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In the News: Briefs

Updates on the Holy Father and Marians around the world.

Pope says mercy is Answer

Only the mercy of God will quench the thirst of all people, Pope John Paul II told about 50,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square on April 22 for the first worldwide celebration of Mercy Sunday.

"Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift the Church receives from the risen Christ, and offers to humanity at the dawn of the third millennium," the Holy Father said in his homily.

Christ, "who implores forgiveness for His torturers and opens the gates of heaven to repentant sinners," is a reason for hope not only for believers, but also for non-believers, the pope said.

"In the humiliated and suffering Christ, believers and non-believers can admire a surprising solidarity, which binds Him to our human condition beyond all imaginable measure," he added.

Jesus' love, which in the resurrection shows itself stronger than sin and death, "is revealed and put into practice as mercy in our daily lives and prompts every person in turn to have 'mercy' towards the Crucified One," John Paul II said.

Later, during his Regina Coeli, the Pope gave thanks for the Apostle of Divine Mercy. "During this celebration, together with you, I thanked God who almost one year ago, granted me the grace to canonize Sister Faustina Kowalska, the chosen apostle of the merciful Christ, and to proclaim the Second Sunday of Easter as the Feast of Divine Mercy for the entire Church."

Thousands celebrate Mercy Sunday at Marians' Mercy Shrine in Brazil

There's nothing Fr. John Glica, MIC, likes more than to see people put their trust in Jesus Christ, our Merciful Savior. So, when more than 4,000 pilgrims gathered to celebrate Mercy Sunday on April 22 at the Divine Mercy Shrine he is building in Curitiba, Brazil, it brought him great joy. He has seen many Brazilians touched by Divine Mercy.

The 65-year-old priest began to construct the Shrine in 1994. The following year, he organized the first Mercy Sunday celebrations at the Shrine, 70 miles south of Sao Paulo.

This year, Fr. Glica hopes to finish the bell tower, the hall for pilgrims, and install a permanent sound system.

"The Shrine is really in its infancy," he said. "We will also need a house for the priests who will work here, offices, confessionals, and all the infrastructure, so our pilgrims will have an appropriate worship environment.

"We hope the fruit of our work here at the Shrine -- and that of our printing ministry -- will be forming more people to live the message of mercy," he said. "That means joyfully worshiping the Lord and performing works of mercy."

Marians to mark anniversary of Founder's death

In 1701, Fr. Stanislaus Papczynski, the Founder of the Marians, passed on to the Lord. Now, 300 years later, the Marians are planning special events to celebrate his life and legacy.

Here, in the United States, there will be a symposium on the life of Father Founder in September at the Marian Scholasticate in Washington, DC. Two Marians from Europe who've studied Fr. Papczynski's life extensively have been invited to make presentations.

Additionally, Marian Press will publish a biography of the Founder in the fall. Entitled "Lumen Marianorum," it will be an English translation of the Polish original, which is scheduled to be published later this year by the Marians in Poland.

Father Papczynski founded the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in 1673. It was the first male order in the Church to take the name of Our Lady's Immaculate Conception. He was the Marians' Superior General until his death in 1701.

Marians around the world will observe Sept. 17, the date of Father Founder's death, with deep reverence. On that day, Marians will gather for a special memorial service at Fr. Papczynski's tomb in Gora Kalwaria, Poland. Superior General Very Rev. Mark T. Garrow, MIC, all Provincial Superiors, and many other Marians will attend the celebration.

©2001 Marians of the Immaculate Conception. All rights reserved.