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'Fire of Mercy' for the World!

Organizers Announce Plans for World Apostolic Congress

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"On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy."
Diary of St. Faustina, 699

The Divine Mercy movement will soon be given the prominence that our Lord requested of St. Faustina, the great Apostle of Divine Mercy. With Pope Benedict XVI's blessing, plans are underway to hold a World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in April 2008.

"The idea is to bring to the attention of the faithful worldwide this very important message of Divine Mercy," says Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, who is a preeminent expert on The Divine Mercy message & devotion and the life of St. Faustina.

The Marians of the Immaculate Conception, who have played a key role in spreading this message and devotion throughout the world, have been asked to help organize and promote the Congress. The Marians plan to make a formal announcement about the plans during the live telecast on EWTN of their Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass., on April 15.

Plans for the Congress are still in their infancy. But organizers say it will be modeled after the International Eucharistic Congresses, which have been called every few years since 1881. Clergy and the laity in every diocese and every parish around the world will be encouraged to give paramount importance to the spirituality and message and devotion of The Divine Mercy.

"The Congress will concern the whole Church - indeed, the whole world," says Fr. Patrice Chocholski, of Lyon, France, an author and lecturer on Divine Mercy who is helping to organize the Congress.

The Congress will kick off in Rome on April 1-7, 2008. The week will include keynote speakers on biblical, theological, and pastoral themes; testimonies; apostolic workshops; evening festivals in churches; and liturgical celebrations. The Congress will also have a strong ecumenical dimension, and will conclude with an inter-religious meeting on mercy.

The Congress will be open to all bishops, priests, religious, and lay people already committed to or interested in spreading the apostolate of mercy in their diocese.

Father Patrice said that it is the hope of organizers to hold such a Congress every three or four years. In between, he said, the clergy and laity around the world will be encouraged to "live in the light of The Divine Mercy — to be motivated every day of their life by Divine Mercy."

"It's a tremendous opportunity," says Fr. Seraphim, referring to the World Congress. "I remember the 41st International Eucharistic Congress in 1976. In Philadelphia, more than 120,000 people filled John F. Kennedy Stadium for the closing Mass!"

The idea for The Divine Mercy Congress came from an international Divine Mercy retreat hosted by the Missionaries of Mercy in Lagiewniki, Poland, in July 2005 that drew 450 priests and their pastoral councils from many countries, including members of the Marian Congregation.

That retreat was presided over by the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christopher Schönborn. It was Cardinal Schönborn who approached Pope Benedict with the proposal for a Divine Mercy Congress.

"The Holy Father loves this project," says Fr. Patrice, who is both Secretary General of the Congress and Cardinal Schönborn's personal representative in organizing it.

Father Patrice and his assistant, Marie Barbieri, visited the Marians in Stockbridge in January to update them on the plans and to strategize. All agreed that this year's Divine Mercy Sunday celebration will begin a year of spiritual and logistical preparation for the World Congress.

Through the Congress, organizers say they hope to present a message of hope to a troubled world desperately in need of peace — a peace that only comes through trust in God's mercy.

As Providence would have it, the first full day of the Congress will be on April 2, the third anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II, known as the "Great Mercy Pope." It was John Paul II who entrusted the world to Divine Mercy in 2002, saying, "[The] fire of mercy needs to be passed on to the world. In the mercy of God the world will have peace and mankind will find happiness!"

"In many ways," said Ms. Barbieri, "we are living John Paul II's dream."

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Be a part of the discussion. Add a comment now!

Phil Orta - Jan 29, 2008

Hello everyone,I'm 56 yrs young and I'm
involved in prison ministry.I preach to all the inmates and everyone I meet Jesus Christ will balance your life.
As the great prophet Sirach said in the last line of his second chapter, "For equal to his majesty is the mercy that He shows". Majesty equals Mercy perfectly balanced everytime. Thank you and God bless you. Phil Orta

RACHELLE - Nov 27, 2007


Mellie - Jun 29, 2007

It is time for the true message of Divine Mercy as given to St. Faustina be known to the whole world so that the faithful can be protected and that superstitious & manipulative groups be brougt to the truth & light.

Theresa - Apr 30, 2007

I believe this may be the turning point for the whole world. Praise to the Glory of God.

Bob Allard - Mar 19, 2007

I want to go! I want to witness! I wan't the whole world to know all the graces that are available on Divine Mercy Sunday. Praise you Lord Jesus!

Margaret - Feb 21, 2007

Thank you Lord for this great gift. May the message of your Divine mercy spread around the world like a blazing fire of love.

John Doering - Feb 20, 2007

Bring it on!!!

Sally Jacobus - Feb 19, 2007

PRAISE BE TO GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm ECSTATIC ! The MESSAGE OF HIS MERCY is for ALL ! I too, desire to be a PART of the "FIRE of MERCY",in ROME 2008 ! THANK-YOU JESU et MARIE !

Rita - Feb 15, 2007

I will be attending this Congress, God willing. This is awesome!

Loretta - Feb 13, 2007