Paul II- Homily - Divine Mercy
Homily of H. H.
John Paul II
During the Holy Mass for the Consecration of the Shrine of
August 17, 2002
"Today, therefore, in this Shine, I wish solemnly to entrust
the world to Divine Mercy."
"O inconceivable and unfathomable Mercy of God,
Who can worthily adore you and sing your praises?
O greatest attribute of God Almighty, You are the sweet hope of
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
1. Today I repeat these simple and straightforward words of
Saint Faustina, in order to join her and all of you in adoring
the inconceivable and unfathomable mystery of Godís mercy. Like
Saint Faustina, we wish to proclaim that apart from the mercy of
God there is no other source of hope for mankind. We desire to
repeat with faith: Jesus, I trust in you!
This proclamation, this confession of trust in the all-powerful
love of God, is especially needed in our own time, when mankind
is experiencing bewilderment in the face of many manifestations
of evil. The invocation of Godís mercy needs to rise up from the
depth of hearts filled with suffering, apprehension and
uncertainty, and at the same time yearning for an infallible
source of hope. That is why we have come here today, to this
Shrine of Łagiewniki, in order to glimpse once more in Christ
the face of the Father: "the Father of mercies and the God of
all consolation" (2 Cor 1:3). With the eyes of our soul, we long
to look into the eyes of the merciful Jesus, in order to find
deep within his gaze the reflection of his inner life, as well
as the light of grace which we have already received so often,
and which God holds out to us anew each day and on the last day.
2. We are about to dedicate this new church to the Mercy of God.
Before doing so, I wish to offer heartfelt thanks to those who
contributed to its construction. In a special way I thank
Cardinal Franciszek, who has put so much effort into this
undertaking as a sign of his personal devotion to the Divine
Mercy. My thoughts turn with affection to the Sisters of the
Merciful Mother of God, whom I thank for their work in spreading
the message left behind by Saint Sister Faustina. I greet the
Cardinals and Bishops of Poland, headed by the Cardinal Primate,
as well as the Bishops coming from various parts of the world. I
rejoice in the presence of the diocesan and religious priests,
and the seminarians.
My cordial greeting goes to all those taking part in this
celebration, especially the representatives of the Foundation of
the Shrine of Divine Mercy who oversaw the work of construction,
as well as the builders involved in the various projects. I know
that many of those present offered generous material support to
the work of construction. I pray that God will reward their
magnanimity and their commitment by his blessing!
3. Brothers and Sisters! As we dedicate this new church, we too
can ask the question which troubled King Solomon when he
consecrated the Temple of Jerusalem as the house of God: "But
will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the
highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house
which I have built!" (1 Kg 8:27). Yes, at first glance, to bind
certain "places" to Godís presence might seem inappropriate. We
can never forget that time and space belong to God in their
entirety. Yet even though time and the entire world may be
considered his "temple", God has chosen certain times and places
to enable people to experience in a special way his presence and
his grace. Impelled by their sense of faith, people journey to
these places, confident that there they will truly find
themselves in the presence of God.
In this same spirit of faith I have come to Łagiewniki to
dedicate this new church. I am convinced that this is the
special place chosen by God to sow the grace of his mercy. I
pray that this church will always be a place where the message
of Godís merciful love is proclaimed; a place of conversion and
repentance; a place for the celebration of the Eucharist; a
fountain of mercy; a place of prayer and of constant appeals for
mercy for ourselves and for the whole world. I pray in the words
of Solomon: "Have regard to the prayer of your servant and to
his supplication, O Lord my God, hearkening to the cry and to
the prayer which thy servant prays before you this day; that
your eyes may be open night and day towards this house...
Hearken to the supplication of your servant and of your people
Israel, when they pray in this place. Hear in heaven, your
dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive" (1 Kg 8:28-30).
4. "But the hour is coming, and now is, when true worshippers
will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for such the Father
seeks to worship him" (Jn 4:23). When we read these words of the
Lord Jesus here in the Shrine of Divine Mercy, we are
particularly aware that no one can come here except in Spirit
and truth. It is the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and the Spirit
of Truth, who guides us along the ways of Divine Mercy. By
convincing the world "concerning sin and righteousness and
judgement" (Jn 16:8), he also makes known the fullness of
salvation in Christ. This "convincing" concerning sin is doubly
related to the Cross of Christ. On the one hand, the Holy Spirit
enables us, through Christís Cross, to acknowledge sin, every
sin, in the full dimension of evil which it contains and
inwardly conceals. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit permits
us, again through the Christís Cross, to see sin in the light of
the mysterium pietatis, that is, of the merciful and forgiving
love of God (cf. Dominum et vivificantem, 32).
Consequently, this "convincing concerning sin" also becomes a
conviction that sin can be laid aside and that man can be
restored to his dignity as a son beloved of God. Indeed, the
Cross "is the most profound condescension of God to man [...].
The Cross is like a touch of eternal love upon the most painful
wounds of manís earthly existence" (Dives in misericordia, 8).
The cornerstone of this Shrine will always be a reminder of this
truth, for it was brought here from Mount Calvary, as if from
beneath the Cross on which Jesus Christ triumphed over sin and
I firmly believe that this new church will always be a place
where people will come before God in Spirit and truth. They will
come with the trust which accompanies all those who humbly open
their hearts to the working of Godís merciful love, to that love
which is stronger than even the greatest sin. Here, in the fire
of divine love, human hearts will burn with desire for
conversion, and whoever looks for hope will find comfort.
5. "Eternal Father, I offer to you the Body and Blood, Soul and
Divinity of your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, for our
sins and those of the whole world; by the sufferings of his
Passion, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world" (Diary,
476). Upon us and upon the whole world ... How greatly todayís
world needs Godís mercy! In every continent, from the depth of
human suffering, a cry for mercy seems to rise up. Where hatred
and the thirst for revenge dominate, where war brings suffering
and death to the innocent, there the grace of mercy is needed in
order to settle human minds and hearts and to bring about peace.
Wherever respect for life and human dignity are lacking, there
is need of Godís merciful love, in whose light we see the
inexpressible value of every human being. Mercy is needed in
order to ensure that every injustice in the world will come to
an end in the splendour of truth.
Today, therefore, in this Shine, I wish solemnly to entrust the
world to Divine Mercy. I do so with the burning desire that the
message of Godís merciful love, proclaimed here through Saint
Faustina, may be made known to all the peoples of the earth and
fill their hearts with hope. May this message radiate from this
place to our beloved homeland and throughout the world. May the
binding promise of the Lord Jesus be fulfilled: from here there
must go forth "the spark which will prepare the world for his
final coming" (cf. Diary, 1732).
This spark needs to be lighted by the grace of God. This fire of
mercy needs to be passed on to the world. In the mercy of God
the world will find peace and mankind will find happiness! I
entrust this task to you, dear Brothers and Sisters, to the
Church in Krakůw and Poland, and to all the votaries of Divine
Mercy who will come here from Poland and from throughout the
world. May you be witnesses to mercy!
6. God, merciful Father,
in your Son, Jesus Christ, you have revealed your love
and poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit, the Comforter,
We entrust to you today the destiny of the world and of every
man and woman.
Bend down to us sinners,
heal our weakness,
conquer all evil,
and grant that all the peoples of the earth
may experience your mercy.
In You, the Triune God,
may they ever find the source of hope.
by the Passion and Resurrection of your Son,
have mercy on us and upon the whole world!
At the end of the Mass, before the final blessing, the Holy
Father made these personal remarks:
At the end of this solemn liturgy, I desire to say that many of
my personal memories are tied to this place. During the Nazi
occupation, when I was working in the Solvay factory near here,
I used to come here. Even now I recall the street that goes from
Borek Falecki to Debniki that I took every day going to work on
the different turns with the wooden shoes on my feet. They're
the shoes that we used to wear then. How was it possible to
imagine that one day the man with the wooden shoes would
consecrate the Basilica of the Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki of
I rejoice for the construction of this beautiful shrine
dedicated to the Divine Mercy. I entrust to the care of Cardinal
Macharski and to the whole Archdiocese of Krakůw and to the
Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy the material, and especially, the
spiritual upkeep of the shrine. May this collaboration in the
work of spreading the devotion of the Merciful Jesus give
blessed fruit in the hearts of the faithful in Poland and in the
May the merciful God bless abundantly all the pilgrims who come
and who will come here in the future.
This page is the work of the Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and