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FOOTNOTES .... Diary

FOOTNOTE 89 I do not know. How long will it last? I do not know. [89] †††††††††††(Diary 378) †††††††  351-400

[89]The vision concerns Father Sopocko, who was to suffer greatly because of the destruction of the devotion to The Divine Mercy. The prediction was almost literally fulfilled. Decree No. 65/52 of the Sacred Congregation of The Holy Office, dated November 28, 1958, and a notification of March 6, 1959, prohibited the spreading of the devotion to The Divine Mercy in the form given by Sister Faustina. As a result, the images which had been hung in many churches were removed. Priests stopped preaching about The Divine Mercy. Father Sopocko himself was severely admonished by the Holy See and suffered many other troubles in connection with the spreading of the devotion to The Divine Mercy.

The Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy was also forbidden to spread the devotion; in consequence, the images, the chaplet, the novena and all other things that might suggest that the devotion was being propagated were withdrawn. It appeared that the work of mercy, so much recommended by Sister Faustina, had been destroyed and would never rise again.

Until the notification, the image of The Divine Mercy received much honor in the Congregation's home in Cracow, where Sister Faustina died, and it was covered with votive offerings. A solemn Mass was held on the third Sunday of each month, and priests preached sermons about The Divine Mercy. The first Sunday after Easter was celebrated as the Feast of The Divine Mercy, which Cardinal Adam Sapieha in 1951 invested with a plenary indulgence for seven years.

In view of the Holy See's ban, the Sisters addressed the Ordinary of the Archdiocese of Cracow, Archbishop Baziak, to inquire what should be done with the image which hung in the side altar, covered with many votive offerings, and what attitude should be taken towards the celebrations in praise of The Divine Mercy. In answer, Archbishop Baziak ordered the image to be left in its place and the faithful not to be forbidden to pray before the image for needed graces. He also ordered the existing celebrations to be maintained.

In this way the devotion to The Divine Mercy survived the test in the small center of the Congregation in Cracow, at 3/9 Wronia Street, where the body of the Servant of God is buried. At present, the devotion is again gathering force, renewing and attracting the interest of theologians.

Since the first part of her prophecy was fulfilled almost literally, it can be supposed that the remainder of it will also be fulfilled. The following facts attest to the genuineness of the Servant of God's prophecy:

On June 30, 1978, The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (A.A.S. page 350) published a "Notification" signed April 15, 1978, by His Eminence Franjo Cardinal Seper, Prefect, and Archbishop Jerome Hamer, O.P., Secretary. It is as follows:

From various places, especially from Poland, even proceeding from competent authority, it has been asked whether the prohibitions contained in the "Notification" of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, published in the Acts of the Apostolic See, in the year 1959, p. 271, regarding the devotion to The Divine Mercy in the forms proposed by Sister Faustina Kowalska, must be regarded as still in force.

This Sacred Congregation, having now in possession the many original documents, unknown in 1959; having taken into consideration the profoundly changed circumstances, and having taken into account the opinion of many Polish Ordinaries, declares no longer binding the prohibitions contained in the quoted "Notification." On July 12, 1979, in response to the Superior General of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M., who in the name of the Provincial Superior of the American Province of St. Stanislaus Kostka, of said Congregation, had asked for an authoritative explanation of the scope of the text in the "Notification" of 1978, rescinding the prohibitions to spread the devotion to The Divine Mercy proposed by Sister Faustina Kowalska, the Prefect of The Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ascertained:

In reference to that matter (raised in the letter of Father General) I have the honor of informing you that with the new "Notification" (A.A.S., 30 June 1978, p. 350), arrived at in the light of original documentation examined also by the careful informative intervention of the then Archbishop of Cracow, Card. Karol Wojtyla, it was the intention of the Holy See to revoke the prohibition contained in the preceding "Notification" of 1959 (A.A.S., 1959, p. 271), in virtue of which it is understood that there no longer exists, on the part of this S. Congregation, any impediment to the spreading of the devotion to The Divine Mercy in the authentic forms proposed by the Religious Sister mentioned above [The Servant of God Sister Faustina Kowalska].



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