Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy, Vilnius

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The Church of the Divine Mercy Sanctuary or the Holy Trinity Church in Vilnius, also called "God's Mercy Sanctuary" Lithuania (Lithuanian: Vilniaus Dievo Gailestingumo šventovė) is a Roman Catholic shrine dedicated to the Divine Mercy devotion, originated by Saint Faustina Kowalska.[1]

History[edit]

On the site of the present church (Dominikonų St. 12) a Gothic single-nave church was built in the 15th century and named Holy Trinity Church. It was reconstructed after the 1748 and 1749 fires: a new presbytery and two towers were built on, and in a place of a Gothic apse a new portal was erected. The church belonged to the university; one of its deans was the university rector, Jesuit astronomer Martynas Počobutas. The tsarist authorities converted it into a Russian Orthodox church in 1821, but in 1920 it was returned to the Catholics. In Soviet times the church was abandoned. On Divine Mercy Sunday, 18 April 2004 under the care of Audrys Juozas Cardinal Bačkis, the church was restored, blessed, and given the title Shrine of Divine Mercy. The church was adapted for the display of the original image of Divine Mercy, painted according to the vision of Saint Faustina Kowalska by artist Eugeniusz Kazimirowski in 1934. The Shrine is also decorated with two sgraffiti made by Nijolė Vilutytė: the Holy Mother of Mercy of the Gates of Dawn and the prayer “Jesus, I trust in you” in eleven languages.

Image of Divine Mercy[edit]

In his painting, Eugeniusz Kazimirowski depicted Jesus in the way Sister Faustina saw Him in her visions. His right hand lifted to bless those who look upon Him and clothed with a white tunic. After the image of Merciful Jesus was completed in June 1934, it was kept in the corridor of the convent of the Bernardine Sisters beside the Church of St. Michael where Fr. Michael Sopoćko was rector. Jesus, in one of St. Faustina’s visions, had expressed to her His wish that the image be put in a place of honor, above the main altar of the church. Fittingly, the first place that the image of Merciful Jesus was publicly venerated was at His Merciful Mother’s Chapel, the Gate of Dawn. In April 1935, for three days leading up to the first Sunday after Easter, the image was honored by crowds of faithful people. This occasion also marked the closing of the Jubilee Year of the Redemption of the World, as it had been nineteen hundred years since the Passion, death, and Resurrection of Jesus. In 1937, on the first Sunday after Easter – now Divine Mercy Sunday – the image was hung in the Church of St. Michael, Vilnius next to the main altar.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ McLachlan, Gordon (2008). Lithuania: the Bradt travel guide. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-84162-228-6.

2. Tomas Venclova, Vilnius, City Guide

Coordinates: 54°40′53″N 25°17′08″E / 54.68139°N 25.28556°E / 54.68139; 25.28556