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St Faustina and Pope St. John Paul II

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St Faustina and Pope St. John Paul II

Post  Elena on Tue May 13, 2014 10:35 pm

From Unveiling the Apocalypse http://unveilingtheapocalypse.blogspot.com/2014/05/pope-st-john-paul-ii-spark-from-poland.html:

The prophecy of the "spark from Poland" which would prepare the world for the Second Coming of Christ is one of the most well known private revelations given to St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), the Apostle of Divine Mercy.

“As I was praying for Poland, I heard the words: I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming.”
(The Diary of St. Faustina, 1732)

For obvious reasons, many Catholics believe that this prophecy was fulfilled by elevation of Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to the pontificate as Pope John Paul II in 1978. Pope St. John Paul II, who was raised to the altars on Divine Mercy Sunday, 27th April 2014, alongside Pope St. John XXIII, was undoubtedly the world's greatest devotee of St. Faustina's private revelations concerning Divine Mercy. But what is the exact meaning of the prophecy of the "spark from Poland"? And in what way could Pope St. John Paul II have prepared the world for the Second Coming of Christ?

In order to understand the meaning of St. Faustina's prophecy of the "spark from Poland", it is first necessary to reflect upon this private revelation in the context of its relationship to the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday itself. St. Faustina had been told by Christ that she was to prepare the world for His Second Coming, and that she would do so by establishing the devotion of Divine Mercy:

You will prepare the world for My final coming. (Diary 429)

Jesus had told St. Faustina that before His final Coming in Glory to pronounce God's judgment upon the world, there would come the "Day of Mercy":

Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (Diary 1588)

When we look at some similar entries in St. Faustina's Diary, it becomes evident that the "Day of Mercy" is inextricably linked with the formal extension of the Feast of Divine Mercy to the universal Church calendar, which first took place during the canonization Mass of St. Faustina, as part of St. John Paul II's initiatives for the Great Jubilee Year 2000. In the entries below, for example, we can see quite clearly that St. Faustina viewed the coming of the "Day of Mercy" as one and the same as the inauguration of the Feast of Divine Mercy itself:

“Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity… tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near.”
(Diary 965)

“I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.”
(Diary 699)

So according to St. Faustina, the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy throughout the entire Church would occur shortly before the final Coming of Christ in glory, to signify a final act of God's infinite grace, by allowing an outpouring of His mercy upon the world. Jesus said to St. Faustina that the Day of Mercy would be a "sign for the end times",  which would take place shortly before the coming of the Day of Justice:

Speak to the world about My mercy... It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy.  (Diary 848)

For St. Faustina, the coming of the Day of Mercy was closely associated with the arrival of the Second Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit would be poured out on humanity during the Last Days, allowing the Gospel to be proclaimed throughout the entire world before the Second Coming of Christ.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
(Matt 24:14)

The institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy took place on April 30th, 2000, when Pope John Paul II bestowed the Polish nun with the honour of being the first saint of the new millennium, with the intention to highlight the deep significance of this event. In his own words, the Holy Father had stated that his canonization of St. Faustina as the first saint of the new millennium was an intentional act designed to draw attention to the importance of the inauguration of the Feast of Divine Mercy:

Sr Faustina's canonization has a particular eloquence:  by this act I intend today to pass this message [of Divine Mercy] on to the new millennium. I pass it on to all people, so that they will learn to know ever better the true face of God and the true face of their brethren.(Pope John Paul II, Mass in St Peter's Square for the Canonization of Sr Mary Faustina Kowalska, April 30th, 2000)

On March 23rd, 1937, St. Faustina recorded that she had received a vision that the Feast of Divine
Mercy would be celebrated throughout the Church. She saw large crowds celebrating the Feast of Divine Mercy in her local chapel, and that the same celebration would also take place in Rome presided over  by the Pope. She recorded that the "crowd was so enormous that the eye could not take it all in. Everyone was participating in the celebrations" (Notebook III, 1044). This of course came to pass during her canonization mass in St. Peter's Square in the year 2000, at the same time the basilica of the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Krakow was being constructed at the site of her local chapel between the years 1999-2002. This basilica was in turn consecrated by St. John Paul in 2002. St. Faustina appears to have had an accurate intuition as to the exact timing of when the institution  of the Feast of Divine Mercy would eventually take place, as after the first Mass when the Divine Mercy image was first displayed on the Octave of Easter (Low Sunday), St. Faustina conveyed a particular delight that it took place at the conclusion of the Jubilee of the Redemption in 1935:

Sunday, April 28, 1935. Low Sunday; that is, the Feast of The Divine Mercy, the conclusion of the Jubilee of Redemption. When we went to take part in the celebrations, my heart leapt with joy that the two solemnities were so closely untied. (Diary, 420)

Given that the first Mass celebrating Divine Mercy took place during the Jubilee of the Redemption (celebrating 1950 years since the Redemption of the human race), it was particularly apt that the Feast of Divine Mercy was extended throughout the whole Church on the Great Jubilee Year of the Incarnation, celebrating 2000 years since the Eternal Word of God became Flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The timing of Pope St. John Paul II's inauguration of the Feast of Divine Mercy during the Great Jubilee Year was thus a deliberate act intended to highlight the prophetic importance of the private revelations of St. Faustina in relation to the turn of the millennium. As the Holy Father explicitly stated himself, the symbolism of his actions during the Great Jubilee of the Incarnation was intended to be "a prophecy of the future".

Dear Brothers and Sisters, it is especially necessary for us to direct our thoughts to the future which lies before us. Often during these months we have looked towards the new millennium which is beginning, as we lived this Jubilee not only as a remembrance of the past, but also as a prophecy of the future. (Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Ineunte, Jan 6th, 2001)

The importance of the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy was clearly linked in the mind of St. John Paul II to the realization of the era of peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima. As he pointed out during the canonization Mass of St. Faustina:

Jesus told Sr Faustina:  "Humanity will not find peace until it turns trustfully to divine mercy" (Diary, p. 132). Through the work of the Polish religious, this message has become linked for ever to the 20th century, the last of the second millennium and the bridge to the third. (Pope John Paul II, Mass in St Peter's Square for the Canonization of Sr Mary Faustina Kowalska, April 30th, 2000)

Pope St. John Paul II understood that the coming of the era of peace promised by Our Lady of Fatima could not be fully realized until the the Church had embraced the message of Divine Mercy. During a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Merciful Love in Collevalenza, Italy, in 1981, shortly after the failed attempt on his life, St. John Paul II recalled how from the very beginning of his Petrine ministry he felt that promoting the message of Divine Mercy was a particular task entrusted to him by God. At the same time, he was also clearly reflecting upon this mission in relation to the significance of first apparitions of Our Lady to the shepherd children of Fatima on the fateful date of May 13th:

A year ago I published the encyclical Dives in Misericordia. This circumstance made ​​me come today to the Shrine of Merciful Love. With this I would like to reconfirm the presence, in some way, the message of the encyclical [concerning Divine Mercy]. I would like to read it again and again to pronounce it.

From the beginning of my ministry in the See of Peter in Rome, I felt this message as my particular task. Providence has assigned me in the situation of man, the Church and the world. You could even say that precisely this situation assigned me as a task that message before God, which is Providence, which is inscrutable mystery, the mystery of Love and Truth, Truth and Love. And my personal experiences this year, associated with the events of May 13, as part of their order me to shout: "misericordiae Domains, quia non sumus consumpti" ["Because of the Lord's mercy we are not consumed"]( Lam 3:22).
(Pope John Paul II, Angelus, Collevalenza, 22 November 1981)

The connection between the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy and the promises of Our Lady of Fatima in the mind of St. John Paul II were also made clearly manifest in his actions during the Great Jubilee Year, as just two weeks after he had extended Divine Mercy Sunday to be observed by the whole Church on 30th April, 2000, he beatified two of the shepherd children of Fatima, Francesco and Jacinta Marto on May 13th, 2000, whilst also announcing his intent to publish the Third Secret of Fatima.

During a recent address, Pope Francis shared his belief that we were already living during the "time of mercy" spoken of by St. Faustina, and appears to date the beginning of this period to around the time of St. John Paul II's consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984: “I am sure of this. It is not only Lent; we have been living in a time of mercy for the past thirty years or more, up to today.”   Pope Francis, Exhortation on Mercy to Roman Priests, March 6, 2014

The fact that Pope Francis is very specific in this time frame (thirty years), clearly points to the 1984 consecration, the fruits of which is widely recognized by Church leaders to have led to the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Within a year of this consecration, Mikhail Gorbachev was made General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, whose reformist policies of Glasnost and Perestroika inadvertently paved the way for the revolutions of 1989, which led to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. Pope St. John Paul II is himself widely credited as the single greatest influence in the downfall of the Soviet Union, as he was the primary inspiration for the Polish Solidarity movement, which having forced Gorbachev to implement his reforms, eventually led to the outbreak of the 1989 revolutions that began in Poland itself. And without the collapse of the Soviet Union, there would be absolutely no hope for the future conversion of Russia, which Our Lady of Fatima had promised as the ultimate fruit of the era of peace. It is during era of peace/Second Pentecost that the Bride prepares itself for the Coming of the Bridegroom by becoming purified in the fire of the Holy Spirit.

We can see from these examples alone how St. Faustina's prophecy of the "spark from Poland" that prepares the way for the final Coming of Christ was fulfilled in the life and ministry of Pope St. John Paul II. According to St. Faustina herself, this prophecy is also intimately related to the "Day of Mercy" which takes place before the coming of the Day of Judgement, so it could not be any more fitting that it was St. John Paul II who presided over the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy during the Great Jubilee Year. The importance of the connection between St. John Paul and this feast day was made even more explicit in the fact that he passed away on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, 2nd April, 2005.

The Holy Father had alluded to the prophecy of the "spark from Poland" himself, when during his Mass at Victory Square in Warsaw, Poland, 1979, he prayed that the Holy Spirit would descend and transform the face of "this land":

"And I cry—I who am a Son of the land of Poland and who am also Pope John Paul II—I cry from all the depths of this Millennium, I cry on the vigil of Pentecost:
Let your Spirit descend.
Let your Spirit descend.
and renew the face of the earth,
the face of this land."

(Pope St. John Paul II, Mass in Victory Square, Warsaw, 2nd June 1979)

During the canonization Mass of St. Faustina, St. John Paul further implied a connection between the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday and the eschatological outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the Second Pentecost, by looking to the prophetic symbolism behind the original events that took place on this day.

"Give thanks to the Lord for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever" (Ps 118: 1). So the Church sings on the Octave of Easter, as if receiving from Christ's lips these words of the Psalm; from the lips of the risen Christ, who bears the great message of divine mercy and entrusts its ministry to the Apostles in the Upper Room:  "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you... Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained" (Jn 20: 21-23).
Before speaking these words, Jesus shows his hands and his side. He points, that is, to the wounds of the Passion, especially the wound in his heart, the source from which flows the great wave of mercy poured out on humanity. From that heart Sr Faustina Kowalska, the blessed whom from now on we will call a saint, will see two rays of light shining from that heart and illuminating the world:  "The two rays", Jesus himself explained to her one day, "represent blood and water"
(Diary, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, p. 132).
(Pope John Paul II, Mass in St Peter's Square for the Canonization of Sr Mary Faustina Kowalska, April 30th, 2000)

Divine Mercy Sunday was also traditionally known as "St. Thomas Sunday", because this was the day on which the Risen Lord showed the doubting Apostle the wounds on His hands and the wound in His side from which the blood and water had flown. As St. John Paul points out, it is at this moment, when the Risen Christ showed the Apostles His wounds, he simultaneously promises them the Holy Spirit, and grants them the power to forgive sins - which is the very essence of the message of Divine Mercy.
Read more: http://unveilingtheapocalypse.blogspot.com/2014/05/pope-st-john-paul-ii-spark-from-poland.html

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