- Spreads the message of Divine Mercy, which Christians the world over are newly rediscovering.
- Contains the first image of the Merciful Jesus which was painted according to St Faustina’s visions and which is renowned for special graces.
- Serves as a memorial to St Faustina and her spiritual director, Blessed Michael Sopocko.
This cosy gothic church on a narrow side street in the heart of the Vilnius Old Town dates back to the 15th century and certainly has a long story. But today its pristine white interior draws pilgrims’ gaze to a single focal point – the image of the Merciful Jesus. Through the humble nun St Faustina and in the midst of the 20th century, the Lord sent the world, beset as it was by tremendous wars and hatred for faith, a message of salvation: “Trust in me, for I am a merciful Lord. Trust in my mercy.” Realizing his creatures’ tendency to link their faith with visible signs, the Saviour showed himself to St Faustina, indicating that a picture be painted to help people more easily raise their souls to Him. Countless soldiers and refugees and exiles, in moments of great hardship clasped a small picture of the Merciful Jesus to their hearts even while the Church’s hierarchy was still considering whether or not to recognize this nun’s visions and the image painted based on them. The creation of the Divine Mercy Shrine in 2004 fulfilled an old desire of the painting’s custodians to set apart a church for it, in keeping with the image’s renown and with people’s growing devotion. Vilnius increasingly is referred to as the City of Divine Mercy. Here the Mother of Mercy has long been venerated at the Gate of Dawn. And it is from this city that the message of Divine Mercy began to spread with the new significance given to it by St Faustina, and by Pope John Paul II, who declared her a saint.