Looking Back on St. Faustina

+ + +
2:30 p.m.

We’re all off to Auschwitz for a day trip. We’ll be walking through the camp in silence with Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, and Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Austria, president of the World Apostolic Congress on Mercy.

Before boarding the train, I caught up with Marian Helper Deacon Vincent Ricciardi …

+ + +
1 p.m.

His plain-spokeness at the first World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in Rome, 2008, garnered him many admirers. To the delight of attendees here at the second Mercy Congress, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin (Lyon, France) is back. It was His Eminence who, in 2002, famously challenged his flock in Lyon to “Turn off the TV and turn on the Gospel.” It was also he who shares two secrets of happiness in the religious life: Give your life totally to God, and pray daily.

At the noon Mass at the Basilica of Divine Mercy, His Excellency served as holist.

Read a translation of his homily, titled “The Divine Mercy in the History of Salvation,” a reflection on Mary’s Magnificat.

+ + +
10 a.m.

Day Three’s conference and testimonies begin with Archbishop Wladyslaw ZiĆ³lek whose talk is titled “Sister Faustina as Secretary and Apostle of Divine Mercy.”

The Archbishop is from Lodz, Poland. Diary readers may remember that St. Faustina was born in the village of Glogowiec near Lodz in 1905. One evening in Lodz when she was 20-years old, she was dancing at a party when Jesus appeared to her. He was stripped and covered with wounds. Everything surrounding Faustina disappeared. She only saw Him. He asked her, “How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting me off?” (Diary, 9). At His instruction, she ran to the cathedral in Lodz to pray. There, she heard these words from Jesus: “Go immediately to Warsaw, and there you will enter a convent.” The rest, of course, is history.

The Archbishop noted the historic effect the revelations of St. Faustina have had in revitalizing the Church and its adherents. The apostolic movement of Divine Mercy, originating from St. Faustina’s revelations, has enlivened the religious life and led to countless conversions and re-conversions, he said.

“They learn and contemplate the mysteries of the Divine Mercy, plead them for themselves and the world,” he said. “The movement unites many thousands of followers from all around the world. Cloistered orders, active congregations, old and new communities, groups, brotherhoods, associations and individuals participate in the Movement.

Here’s a transcript of the Archbishop’s talk.

+ + +
8:30 a.m.

Father Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, the Marians’ Provincial Superior in the United States and Argentina, says “The Congress is helping people come to know God as a God of mercy who can cure us from our brokenness, our sinfulness and our fears.”

The Congress is an exciting time to be Christian, a Divine Mercy apostle, and a Marian Father, he says.

Father Kaz, as everyone knows, is famously unstoppable, yet we actually managed to stop him for a moment. Here he is …

+ + +

I’m on a roll. Last evening I also managed to stop another unstoppable: Marie Romagnano, RN, founder of Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy, an apostolate of the Marian Fathers. Marie has near-celebrity status here at the Mercy Congress. Word of her apostolate precedes her.

What does the Mercy Congress mean to her and her healthcare apostolate? Listen in …

+ + +
7 a.m.

If you have never met Fr. Dante Aguero, MIC, you’re missing out. He’s a humble servant and a zealous apostle of Divine Mercy. The Marian priest from Argentina gives us a report just outside the Basilica of Divine Mercy …

Father Dante also shares a message in his native tongue, Spanish.