Diary: St. Maria Faustina Kowalska Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263 www.marian.org Used with permission
In our desire to help you start a Divine Mercy Apostolate or become Apostles of Jesus, The Divine Mercy, we would like to share our journey with you. The purpose of this account is solely for the glory of God in the event that you will be inspired to spread Jesus' Work of Mercy.
We did what we could based on our resources, allowing Our Lord to take us by the hand and lead us. We put our thoughts into action, not knowing where He would lead us. Our Lord made things happen for us - we met the people He wanted to visit; we took His Image to those He inspired us to take Him to, only to find out He had plans for them or that they were dying, and they died peacefully; our schedule for home visits could never be followed as He chose where He wanted to go and left the home when He was ready to; and He sent people to us who, in turn, have spread The Divine Mercy message and devotion in their own little way.
Our journey has been wonderful and rewarding as we allowed the Holy Spirit to guide us as instruments of His Love with no pressure on our family, work and social obligations. How do we know Our Lord did this? We do not make justifications but simply follow our inspirations and put these into action.
Jesus knocks at the door of our hearts and waits to be let in. Have you heard Him knocking? Will you open your heart and let Him in?
How our Apostolate started
Though our devotion started years before, our Divine Mercy Apostolate in Australia began in early 1998.
One evening, while I was preparing for bed I was inspired to organize a Feast of Mercy celebration, or Divine Mercy Sunday, as it is known today. This inspiration stayed with me all evening and as I wondered how I was going to do it, not knowing how and who to approach, this thought came in reply, "Ask your friend Annie (M). She can help you with the church and a priest." I then rang Annie and presented the idea. She gave me the name of a priest and suggested St Joseph's Church.
The following day, I rang the parish priest to make an appointment. My husband and I went to see him and expressed our desire to celebrate the Feast of Mercy that year. He approved the use of the church for the occasion. I then rang the priest Annie had recommended to invite him to celebrate our very first Feast and presented the plan to our prayer group to seek their support. I contacted key parish priests to ask permission to advertise the event in their parish bulletins, left flyers in their churches and posted notices on their boards.
A couple of years later, we presented the same idea to another parish priest, who asked us to help him organize his parish's Christ The King celebration focusing on Jesus, The Divine Mercy as well as their Feast of Mercy celebrations. We met with key parishioners, explained how we celebrate the Feast, provided them with Prayers and Songs and contacted various parish priests in the surrounding area to advertise the event on their parish bulletins. We helped them through two years of their celebrations and they continue to celebrate the Feast each year.
In addition to our Feast of Divine Mercy celebrations, we asked a friend to frame a few Divine Mercy images and brought them to our parish priest to be blessed. The next step was to select prayers found in Divine Mercy In My Soul and search for relevant songs to be sung during the prayers. I typed these prayers and songs, printed and compiled them in folders. We then organized Home Visits with various prayer groups, families and referrals from friends. When we picked up the Image on the ninth day or 'whenever', each one would recount 'little miracles' granted while Our Lord's Image was with them. We made sure we left a small blessed Image with them to keep Jesus in their hearts.
We even created our own Divine Mercy Kit which we give to the sick, to those visiting the sick and dying, or to anyone we know who is sick or dying. We continue to donate framed Divine Mercy images to retirement homes, parish priests, prayer groups, etc.
We also give away Divine Mercy materials like Divine Mercy leaflets and 3 o'clock prayer cards to individuals who want to help spread The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion or start a Divine Mercy Apostolate.
Every now and then we are approached by people asking about Jesus' Work of Mercy. After sharing the essence of the devotion, we give them a small image blessed from the previous Divine Mercy Sunday, Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novena leaflets, the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion leaflets or Three o'clock prayer cards. A number of them are in need of prayers, so we also pray for them during our regular Divine Mercy prayers.
Our Divine Mercy Apostolate In Progress
Since 1998, we continue to pray for the Elderly, the Sick and the Dying with a group of Divine Mercy devotees and those in need of prayers. Through you, we envisage multiplying prayer groups for the Elderly, the Sick and the Dying in different parishes and we pray Our Lord inspires you and many others to help spread this special Apostolate. In St Faustina's Diary, Divine Mercy In My Soul, Jesus stressed the importance of praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the Dying. He said:
"At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this Chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same. When this Chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God's anger is placated, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of My Son." (Diary, 811)
We have helped parish priests celebrate the Feast of Mercy or Divine Mercy Sunday and individuals who planned to organize a celebration in their respective parishes.
In 2007, my husband and I were invited to an online marketing seminar, supposedly to start an online business. Little did I know Our Lord had other plans as I was inspired to create a worldwide website for Him. This was going to be a big challenge as I simply didn't know much about computers, more so about cyberspace! I found out later that the websites we bought were great for neophytes like me. The very first step was to get a domain name, so I looked at Jesus' Image and asked Him what name He wanted to call it - 'Love and Mercy' came to mind as did 'Trust and Mercy'. After days of deliberation, I opted for the latter since the essence of the Divine Mercy Devotion was absolute Trust in our dearest Lord's Divine Mercy. Thus, www.trustandmercy.com was born.
The next step was a huge hurdle as I honestly didn't know what content to use, so again, I asked Our Lord to help me build His website. Armed with St Faustina's Diary, I'd close my eyes, pray and randomly break it open - lo and behold, Jesus' Message would be on that page. Inspiration upon inspiration helped me create the content and pages. This exercise went on for weeks throughout the night till the wee hours of the morning surrounded by silence. I made sure I lifted Jesus' Messages directly from the Diary rather than summarizing in order to preserve the integrity of His holy Messages - likewise with St Faustina's. Right after it was first published, I sent it to the Executive Director of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception to make sure the website was in conformity with the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion. They provided me with the required Copyright wording, using it where Diary entries and Divine Mercy Images were included. At the First World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in 2008, we met Fr Seraphim Michalenko who said he'd seen the website and wished us well with our Apostolate. We pray www.trustandMercy.com is effective in helping Jesus' Work of Mercy.
We have received a number of requests for help in spreading the Divine Mercy Devotion from a few countries and have sent Divine Mercy Images and materials donated by family and friends who responded to our appeal - we don't hesitate to ask for donations since this is a wonderful opportunity for them to share their blessings.
We launched Love and Mercy Missions I, II & III in April and November 2011 and in May 2012. Blessed replicas of the original Divine Mercy Image painted under St Faustina's direction and Sacred Relic Images of Our Lady of Guadalupe travelled from Mexico City and they are now enthroned in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, The Northern Territory, the Philippines, Tonga and Samoa. The enthronement of these Blessed Images is a Pastoral Lay Ministry from the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe to bring a Message of Hope and Healing.
We pray Love and Mercy Mission will be able to reach you anywhere you are in the world. If you would like a Sacred Relic Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a replica of The Divine Mercy Image to be enthroned in your country, please contact us and we will show you how.
This whole account of our journey is merely to show you how easy it is to help Jesus with His Work of Mercy - just follow your inspirations. Jesus told St Faustina a number of times to practice the virtues of Humility and Simplicity. Hence, always remember that this work is NOT for your glory and any division or dissension is not of God - we should all work together. As Jesus said:
"Only do as much as you can, and I will always arrange things so that you will easily be able to do what I ask of you." (Diary 1693)
"...do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy. I will make up for what you lack. Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace." (Diary 1074)
We encourage you to read Divine Mercy In My Soul - buy this Diary and place it next to the Holy Bible in your home. As Jesus formed St Faustina Himself, you can learn from His teachings, too. Do what you can to help Jesus' Work of Mercy based on your time and resources - do not hesitate to ask for help. Send the email link on the left to your relatives, friends and colleagues as a start. Please contact us if you need any help whatsoever.
Lastly, let us pray for each other as we work together for the Glory of God. God bless you!
The First World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM)
Ten years after starting our Divine Mercy Apostolate in Sydney, Our Lord showed us His wonderful mercy through one beautiful miracle - He gave us the means to attend the First World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM) on 2 - 6 April 2008 in Rome, 3 years after Blessed John Paul II passed away.
Our Lord took us to Rome and we received Papal blessings from Pope Benedict XVI – twice on the Feast of Mercy (Divine Mercy Sunday), during the Papal Mass at St Peter's Square opening the World Congress and on the last day.
Attending the Congress was a great blessing for it was the First World Apostolic Congress on Divine Mercy under the direction of Pope Benedict XVI. The purpose of the Congress was to enrich our knowledge of God's infinite and immeasurable mercy to help us proclaim and spread the message of Divine Mercy when we returned to our own countries and parishes.
Attendees came from all parts of the world. It was awesome to be amongst Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops and priests who concelebrated our daily Masses. It was also overwhelming to hear inspiring talks from Cardinals and testimonials from individuals about how Our Lord manifested His Divine Love in their lives. One compelling story in particular was from Immaculee who miraculously survived the atrocities in Rwanda. Each one seemed filled with conviction and inspiration as we gathered each day - the Holy Spirit would have enkindled the fire in each of our hearts, keeping it burning as we returned to our own homes.
At the end of the World Congress, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI issued a mandate to attendees of this World Congress in Rome: “…to all the participants I address my cordial greeting which now becomes a mandate: go forth and be witnesses of God’s mercy, a source of hope for every person and for the whole world.”
Hence, we have ‘gone forth’ taking Our Lord's Blessed Mother with us as we spread the Message of Jesus, The Divine Mercy.
May the 'Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus' fill us with the graces we all need to carry on the mission He intended for each one of us and protect us as we strive to do His Will.
Find out what went on at the World Congress.
Feast of Mercy in Rome, 30 March 2008