Introduction to Vilnius Pilgrimage

The following extracts from the Diary of St. Faustina are a small sample of many of the extraordinary events that took place during St. Faustina’s time in Vilnius. On our pilgrimage, we will visit the convent where she received the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and where Jesus explained the Image of Divine Mercy. We will visit Fr. Sopocko’s house and meet with the Sisters of Merciful Jesus who live there now. We will visit the Shrine of the Mother of Mercy where the first celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy took place and where the Image of Our Lady came alive and spoke to St. Faustina. We will also visit the Shrine of Divine Mercy where the original Image is displayed. This is a truly special pilgrimage for Divine Mercy devotees. Please read our itinerary for further details.

First Celebration of the Feast of Mercy in Vilnius & First exposition of the Divine Mercy Image at the Gates of Dawn - Vilnius April 1935

Strangely, all things came about just as the Lord had requested. In fact, it was on the first Sunday after Easter [April, 1935] that the Image was publicly honoured by crowds of people for the first time. For three days it was exposed and received public veneration. Since it was placed at the very top of a window at Ostra Brama [Shrine of Our Lady above the “Eastern Gate” to the city of Vilnius], it could be seen from a great distance. (Diary 89)

Jesus explains Divine Mercy Image and asks for the Feast of Mercy - Vilnius 1934

When, on one occasion, my confessor told me to ask the Lord Jesus the meaning of the two rays in the image, I answered, “Very well, I will ask the Lord.” 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. 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)

St.Faustina receives Chaplet of Divine Mercy in Vilnius 1935

The next morning, when I entered chapel, I heard these words interiorly: Every time you enter the chapel, immediately recite the prayer which I taught you yesterday. When I had said the prayer, in my soul I heard these words: This prayer will serve to appease My wrath. You will recite it for nine days, on the beads of the rosary, in the following manner: First of all, you will say one OUR FATHER and HAIL MARY and the I BELIEVE IN GOD. Then on the OUR FATHER beads you will say the following words: “Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.” On the HAIL MARY beads you will say the following words: “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.” In conclusion, three times you will recite these words: “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

Image of the Mother of Mercy comes alive and to St. Faustina at the Gates of Dawn Vilnius 15th November 1935

On the evening of the last day of the novena at Ostra Brama, after the singing of the litany, one of the priests exposed the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance. When he placed it on the altar, I immediately saw the Infant Jesus, stretching out His little arms, first of all toward His Mother, who at that time had taken on a living appearance. When the Mother of God was speaking to me, Jesus stretched out His tiny hands toward the congregation. The Blessed Mother was telling me to accept all that God asked of me like a little child, without questioning; otherwise it would not be pleasing to God. At that moment, the Infant Jesus vanished, and the Mother of God was again lifeless, and Her picture was the same as it had been before. But my soul was filled with great joy and gladness, and I said to the Lord, “Do with me as You please; I am ready for everything, but You, O Lord, must not abandon me even for a moment.”

Vision of Divine Mercy Image over Convent in Vilnius October 26, 1934

On Friday at ten minutes to six, when I and some of our wards were coming in from the garden to supper, I saw the Lord Jesus above our chapel, looking just as He did the first time I saw Him and just as He is painted in the Image. The two rays which emanated from the Heart of Jesus covered our chapel and the infirmary, and then the whole city, and spread out over the whole world. This lasted about four minutes and disappeared. One of the girls, who was walking with me a little behind the others, also saw these rays, but she did not see Jesus, and she did not know where these rays were coming from. She was overwhelmed and told the other girls. They began to laugh at her, suggesting that she was imagining things or that perhaps it was light reflected by a passing airplane. But she persisted in her conviction, saying that never had she seen such rays before. When the others suggested that it might have been a searchlight, she replied that she knew very well what a searchlight was like, but never had she seen rays such as these. After supper the girl approached me and told me she had been so moved by these rays that she could not keep silent, but wanted to tell everyone about them. Yet she had not seen Jesus. She kept telling me about these rays, and this put me in an awkward situation, as I could not tell her that I had seen the Lord Jesus. I prayed for her, asking the Lord to give her those graces of which she had such need. My heart rejoiced in the fact that Jesus takes the initiative to make Himself known, even though the occasion of such action on His part causes me annoyance. For Jesus, one can bear anything. (Diary 87)

St. Faustina Arrives in Vilnius - Vision of Fr. Sopocko

When I told this and certain other things to my confessor, he replied that these might really be coming from God, but that they might also be an illusion. Because of my frequent changes [of assignments], I did not have a permanent confessor and besides, I had great difficulty in speaking of these things. I prayed ardently that the Lord would give me that great grace that is, a spiritual director. But my prayer was answered only after my perpetual vows, when I went to Vilnius. The priest was Father Sopocko. God had allowed me to see him in an interior vision even before I came to Vilnius. (Diary 34)

St. Faustina Meets Fr. Sopocko in Vilnius for the first time

But the goodness of Jesus is infinite; He had promised me visible help here on earth, and a little while later I received it in Vilnius, in the person of Father Sopocko. I had already known him before coming to Vilnius, thanks to an interior vision. One day I saw him in our chapel between the altar and the confessional and suddenly heard a voice in my soul say, This is the visible help for you on earth. He will help you carry out My will on earth. (Diary 53)


St. Faustina describes returning to Vilnius


After a short while, I saw the little Jesus, who came out from the Host and rested in my hands. This lasted for a moment; immense joy flooded my soul. The Child Jesus had the same appearance as He had the time we entered the Chapel with Mother Superior — my former Directress, Mary Joseph. The next day I was already back in my beloved Vilnius. Oh, how happy I felt to be back in our convent! I felt as though I was entering the convent for the second time. I took unending delight in the silence and peace in which the soul can so easily immerse itself in God, helped by everyone and disturbed by no one. (Diary 406 & 407)

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St. Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland

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Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland



You can pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with the Sisters of Merciful Jesus everyday at 3pm via the webcam in St. Eunan's Cathedral, Letterkenny, Donegal, Ireland.