History of the Shrine of Divine Mercy
Shrine of Divine Mercy is a gift from God to the growing Congregation of St Luke's Church. The Canonisation of Blessed Faustina by late Pope John Paul II was in the same year of construction of the Church.and so it was apt to dedicate it to Jesus the Divine Mercy.
A miracle right from the gifting of the land by Rev Sr. Mary Theodore, O.A.M., a religious sister from Australia, working in India for more than 54 years, among the children who are Mentally Retarded and Physically Handicapped. A massive structure, the biggest in the Archdiocese of Madras-Mylapore, in accommodating the people of God, was completed within 16 months, only with the contribution of the people of St Luke's Parish. Fr. Michael Raj ssp, the Parish Priest experienced the power of Jesus all throughout the construction and there was neither financial constraint nor any obstacle from any corner. The Shrine was blessed and dedicated to Divine Mercy, on 29th June 2003, by Rt Rev Dr Aruldas James, the Archbishop of Madras-Mylapore.
The imposing entrance of the Shrine of Divine Mercy welcomes everyone from every walk of life, irrespective of caste or creed.
The architectural beauty as a whole, the etched stained glasses, most simple, but prayerful altar, the statues of Divine Mercy and the Mary Queen of the apostles and the burning sanctuary lamps create a prayerful atmosphere.
As you enter the Shrine, the mercy of Jesus is depicted in, healing the blind man and bringing the paralytic from the top of the roof. On either side of the entrance, you see Blessed James Alberione, the Founder of the Pauline Family and the First Priest of the Society of St.Paul, Blessed Timothy Gicardo Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and Sr Mary Theodore who was kind enough to offer the land for the Mercy of Jesus.
On either side of the main altar of the Shrine, the relics are placed for the veneration. The relic of St Faustina Kwaska is brought from Poland and it is placed just in front of the Divine Mercy Statue, who was canonized on Mercy Sunday, April 30, 2000 by the late Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.
The other relic of Blessed James Alberione, who was beatified on 18th April 2003, on the Divine Mercy Sunday, by the late Pope John Paul II in Rome is placed in front of the statue Mary Queen of the Apostles.
The Etched Stained Glasses
Pope John Paul has declared 2003 as the Year of the Rosary and he introduced the MYSTERIES OF LIGHT to help us reflect on the public ministry of Jesus. To mark this event,the pictures of the new rosary is etched in the stained glasses above the lintel level and the institution of the Eucharist (the fifth mystery) is under the main altar.
The Grotto was dedicated on October 2001 the centenary year of St. Faustina by Rev. Fr. Jose Pottayil ssp. The grotto too was the generosity of a parishioner.
History of the Divine Mercy Devotion
From the diary of a young Polish nun, a special devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy began spreading throughout the world in the 1930s. Based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God's mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread. The Divine Mercy Devotion and Message has been approved by the Roman Catholic Church. Sr. Faustina was recently canonised on April 30, 2000, on Mercy Sunday - Second Sunday of Easter. This message of hope, revealed to her by Our Lord Himself and promulgated by her during her life, has been an inspiration to many. It is hoped that everyone who reads the following words may be reminded that God's love is infinite. His life is given to all who seek it regardless of their sinfulness.
Here are some excerpts of conversations with the Lord from Blessed Faustina's diary.This explains the divine Mercy Picture.
Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world." (Diary, 47)
"During prayer I heard these words within me: The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls... These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender Mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. (Diary,299)
In His great Mercy, Jesus promises a great deal to those who venerate this image...
"I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory." (Diary, 48)
These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy." (Diary,299)
In His revelations to St. Faustina Kowalska, Jesus Christ asked that the first Sunday after Easter be established as Mercy Sunday, the "Feast of Divine Mercy," when His graces will be available in an extraordinary way to all those who ask. On Sunday, April 30, 2000, Pope John Paul II formally announced that the Sunday after Easter would henceforth be known as "Divine Mercy Sunday."
The devotion is practiced by praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novenas to the Divine Mercy both of which may be prayed at any time, but especially at "The Hour of Great Mercy" -- 3:00 PM, the hour our Lord died, and in conjunction with Divine Mercy Sunday.
On Divine Mercy Sunday, a plenary indulgence may be gained, under the usual conditions, if one trusts in the Divine Mercy and reflects the Divine Mercy in his life, prays the Divine Mercy Novena from Good Friday to Low Sunday, goes to Confession on Low Sunday (or in the 7 days preceding), venerates the image of the Divine Mercy on Low Sunday, and attends Mass and receives Communion on Low Sunday.
Jesus said to Sister Faustina:
"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who trust in My Mercy...."
"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior".
Say the chaplet: The Chaplet
Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday . He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:
"These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.
In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:
"On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls."
Say the novena: The Novena
The Biography of St. Maria Faustina
(August 25, 1905 – October 5, 1938)
An excerpt from Apostle of Divine Mercy, a biography published by the Vatican.
Sister Maria Faustina, an apostle of the Divine Mercy, belongs today to the group of the most popular and well-known saints of the Church. Through her the Lord Jesus communicates to the world the great message of God's mercy and reveals the pattern of Christian perfection based on trust in God and on the attitude of mercy toward one's neighbors.
Sister Maria Faustina was born on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiec in Poland of a poor and religious family of peasants, the third of ten children. She was baptized with the name Helena in the parish church of Swinice Warckie. She loved prayer and work. She was obedient and sensitive to the needs of the poor from a very young age. She attended school for three years. At the age of seven she had already felt the first stirrings of a religious vocation. After finishing school, she wanted to enter the convent but her parents would not give her permission. At the age of nine she made her first Holy Communion living this moment very profoundly in her awareness of the presence of the Divine Guest within her soul. At the age of sixteen she left home and went to work as a housekeeper in Aleksandrów, Lodi and Ostrówek in order to find the means of supporting herself and of helping her parents.
Called during a vision of the Suffering Christ, on August 1, 1925 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and took the name Sr. Maria Faustina. She lived in the Congregation for thirteen years in several religious houses. She spent time at Krakow, Plock and Vilnius, where she worked as a cook, gardener, and porter. She zealously performed her tasks and faithfully observed the rule of religious life. She was recollected and at the same time very natural, serene, and full of kindness and disinterested love for her neighbor. Her life was apparently insignificant, monotonous and dull. Externally nothing revealed her rich mystical interior life. she hid within herself an extraordinary union with God.
It is the mystery of the Mercy of God which she contemplated in the word of God as well as in the everyday activities of her life that forms the basis of her spirituality. The process of contemplating and getting to know the mystery of God's mercy helped develop within Sr. Maria Faustina the attitude of child-like trust in God as well as mercy toward her neighbors.
"O my Jesus, each of Your saints reflects one of Your virtues; I desire to reflect Your compassionate heart, full of mercy; I want to glorify it. Let Your mercy, O Jesus, be impressed upon my heart and soul like a seal, and this will be my badge in this and the future life."
Sister Faustina was a faithful daughter of the Church which she loved like a Mother and the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ. Conscious of her role in the Church, she cooperated with God's mercy in the task of saving lost souls. At the specific request of and following the example of the Lord Jesus, she made a sacrifice of her own life for this very goal. In her spiritual life she also distinguished herself with a love of the Eucharist and a deep devotion to the Mother of Mercy.
The Lord Jesus chose Sr. Maria Faustina as the Apostle and "Secretary" of His Mercy, so that she could tell the world about His great message. In the Old Covenant He said to her:
"I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart."
an extraordinary way, Sr. Maria Faustina's work sheds light on the mystery of the Divine Mercy. It delights not only the simple and uneducated people, but also scholars who look upon it as an additional source of theological research. The Diary has been translated into many languages, among others, English, German, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Hungarian, Czech, and Slovak.
Sister Maria Faustina, consumed by tuberculosis and by innumerable sufferings which she accepted as a voluntary sacrifice for sinners, died in Krakow at the age of just 33 on October 5, 1938, with a reputation for spiritual maturity and a mystical union with God. The reputation of the holiness of her life grew as did the cult to the Divine Mercy and the graces she obtained from God through her intercession. In the years 1965-67, the Investigative Process into her life and heroic virtues was undertaken in Krakow and in the year 1968, the Beatification Process was initiated in Rome. The latter came to an end in December 1992. On April 18, 1993 our Holy Father, John Paul II raised St. Faustina to the glory of the altars. She was canonized on April 30, 2000. St. Maria Faustina's remains rest at the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Krakow-Lagiewniki.
The Parish Priest, St Luke’s Church,
Z-291 Annanagar, Chennai – 600 040
Tel: 044-2626 7119, 2628 2754
The Parish Priest, SHRINE OF DIVINE MERCY,
D-171, 8th Street, Annanagar East, Chennai – 600 102
Tel:044-2663 3131, 2663 3132
For more information please visit: http://www.divinemercyshrine.in