The Diary of St. Faustina
Bl. Michał Sopoćko
St. John Paul II
THE ARCHDIOCESAN SHRINE OF DIVINE MERCY
Upon the beatification of Sister Faustina Kowalska in 1993, Fr. Ronald Pytel, who had a great devotion to the Divine Mercy message revealed by Sister Faustina, requested that the parish be named the Shrine of Divine Mercy. Cardinal Keeler granted the request, designating our church as the Archdiocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy. Every year on Mercy Sunday (Second Sunday after Easter) and on the October 5th feast day of St. Faustina, many pilgrim visitors help to fill our large church. Throughout the year we are also visited by many pilgrim groups who travel from near and far to visit the Shrine, attend the Mass, make a confession, find comfort in the Divine Mercy, and venerate the 1st class relics of St. John Paul II, St. Faustina, and Bl. Michael Sopocko.
Currently the Shrine is located on the left side of the main church. While Fr. Pytel was pastor, it was discovered that on the side entrance to the church that there was an inside staircase leading nowhere. When the space was cleared, it was determined that it would be used for the Shrine. After Fr. Pytel read the Diary, he was inspired to have the vision St. Faustina saw of the red and pale rays passing from Jesus’ Merciful Heart through the Eucharist to St. Faustina as the inspiration for the fresco…
As Jesus said to St. Faustina….
"These rays of mercy will pass through you,
just as they have passed through this Host,
and they will go out through all the world" (Diary 441).
In the fresco, there is a golden Tabernacle containing the Eucharist where Jesus is fully present in Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity.
By the Shrine there is a kneeler with the 1st class relic of St. Faustina built into the arm rest. You can venerate St. Faustina’s relic either by kissing or touching your hands to it.
Near the kneeler, you can also find a Prayer Book where you can write your prayer requests and answered intentions. Please be assured that your intentions will be remembered during the Mass.
The church has the main altar and altars to the left and right sides as well. On the left altar, beneath the image of the Divine Mercy (the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is covered with a white silk cloth behind the image) are three 1st class relics which you can also venerate—Bl. Michael Sopocko, St. John Paul II, and St. Faustina. The reliquaries holding the relics are encased in glass;however, you can hold and venerate the relics. Please ask the priest after Mass.
Also many people sponsor flowers and candles for their special intentions which are placed in the Shrine area. You can easily do this by using the special red and white envelopes in the pews or in the back of the church. Simply write your prayer request and enclose it with your donation. You can put this envelope in the collection basket, give it to the priest after Mass, or call the Parish Office.
The New Shrine
God is rich in Mercy and He takes care of us in ways we can not imagine. So illustrates this true story--in 2013 our pastor, Fr. Andrej Totzke was working in the church. An older man entered the church and began speaking with Fr. Andrej about what he could do to help. Father had many suggestions, but the man was particularly drawn to the idea of the new Divine Mercy Shrine. On the spot, the very kind gentleman generously donated $100,000 for the Shrine. Such are the gifts that God gives His priests and people who are devoted to Him, and here, at Holy Rosary, we are very blessed to have good and holy priests.
Currently (summer 2015), under the guidance of our pastor, Fr. Andrej Totzke, plans are underway to move the Shrine from inside the main church to the very back, side chapel, on the left of the church’s vestibule.
At this time, the side chapel is a quiet place where you can light candles and pray for the intercession to St. Anthony, the Poor Souls in Purgatory, and St. Therese of Liseux. Parishioners gather there even now to recite the rosary before the 12:30 Sunday Mass. It was recently air conditioned a few months ago in preparation for the new Shrine.
Plans for the new Shrine are displayed in the vestibule. In the center altar, the new image of the Divine Mercy will be displayed. You can see that image in the main church, above the left altar. The left altar of the new shrine will have an image of St. John Paul II and the right altar will have an image of St. Faustina. The new stained glass window has already been installed. The Shrine will be open during the day for prayer and Mass could also be celebrated there as well. When the new Shrine is ready for prayer, the main church, the entry way to the hall downstairs, and the stairs to the choir area will be closed.
As more information about the new Shrine is available, it will be posted on the website and in the weekly bulletin.
For more information about the Divine Mercy Shrine and pilgrimages, please call the rectory at 410-732-3960.
What is a 1st class relic?
A 1st class relic is taken from the body of a saint, usually from the shoulder bone, but hair, blood, and nails can also be used. St. Faustina’s and Bl. Michael Sopocko’s relics are taken from their bones. St. John Paul II’s relic is taken from his blood.