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ON April 30th Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope John Paul II canonized the Apostle of Mercy, Sr. Faustina Kowalska. How appropriate that she was elevated to sainthood in the last year of the 20th century, the bloodiest in human history. Our world desperately needs her message of mercy. On May 13th'", the Pope will return to Fatima to beatify two little shepherd children Jacinta and Francisco Marto, whose devotion to penance and sacrifice was amazing in children so young. Recall the poignant cry of little Jacinta, "We must pray very much, to save souls from hell! So many go there! So many!" Readers, please pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily for the world's conversion and dedicate yourselves to the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.
Vision of Hell revealed to Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia: "our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever thank our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror. [From Fatima in Lucia's own Words]
Jacinta's final sacrifice: Jacinta was a model of sacrificial love throughout her short life. The brave little soldier revealed to Lucia the last suffering the Blessed Mother would ask of her. " 'Our Lady told me that I'm going to go to another hospital in Lisbon and that I'll never see you again or my parents and that after suffering a great deal, I shall die alone. She said that I should not be afraid since she will come to take me with her to heaven. ' But at nine, it's hard not to be afraid, even when the Queen of Heaven reassures you. So she began to sob as she embraced Lucia tightly to her: 1 will never see you again. Pray a lot for me, for I am going to die alone. ' "[Blessed Jacinta Marto of Fatima by Msgr. Joseph Cirrincione] Let us pray for the intercession of soon-to-be "Blessed Jacinta" to accept all our pains and sufferings for the conversion of sinners.
St. Faustina's Vision and her apostleship of mercy: "One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings." [Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary of Sr. Faustina, #153] "Today, I took part in a one-day retreat... The priest was speaking of how much the world needs God's mercy, and that this seems to be a special time when people have great need of prayer and God's mercy. Then I heard a voice in my soul: These words are for you. Do all you possibly can for this work of My mercy. I desire that My mercy be worshiped, and I am giving mankind the last hope of salvation; that is, recourse to My mercy.... After these words, I understood that nothing can dispense me from the obligation which the Lord demands from me." [#998] We share that obligation.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta: "I do not agree with the big way of doing things. To us, what matters is an individual...I believe in a person-to-person relationship. Every person is Christ for me, and since there is only one Jesus there is only one person in the world for me at that moment. Humility always radiates the greatness and glory of God.' Let us not be afraid to be humble, small, helpless to prove our love for God. The cup of water you give to the sick the way you lift a dying man, the way you feed a baby, the way in which you teach an ignorant child, the way you give medicine to a leper, the joy with which you smile at your own at home-all this is God's love in the world today. I want this to be imprinted in your minds: God still loves the world through you and through me today. We must not be afraid to radiate God's love everywhere. Once someone asked me: 'Why do you go abroad? Don't you have enough poor in India?' I answered: "I think Jesus told us to go and preach to all the nations. That is why we go all over the world to preach God's love and compassion by our humble deeds of love.'" [Charity: The Soul of Missionary Activity printed in L'Osservatore Romano, Aprils 1991]