30 Years of Being Friends

1989 - 11 years after the lifting of the temporary ban on promulgation of the Divine Mercy message and devotion - the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, through the Association of Marian Helpers, and Marian Press, were busy spreading Divine Mercy to all the corners of the world. To help spread the word about this important work, and to gather devotees of Divine Mercy together, the Friends of Mercy club was born. Since then, Friends of Mercy have witnessed the beatification and canonization of St. Faustina; the proclamation of Divine Mercy Sunday as a feast day in the Church; Divine Mercy taken up by Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis; and the message and devotion of Divine Mercy becoming the greatest grassroots movement of the Church.

In the very first newsletters, Fr. Joseph, MIC, director of the Association of Marian Helpers, gave updates on the Divine Mercy evangelization efforts. By that time, Marian Press published in Polish, English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hungarian, Korean, Greek, and Russian! The Marians were eager to spread Divine Mercy even to parts of the world still under the reign of Communism. Saint John Paul II was visiting these countries as well, and the iron curtain was falling in countries one by one.

It's hard to believe that was only 30 years ago. So much has happened, and the world has come so far in many respects. In other matters, however, our world today faces its own challenges and difficulties - relativism, atheism, the culture of death. The world needs Divine Mercy just as much now, if not more, than it needed it 30 years ago.

This is why we stand in gratitude for all of you, our Friends of Mercy. By your support, the Marian Fathers continue to print Divine Mercy materials, including St. Faustina's Diary, and more than one million pieces of Divine Mercy art and literature every year. Many Marian priests and brothers are in active ministry. We have zealous and vibrant lay apostolates such as the Mother of Mercy Messengers, the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy, and the Healthcare Professionals for Divine Mercy. We have almost 30 men in formation for the priesthood and religious life to continue this important ministry.

As we celebrate this 30th anniversary of the Friends of Mercy, we thank you for continuing to support us in this important mission and remind you of Jesus' words to St. Faustina:

Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior. At that last hour, a soul has nothing with which to defend itself except My mercy. Happy is the soul that during its lifetime immersed itself in the Fountain of Mercy, because justice will have no hold on it (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 1075).

Most important of all, Friends of Mercy, is your participation in the spreading of God's mercy. By your hands and feet, and by your words and works of mercy, God's mercy is able to reach farther than we could ever imagine. Together we are partners in this mission of mercy, and I can't wait for that day when we will stand before our Merciful Lord and see the full impact this mission of mercy has had on the world.

Join Friends of Mercy.


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