“Just before noon nearly 200 people gathered at Our Lady of Czestochowa, a Catholic church of mostly Polish parishioners. Children brought red and white tulips, representing the color of the Polish flag, to the service and laid them near a picture of President Lech Kaczynski. The country’s flag was quickly hung outside the simple white church. A black ribbon dangled from the pole. A large picture of the president was propped on the front steps.”
“This is the greatest tragedy I can recall,’’ Said the Rev. Andrzej Urbaniak, pastor of Our Lady. “I just can’t believe it. My heart is so much filled with sorrow.’’ This quote is from an article in The Boston Globe.
Like millions across the world, parishioners of churches in the United States share in the sadness of the death of Polish President, Lech Kaczynski, his wife and many other government officials who perished in a plane crash Saturday, April 10, 2010 on the eve of the Catholic Church’s celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday.
On February 22, 1931, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ appeared to a simple nun, bringing with Him a wonderful message of Mercy for all mankind.
Herself born in Poland as Helen Kowalsks, Sister Faustinadied in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Cracow on October 5,1938.
During the course of Jesus’ revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.
This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that “throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday.”
In St. Faustina’s Diary, she recorded a message from Jesus about the extraordinary graces He wants to pour out upon souls through the devout reception of Holy Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday.
The late President Lech Kaczynski and his wife were devout Catholics and attended Sunday mass at St Stanislaw Kostka a suburb of Warsaw. Said Oana Lungescu of BBC News, Warsaw, “Their pews were kept empty today, draped in a huge red-and-white Polish flag and a black ribbon.”
I would like to believe their souls have received the great mercy our Lord spoke of to St. Faustina. Join with me in prayer especially for those in yesterday’s plane crash, for all of the faithful departed and for God’s mercy on all of us as sinners.
Images of St. Stanislaw Kostka church in Warsaw from Brian Porter, “Photographs of the St. Stanis?aw Kostka church in Warsaw,” Making the History of 1989, Item #13, http://chnm.gmu.edu/1989
Other images courtesy of Cath Art Creations by Marianne