|Hospice for the Dying Vilnius|
The first ‘Hospice for the Dying’ in Lithuania was seen as an historic national event. National television channels and media journalists from all over Poland, and Lithuania, were there to record the event for public broadcasting.
It seems extraordinary that there was no hospice or palliative care centre in this country before now. It took an Irish Divine Mercy charity HUDT or ‘Divine Mercy in Action’ to open the first hospice here.
It was a plea from the ‘Sisters of Merciful Jesus’ caring for the sick and dying elderly people of Vilnius, who were crying out for a place of cleanliness, security and warmth for these poor souls to live out their last years in peace and dignity.
HUDT or ‘Divine Mercy in Action’ answered that call and today there is one of the most modern palliative care centres in Europe now opened for these people. The place chosen to do this was an old abandoned Vincentian Convent, in complete ruins. The site was donated by the Archbishop of Vilnius, Cardinal Backis, to the Sisters of Merciful Jesus.
The astonishing and maybe miraculous happening for us, a ‘Divine Mercy Apostolate’ charity, was that the site was on ground where Saint Faustina and Blessed Michael Sopocko walked. These two ‘Apostles of Divine Mercy’ chosen by God to bring the message of Divine Mercy to the world, had met together over a period of more than six months with the artist, to discuss the image that Our Lord had instructed Saint Faustina to have painted.
They both then became involved in working with the artist, to create the image that Christ wanted to make available to the world, for all to come and seek His Divine Mercy. It was this message from Our Lord which also asked for a new religious congregation to be founded, to spread his mercy through deed, word and prayer. It was also on this ground where her spiritual director lived, and that this congregation was founded.
On this ground, is where the Blessed Sopocko Hospice has been built, and where the congregation asked for by our Lord was founded, which became the ‘Sisters of Merciful Jesus’. Here they will work and bring God’s mercy in deed, word and prayer to the poor elderly homeless of Vilnius.
It is one of ‘Help Us Dry The Tears’ or ‘Divine Mercy in Action’ greatest works, in continuation of Christ’s request to St. Faustina and Blessed Sopocko to bring His mercy to those in need.
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