope that people might learn of God’s mercy as he surrendered the world to Divine Mercy twenty years ago today. He remarked, quoting from Faustina’s journal:

“May this word spread from this location to our cherished country and the whole globe.

May the Lord Jesus’s unbreakable promise come true, because from this place must come “the spark that will ready the world for his last arrival (cf. Diary, 1732).”

“God’s grace must be used to ignite this spark. The world needs to be touched by this merciful fire.

 

The world will discover peace and contentment in God’s kindness for humanity! I give this responsibility to you, dear Brothers and Sisters, to the Church in Kraków and Poland, as well as to all the Divine Mercy devotees who will travel to this location from Poland and other countries. May you serve as examples of kindness! said he.

 

Nowadays, Catholics all over the globe are known for their devotion to Divine Mercy.

Churches, shrines, and religious organisations have made it their mission to spread the word St. Faustina heard and which Pope John Paul II saw as his “job before God.””

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