Fr. Sopocko’s House
On our pilgrimage we will visit Blessed Fr. Sopocko’s house. This house has been renovated by the ‘Divine Mercy in Action’ foundation’ HUDT and was converted to the the first convent for the Sisters of Merciful Jesus in Vilnius, a congregation asked for by Jesus and founded by Blessed Sopocko on Saint Faustina’s request. In the Diary of St. Faustina, she records that Jesus wanted a new congregation who would dedicate their lives continuing her mission to bring his message and mercy to mankind and praying for mercy for the world.
Note: (Vilnius, Lithuania, was part of Poland during St.Faustina’s lifetime)
It is considered that this congregation of sisters who were actually founded by Jesus through Saint Faustina and Blessed Sopocko, given their charism by Jesus, and live in the house where the original Image was painted in the presence of Saint Faustina, are therefore closer to the Divine Mercy than any other congregation on earth. Although St. Faustina was given the message by Jesus he also told her that Blessed Fr.Sopocko would be “her visible help on earth …his thoughts are closely united to mine…I will not let him make a mistake and you should do nothing without his permission”. (Diary 53,1408) Saint Faustina contracted tuberculosis and was very sick for the last few years of her life so did not live to see Fr.Sopocko found the congregation and carry out this demand of Jesus. So her faithful friend and confessor, Fr. Sopocko, began this congregation and they continue today in Vilnius, and are now living in the home where Fr.Sopocko, the man who helped start their congregation over seventy years ago.
Fr. Sopocko’s parish house is also where the Image of Divine Mercy was painted. It is exciting to be in the home where you can imagine Fr. Sopocko, St. Faustina and Eugene Kazimirowski, the artist, discussing and analysing the painting of this new Image of Jesus. It is thought that they were also in the presence of Jesus during the painting as when St. Faustina was asked for clarification on some point she would turn to her right and seemed to be in silent conversation with someone who could not be seen by Fr.Sopocko and the artist.
This is also the house where St. Faustina and and Fr. Sopocko would discuss the printing of the first images and prayer cards that were printed for promoting devotion to Divine Mercy. It is beautiful to walk on the ground leading up to this house knowing that Fr. Sopocko and St. Faustina once walked these very paths perhaps discussing the many astonishing things that were happening in both their lives.
While our pilgrimage group visit this house, the Sisters of Merciful Jesus give a fascinating and insightful talk on Divine Mercy. The Sisters of Merciful Jesus are one of the most special congregations as their charism comes directly from Jesus the Divine Mercy. The order was not started by a human desire but by Divine desire and therefore very unique in the world. One of their main functions is to continually pray to the Divine Mercy to intercede for mercy for those who really need it. You will thoroughly enjoy your time with the Sisters of Merciful Jesus. Everyone is inspired by them and they give individual time to everyone. In this very special house you will have some time for personal prayer to reflect on your life and the importance of Divine Mercy and the extraordinary events that took place here while St. Faustina was alive.