On Saturday morning, 17 August, the Holy Father consecrated the
Shrine of Divine Mercy in Kraków-Lagiewniki.
It is a large white oval tent-like church that seats 4,000 persons. On
the grounds is the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and their
reform school for girls, where St Faustina lived the last years of her
life. Behind the altar, above the tabernacle, as the central focus, is
the image of the Merciful Jesus. During his homily, the Pope took the
opportunity with a solemn Papal act to entrust the world to the mercy of
God and expressed his burning desire that the message of God's merciful
love may be made known to all. "Today, therefore, in this Shrine, I
wish solemnly to entrust the world to Divine Mercy. I do so with the
burning desire that the message of God's merciful love, proclaimed here
through Saint Faustina, may be made known to all the peoples of the
earth and fill their hearts with hope. May this message radiate from
this place to our beloved homeland and throughout the world. May the
binding promise of the Lord Jesus be fulfilled: from here there must go
forth 'the spark which will prepare the world for his final
coming"'. At many places in the liturgy, the choir and people sang
in Polish the simple aspiration, "Jezus, ufam tobie, Jesus,
I trust in you". Here is a translation of the Pope's homily at the
Mass of the Consecration of the Shrine of Divine Mercy. At the end of
the Mass, before the final blessing, the Holy Father commented on his
joy and gratitude at being able to consecrate the Shrine and his
gratitude to all who helped make this happen.
"O inconceivable and unfathomable Mercy of God,
Who can worthily adore you and sing your praises?
O greatest attribute of God Almighty,
You are the sweet hope of sinners" (Diary, 951).
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. Today I repeat these simple and straightforward words of Saint
Faustina, in order to join her and all of you in adoring the
inconceivable and unfathomable mystery of God's mercy. Like Saint
Faustina, we wish to proclaim that apart from the mercy of God there is
no other source of hope for mankind. We desire to repeat with faith: Jesus,
I trust in you!
Proclamation of trust in divine mercy needed in our time
This proclamation, this confession of trust in the all-powerful love
of God, is especially needed in our own time, when mankind is
experiencing bewilderment in the face of many manifestations of evil. The
invocation of God's mercy needs to rise up from the depth of hearts
filled with suffering, apprehension and uncertainty, and at the same
time yearning for an infallible source of hope. That is why we have come
here today, to this Shrine of Lagiewniki,
in order to glimpse once more in Christ the face of the Father:
"the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation" (II Cor
1,3). With the eyes of our soul, we long to look into the eyes of the
merciful Jesus, in order to find deep within his gaze the reflection of
his inner life, as well as the light of grace which we have already
received so often, and which God holds out to us anew each day and on
the last day.
Thanks to all who spread the message and helped build the shrine to
honour the Mercy of God
2. We are about to dedicate this new church to the Mercy of God.
Before doing so, I wish to offer heartfelt thanks to those who
contributed to its construction. In a special way I thank Cardinal
Franciszek, who has put so much effort into this undertaking as a sign
of his personal devotion to the Divine Mercy. My thoughts turn with
affection to the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, whom I thank for their
work in spreading the message left behind by Saint Sister Faustina. I
greet the Cardinals and Bishops of Poland, headed by the Cardinal
Primate, as well as the Bishops coming from various parts of the world.
I rejoice in the presence of the diocesan and religious priests, and the
My cordial greeting goes to all those taking part in this
celebration, especially the representatives of the Foundation of the
Shrine of Divine Mercy who oversaw the work of construction, as well as
the builders involved in the various projects. I know that many of those
present offered generous material support to the work of construction. I
pray that God will reward their magnanimity and their commitment by his
May God bless the special place that he has chosen to sow the grace
of his mercy
3. Brothers and Sisters! As we dedicate this new church, we too can
ask the question which troubled King Solomon when he consecrated the
Temple of Jerusalem as the house of God: "But will God indeed dwell
on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you;
how much less this house which I have built!" (I Kg 8,27). Yes, at
first glance, to bind certain "places" to God's presence might
seem inappropriate. We can never forget that time and space belong to
God in their entirety. Yet even though time and the entire world may be
considered his "temple", God has chosen certain times and
places to enable people to experience in a special way his presence and
his grace. Impelled by their sense of faith, people journey to these
places, confident that there they will truly find themselves in the
presence of God.
In this same spirit of faith I have come to Lagiewniki
to dedicate this new church. I am convinced that this is the special
place chosen by God to sow the grace of his mercy. I pray that this
church will always be a place where the message of God's merciful love
is proclaimed; a place of conversion and repentance; a place for the
celebration of the Eucharist; a fountain of mercy; a place of prayer and
of constant appeals for mercy for ourselves and for the whole world. I
pray in the words of Solomon: "Have regard to the prayer of your
servant and to his supplication, O Lord my God, hearkening to the cry
and to the prayer which thy servant prays before you this day; that your
eyes may be open night and day towards this house.... Hearken to the
supplication of your servant and of your people Israel, when they pray
in this place. Hear in heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear,
forgive" (I Kg 8,28-30).
The Holy Spirit enables us to view sin in the light of the merciful
and forgiving love of God
4. "But the hour is coming, and now is when true worshipers
will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father seeks
to worship him" (Jn 4, 23). When we read these words of the
Lord Jesus here in the Shrine of Divine Mercy, we are particularly aware
that no one can come here except in Spirit and truth. It is the
Holy Spirit, the Comforter and the Spirit of Truth, who guides us along
the ways of Divine Mercy. By convincing the world "concerning sin
and righteousness and judgement" (Jn 16,8), he also makes known the
fullness of salvation in Christ. This "convincing" concerning
sin is doubly related to the Cross of Christ. On the one hand,
the Holy Spirit enables us, through Christ's Cross, to acknowledge sin,
every sin, in the full dimension of evil which it contains and
inwardly conceals. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit permits us,
again through the Christ's Cross, to see sin in the light of the
mysterium pietatis, that is, of the merciful and forgiving
love of God (cf. Dominum et Vivificantem, 32).
Consequently, this "convincing concerning sin" also becomes
a conviction that sin can be laid aside and that man can
be restored to his dignity as a son beloved of God. Indeed, the Cross
"is the most profound condescension of God to man [...]. The Cross
is like a touch of eternal love upon the most painful wounds of man's
earthly existence" (Dives in Misericordia, 8).
Cornerstone comes from Mt Calvary
The cornerstone of this Shrine will always be a reminder of this
truth, for it was brought here from Mount Calvary, as if from beneath
the Cross on which Jesus Christ triumphed over sin and death.
I firmly believe that this new church will always be a place where
people will come before God in Spirit and truth. They will come with the
trust which accompanies all those who humbly open their hearts to the
working of God's merciful love, to that love which is stronger than even
the greatest sin. Here, in the fire of divine love, human hearts will
burn with desire for conversion, and whoever looks for hope will find
Mercy is needed to ensure that every injustice in the world will come
to an end in the splendour of truth
5. "Eternal Father, I offer to you the Body and Blood,
Soul and Divinity of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, for our
sins and those of the whole world; by the sufferings of his
Passion, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world" (Diary,
476). Upon us and upon the whole world.... How greatly today's
world needs God's mercy! In every continent, from the depth of human
suffering, a cry for mercy seems to rise up. Where hatred and the thirst
for revenge dominate, where war brings suffering and death to the
innocent, there the grace of mercy is needed in order to settle human
minds and hearts and to bring about peace. Wherever respect for life and
human dignity are lacking, there is need of God's merciful love, in
whose light we see the inexpressible value of every human being. Mercy
is needed in order to ensure that every injustice in the world will come
to an end in the splendour of truth.
Solemn entrustment of the world to Divine Mercy to ensure universal
radiation of message
Today, therefore, in this Shrine, I wish solemnly to entrust the
world to Divine Mercy. I do so with the burning desire that
the message of God's merciful love, proclaimed here through Saint
Faustina, may be made known to all the peoples of the earth and
fill their hearts with hope. May this message radiate from this place to
our beloved homeland and throughout the world. May the binding promise
of the Lord Jesus be fulfilled: from here there must go forth "the
spark which will prepare the world for his final coming" (cf. Diary,
1732). This spark needs to be lighted by the grace of God. This
fire of mercy needs to be passed on to the world. In the mercy of God
the world will find peace and mankind will find happiness! I entrust
this task to you, dear Brothers and Sisters, to the Church in Kraków
and Poland, and to all the votaries of Divine Mercy who will come here
from Poland and from throughout the world. May you be witnesses to
Solemn Act of entrustment of the world to Divine Mercy
6. 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.
by the Passion and Resurrection of your Son,
have mercy on us and upon the whole world!
At the end of the Mass, before the final blessing, the Holy
Father made these personal remarks.
At the end of this solemn liturgy, I desire to say that many of my
personal memories are tied to this place. During the Nazi occupation,
when I was working in the Solvay factory near here, I used to come here.
Even now I recall the street that goes from Borek Falecki
to Debniki that I took
every day going to work on the different turns with the wooden shoes on
my feet. They're the shoes that we used to wear then. How was it
possible to imagine that one day the man with the wooden shoes would
consecrate the Basilica of the Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki
I rejoice for the construction of this beautiful shrine dedicated to
the Divine Mercy. I entrust to the care of Cardinal Macharski and to the
whole Archdiocese of Kraków and to the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy the
material, and especially, the spiritual upkeep of the shrine. May this
collaboration in the work of spreading the devotion of the Merciful
Jesus give blessed fruit in the hearts of the faithful in Poland and in
the whole world.
May the merciful God bless abundantly all the pilgrims who come and
who will come here in the future.