Divine Mercy devotion confirmed

Father Kaz’s stories confirmed that God was willing to do extraordinary things to spread Divine Mercy, and that I’m devoting my life to promoting a very good cause.

BACK FROM HIS LENTEN HIATUS! Welcome to Part 19 of a weekly series on the formation journey of Josh, a first-year novice at the Marian House of Studies in Washington, D.C. Watch for a new post every Friday.

Father Kaz sat with us novices at a long table in Stockbridge. I typed down notes on my computer as he talked. Father Kaz had many stories about Divine Mercy to tell, and they were gripping.

Father Julian
Father Kaz told us about Fr. Julian Chrosciechowski, MIC, a prisoner in the concentration camp of Dachau. When the Nazis took all the prisoners out of the camp to execute them, Fr. Julian asked a Nazi guard if he could get something from his cell. The guard agreed because often this kind of request was made because something valuable was hidden, and the guards could take it from him later. 

Father Julian went back to his cell and got a Divine Mercy card out from under his mattress, with Jesus’ Image and the words, “Jesus, I trust in You.” 

Father Kaz showed us novices a Divine Mercy card that Fr. Julian gave to the Marians, likely the same one he’d brought from his cell that day. 

When Fr. Julian returned to the cellblock’s exit, the prisoners and guards were gone. He saw the prisoners were all herded into vehicles and were being driven away, Dachau’s doors were open, and all the guards had their backs turned to him and were walking away. 

There were watchtowers by Dachau’s doors, but the guards weren’t paying attention. Father Julian was able to walk right through the open doors of the concentration camp, unnoticed. He found the underground resistance, they brought him to safety, and he spread the Divine Mercy devotion. 

Father Joseph
Father Joseph Jarzebowski, MIC was another great missionary. He was a Marian priest, but he was initially skeptical of Divine Mercy devotion. He was trapped by Soviet forces in occupied Lithuania. The only way out of the country was to get a permit from the KGB, but they were looking for priests to lock them up. 

Father Joseph was a very tall man who stood out. He couldn’t hide. 

Eventually, he prayed to the Lord that if the Lord helped him escape, he would spread the Divine Mercy devotion. He took documents on the institution of Divine Mercy, and some booklets and brochures promoting the devotion. Then, making an act of trust in the Lord, he walked down to the KGB office where he needed to get a permit. 

The man on duty started to interrogate him harshly as soon as he asked for a permit, but immediately, another KGB man came out of an adjoining office and started an argument with the man at the desk about an unrelated matter. 

Completely flustered, eventually the man looked back at Fr. Joseph and demanded, “Why are you here?”

“To get a permit to leave,” Fr. Joseph answered.

Without any questions, the man stamped his papers and rushed him out the door. 

Later, Fr. Joseph needed to pass another Communist guard to get onto a boat on his way to Japan. He certainly wouldn’t be allowed through with all his Divine Mercy documents, so as soon as his briefcase was opened, he’d be finished.

However, the first book the guard saw was Fr. Joseph’s breviary. He thumbed through it and laughed at Fr. Joseph’s holy cards, finding them amusing and distracting. He never looked inside Fr. Joseph’s briefcase.

Father Joseph was able to leave for Japan and ultimately get to the US after multiple incredible escapes that could only have been arranged by Divine Providence.

Amazing stories
Later, Fr. Kaz told us about a priest who experienced a heart attack, and he came back from this brush with death with the conviction that he was only alive because he needed to translate the Diary of St. Faustina into Arabic. Father Kaz knew this priest and encouraged him in his translation work. Eventually, the priest accomplished this great task. Shortly after, he died of another big heart attack, confirming his sense that he’d only been allowed to live for this. 

There also was a woman from India who was very shy, and didn’t have a lot of money, but felt called by God to build a Divine Mercy shrine in India. It was very hard to get permission from government authorities to build any Christian religious structure. 

Eventually, after praying about this for years, she decided to try to just act on it. She noticed an open hill in a busy part of her city, an ideal place for people to gather. She inquired about who owned it and discovered that it was a Buddhist who she studied with in elementary school! However, she couldn’t get in touch with him; he was unreachable.

Later, incredibly, she found herself sitting next to this very man in an airport. They had a conversation and he offered the hill for a price. She didn’t have much money, so they were at an impasse. 

However, a month later, he called her and said he’d give her the hill for free. As a result, she was able to build the Divine Mercy shrine in India! Father Kaz knew this woman personally. 

God’s desire
Father Kaz talked with us for about 13 hours in Stockbridge, in multiple sessions, pouring out his immense enthusiasm for the subject dearest to his heart. 

His talks gave me a big takeaway: God wants the Divine Mercy devotion spread in the world. 

Because I have a mindset that likes hard evidence, and I don’t trust mystics’ revelations readily, the series of incredible real-life experiences that Fr. Kaz rolled out was impactful. Father Kaz’s stories confirmed that God was willing to do extraordinary things to spread Divine Mercy, and that I’m devoting my life to promoting a very good cause. 

Next entry: "Battles of Wits."
Previous entry

Is God calling you to be a priest? Or do you know someone who would make an ideal priest? Contact us!


You might also like...

Let all of us who have ever experienced loss or failures turn to St. Bridget (feast day: July 23) for intercession.

"We must teach others about Christ," said Bl. María Inés Teresa of the Blessed Sacrament (feast day: July 22). "We missionaries should not, therefore, let a day go by without our talking of Christ to others. To know that only a small number of people know the true God (Love) should be a source of torment for us."

She is perhaps the most popular representation of the Blessed Mother: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, whose feast we celebrate on July 16.