Late in 2016, two sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy were sent to the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC, to minister to the many pilgrims who come to this sacred place. You will know these sisters as the community which St. Faustina entered in 1925 and received the revelations of God’s Divine Mercy for our times.
The Knights of Columbus announced the establishment of a shrine dedicated to Pope John Paul II in 2011. It has proven to be a popular pilgrimage spot for visitors to the capital, especially K of C groups and participants in the annual March for Life. The Knights first met the sisters in Krakow at the Divine Mercy Shrine. They have worked together during World Youth Day, on the film “The Face of Mercy” and other projects.
Each day at the shrine at 3:00pm, the sisters lead the prayer for the Hour of Mercy. One a month, they host “Evenings with the Merciful Jesus” for young people. Other events and scheduled exhibits are held throughout the year.
A first-class relic of St. John Paul II’s blood is contained in a glass ampoule at the center of a reliquary in the Luminous Mysteries Chapel, for veneration by pilgrims. This relic was given as a gift to Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson by His Eminence Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz, Archbishop of Kraków and personal secretary to John Paul II.
“We understand our presence in the shrine as a continuation of St. John Paul II’s mission to spread the message of Divine Mercy,” said Sister Gaudia, “the message about God whose love is greater than we can imagine.”
It is wonderful that many people are introduced here for the first time to the Divine Mercy message. “St. John Paul II called the message of mercy the message of hope for our times,” said Sister Donata. “We believe that this shrine, which attracts more and more people from faraway places, is a special place where people find new hope, which has the power to change their lives.”