- Divine Mercy
The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy was founded in Warsaw, Poland by Mother Teresa Eva Potocka on November 1, 1862. Our congregation is approved by the Holy See and has been in existence for over 150 years; it enjoys a proven tradition of religious life.
By your entreaties, you and your companions shall obtain mercy for yourselves and for the world. (Diary 435)
Mercy has always been the central theme of the congregation's spirituality. From the very beginnings the sisters cooperated with God's mercy in saving lost souls by extending spiritual and educational care to wayward girls and women in need of deep moral conversion and renewal. These women found a refuge and safe haven in our "Mercy Houses" where they could reform their lives and learn various trade skills. They could stay in the Mercy House as long as they wished or reintegrate themselves into society whenever they felt ready to do so.
The Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy has become more widely known in recent years because of one of its members: Sister Faustina Kowalska - the most "faithful daughter" of the Order (Diary 1130). With Sister Faustina's beatification and mission, the congregation began to establish itself in various countries and continents. While most of our houses are located in Poland, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy are now also represented in the United States, Italy, Israel, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, and Czech Republic. Currently, there are about 400 professed sisters, 10 novices, and 7 postulants throughout the world. We have two novitiates: one in Poland and one in the United States.
We actively participate in carrying out Saint Faustina's mission by spreading the devotion to the Divine Mercy, by proclaiming the message of the infinite mercy of God, and by imploring Divine Mercy for the entire world. The Merciful Jesus has entrusted this great mission of mercy, to our spiritual co-foundress and sister, Saint Faustina, who is to prepare humanity for His second coming (cf. Diary 429); and so, assisted by Saint Faustina, and together with the volunteers and members of the "Faustinum Association of Apostles of the Divine Mercy" - who collaborate with our congregation in its apostolic works and live our spirituality in their respective states of life - as well as all Divine Mercy devotees throughout the world we strive to carry out this divine task.
On June 7, 1997, Our Holy Father, John Paul II, visited the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Cracow. These are His words to us:
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy (Mt 5:7).
Dear Sisters! An extraordinary vocation is yours. Choosing from among you Blessed Faustina, Christ has made your Congregation the guardian of this place, and at the same time he has called you to a particular apostolate, that of his Mercy. I ask you: accept this responsibility! The people of today need your proclamation of mercy: they need your works of mercy and they need your prayer to obtain mercy [cf. Diary, 742].
Do not neglect any of these dimensions of the apostolate. Fulfill it in union with the Archbishop of Cracow, to whose heart is so dear the devotion to the Divine Mercy, and in union with the whole ecclesial community over which he presides. May this shared work bear much fruit! May the Divine Mercy transform people's hearts! ... Once more I ask you to pray for the intentions of the Church and to support me in my ministry as Successor of Peter. I know that such prayer is always offered here: I thank you for this with all my heart.