Evangelization

Twenty Years of the Consecration of the World to Divine Mercy

The Consecration of the world to Divine Mercy by John Paul II two decades ago has strongly increased the devotion promoted by St. Faustina Kowalska.

Barbara Stefańska-August 18, 2022-Reading time: 3 minutes

Photo: Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy. ©Aleksandr Petukhov

"God, merciful Father [...] to You we entrust today the destiny of the world and of every man" - said John Paul II 20 years ago in Krakow. This event had a global dimension. And it has not lost its relevance.
The current Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Krakow-Łagiewniki is the place where he lived and died. Sister Faustina Kowalska during the last years of his life. Her mortal remains are buried there. Through this simple nun, the Lord Jesus reminded the world of his mercy.

A timely message

In August 2002, Pope John Paul II came to Poland for the last time. One of the main objectives of his trip was the consecration of a new shrine, since the old, small church was no longer sufficient for the multitude of pilgrims arriving there. On August 17, a multitude of the faithful gathered at the shrine and in the spacious shrine grounds.

"How much the world today needs God's mercy! On every continent there seems to arise a cry for mercy from the depths of human suffering. Where there is hatred, desire for revenge, where war brings pain and death to the innocent, the grace of mercy is needed which calms human minds and hearts and generates peace. Where there is a lack of respect for life and human dignity, the merciful love of God is needed, in the light of which the unspeakable value of every human being is revealed. Mercy is necessary so that all injustice in the world may find its end in the splendor of truth," the ailing Pope said at the time. How relevant these words are today!

"That is why today, in this Shrine, I wish to make a solemn act of entrusting the world to the mercy of God. I do so with the fervent desire that the message of God's merciful love, proclaimed here through Sister Faustina, may reach all the inhabitants of the earth and fill their hearts with hope. May this message spread from this place to our beloved homeland and to the whole world", with these words John Paul II expressed the purpose of consecrating the world to the mercy of God.

Some enigmatic words

He also recalled the mysterious words of St. Faustina's Diary in which she points out that from Poland must come forth "the spark that will prepare the world for the final coming of Christ" (cf. Diary, 1732). John Paul II also left us all a task: "This spark of God's grace must be kindled. It is necessary to transmit the fire of mercy to the world. In God's mercy, the world will find peace and man will find happiness. I entrust this task to you, dear brothers and sisters, to the Church of Krakow and Poland, and to all those devoted to God's mercy who come here from Poland and from all over the world. Be witnesses of mercy".

The Pope of Mercy

The spread of the cult of Divine Mercy is one of the fruits of the Polish Pope's pontificate. It was, so to speak, an extension of the work he had begun as Metropolitan of Krakow. At that time, he commissioned an analysis of the "Diary" for the purpose of Sister Faustina's beatification process. This required diligent analysis because the Holy See had banned the dissemination of the Divine Mercy cult according to the forms handed down by Sister Faustina in 1959. The ban was lifted in 1978, even before the election of a Polish pope.

Cardinal Wojtyla closed the process at the diocesan stage. As Pope, John Paul II declared Sister Faustina blessed and then a saint. On the day of her canonization, in April 2000, he established for the whole Church the feast of Divine Mercy, set for the first Sunday after Easter. Previously, this feast had already been celebrated in Poland. John Paul II also contributed to spreading devotion to God's mercy through the publication of the encyclical Dives in misericordia in 1980.

The surrender of the world to the mercy of God in 2002 was, so to speak, the final touch to recall this message to the Church and to all men. It is no coincidence that John Paul II died on Saturday, the eve of the Feast of Divine Mercy.

The authorBarbara Stefańska

Journalist and secretary of the editorial staff of the weekly "Idziemy"

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