BLESSED FRATHER MICHAEL
is the visible help for you on earth.
He will help you to carry out My will on earth" (Diary, 53).
Divine Providence entrusted a very important
role in St. Sister Faustina's mission to her confessor and spiritual director
Fr. Michael Sopocko. During Sister Faustina's stay in Vilnius (Lithuania)
in the years 1933-1936, he was for her an irreplaceable help in discerning
and visions. Obedient to his orders, she wrote a DIARY, which is an now
an extraordinarily valuable document of Catholic mysticism. In the DIARY
one can also find evidence of Fr. Sopocko's extraordinary character and
his work in fulfilling the desires of the Lord Jesus.
Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko
"He is a priest after My own Heart
(...) Through him it pleases Me to proclaim
the worship of My mercy" (Diary, 1256).
"His thought is closely united with Mine,
so be at peace about
what concerns My work. I will not let him make a mistake,
and you should do nothing without his permission" (Diary, 1408)
The painting of the Image of Merciful Jesus
and the exposition of the Image for public honor, making the Chaplet to
the Divine Mercy widely known, undertaking preliminary efforts to establish
the Feast of the Divine Mercy and the founding of the new Congregation
all took place in Vilnius thanks to Father Michael Sopocko. From that
time the collaborative efforts, brought to fruition
at the cost of prayer and suffering, now radiate to embrace the whole
Dr Fr. Sopockos great sacrifice and effort in his work, I admired
his patience and humility. This all cost a great deal, not only in terms
of toil and various troubles, but also financially, as Dr Fr. Sopocko
was taking care of all the expenses. I can see that Divine Providence
had prepared him to carry out this work of mercy before I had asked
God for this. Oh, how mysterious are Your ways, O God! And how happy
are the souls that follow the call of the Divine mercy!" (Diary,
Frather Michael Sopocko was born in Nowosady, near
Vilnius (Lithuania). He studied theology
at the University of Vilnius between the years of 1910 and 1914. He then
went on to complete
at the Pedagogical Institute in Warsaw. After obtaining his doctorate
in moral theology in 1926,
he became the Spiritual Director of the seminary in Vilnius. He was tenured
in 1934. He worked
as lecturer of pastoral theology at the Theology Department of Stefan
Batory University in Vilnius and at the Higher Theological Seminary in
Bialystok (1928-1962). Between 1918 and 1932 he was
a chaplain in the Polish Army in Warsaw and in Vilnius.
In his published research works, Fr. Sopocko laid down a theological basis
for the new forms
of devotion to the Divine Mercy, to which he was a dedicated apostle.
He was deeply engaged
in social work. He was the confessor for religious and lay communities.
In his letters to the newly formed congregation of the Divine Mercy, he
helped to compose the constitution of the congregation according to the
thinking and proposals of sister Faustina. He composed prayers
to the Divine Mercy based on her texts. He
kept in contact with sister Faustina until the time
of her death, and afterwards took it upon himself to complete the tasks
given to her in her apparitions. In the DIARY of Saint sister Faustina
there are testimonies bearing witness
to the beautiful personality and inner riches of this holy priest.
"O my Jesus, You see how very grateful I am
to Father Sopocko, who has advanced Your work so much. That soul, so
humble, has had to endure all the storms. He has not allowed himself
to become discouraged by adversities, but has faithfully responded to
the call of God" (Diary, 1586).
"I was talking with my spiritual director,
I had an interior vision, of his soul in great suffering, in such agony
that God touches very few souls with such fire. The suffering arises
from this work. There will come a time when this work, which God is
demanding so very much, will be as though utterly undone. And then God
will act with great power, which will give evidence of its authenticity.
It will be a new splendor for the Church, although it has been dormant
in it from long ago.
That God is infinitely merciful, no one can deny. He
desires everyone to know this before He comes again as Judge. He wants
souls to come to know Him first as King of Mercy. When this triumph
comes, we shall already have entered the new life in which there is
no suffering. But before this, your soul (of the spiritual director)
will be surfeited with bitterness at the sight of the destruction of
your efforts. However, this will only appear to be so, because what
God has once decided upon, He does not change. But although this destruction
will be such only in outward appearance, the suffering will be real.
When will this happen? I do not know. How long will it last? I do not
know" (Diary, 378).
"Jesus, this is Your affair, so why are You acting this way toward
him? It seems to me that You are making difficulties for him while at
the same time ordering him to act.
Write that by day and by night My gaze is fixed upon him, and I permit
these adversities in order to increase his merit. I do not reward for
good results but for the patience and hardship undergone for My sake"
"There will be as many crowns to form
his crown as there will be souls saved by this work" (Diary, 90).
"I received a letter from Father Sopocko.
I learned that Gods work is progressing, however slowly.(...)
I have come to learn that, for the present, so far as my participation
in the work is concerned, the Lord is asking for prayer and sacrifice.(...)
I have learned from this letter how great is the light which God grants
to this priest. This confirms in me the conviction that God will carry
out this work through him despite the mounting obstacles. I know well
that the greater and the more beautiful the work is, the more terrible
will be the storms that that rage against it" (Diary, 1401).
"God, in his unfathomable decrees, often allows
it to be the case that those who have expended the most effort in accomplishing
some work do not enjoy its fruits here on earth; God reserves all their
joy for eternity. But for all that, God sometimes lets them know how
much their effort please Him. And such moments strengthen them for further
struggles and ordeals. These are the souls that bear closest resemblance
to the Savior who, in the work which He founded here on earth, tasted
nothing but bitterness"
let me know how everything is dependent on His will, sa as to give me
profound peace regarding the security of His work. Listen,
My daughter, although all the works that come into being by My will
are exposed to great sufferings, consider whether any of them has been
subject to greater difficulties than that work which is directly Mine
- the work of Redemption. You should not worry about adversities too
much. The world is not as powerful as it seems to be; its strength is
strictly limited" (Diary, 1643).
Frather Sopocko writes in his DIARY:
"There are the truths which are known and often heard and spoken but
not understandable. It was like that with me, concerning the truth of
Divine Mercy. So many times I mentioned this truth in my sermons and
thought about it during the retreats. I repeated it in church prayers
- especially in Psalms - but I didnt understand the meaning of
this truth, and I didnt get to the core of its essence,
that it is the highest attribute of Gods external activity. It
was only this simple nun,
S. Faustina from the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy
(Magdalens), who, by telling me this truth in simple terms and often
repeating it, stimulated me to examine, study and think about this truth.
(...) in the beginning I didnt know what the problem was; I listened,
distrusted, thought, studied and sought advice from others - but only
several years after did I understand the greatness and importance of
this work. Only then was i convinced about the effectiveness of this
old, but hugely neglected life-giving devotion, and the neccesity for
its renewal in or times. (...) Trust in Gods
Mercy, and the spreading of devotion to His mercy among others will
be the general principle of the rest of my life. With the help of His
immeasurable mercy I will devote of all thoughts, words and deeds to
it, without a shadow of myself".
message of the Gospel does not depend on proclaiming
that sinners should become good, but rather that God is good for sinners"
(Frather Michael Sopocko)
Frather Michael Sopocko died considered
as a saint in Bialystok on the 15th of February 1975
(the feast day of St. Faustina).
REMEMBERANCE CHAMBER - The home
where Fr. Michael Sopocko spent his last years and where
he died. Presently the HOUSE OF CONGREGATION OF THE SISTERS OF MERCIFUL
Bialystok, 42 Poleska street.
SHRINE OF THE DIVINE MERCY -
Resting place of the earthly remains of Fr. Michael Sopocko,
founder of the Congregation of Sisters of Mercifull Jesus. Bialystok,
1 Radzyminska street.
Frather Sopocko with the spiritual daughters.
"As a result of his efforts,
a new light will shine in the Church of God for the consolation of
souls" (Diary, 1390).
the feet of Jesus I saw my confessor, and behind him a great number
of the highest ranking ecclesiastics, clothed in vestments I had never
seen before, except in this vision; and behind them, groups of religious
from various orders; and further still I saw enormous crowds of people,
which extended far beyond my vision. I saw two rays coming out from
the Host, as in the image, closely united but not intermingled; they
passed through the hands of my confessor, and then through the hands
of the clergy and from their hands to the people, and then they returned
to the Host..." (Diary, 344).
28 September 2008 in the Divine Mercy Church in Bialystok (Polonia)
took place the beatification
of the Servant of God Fr. Michael Sopocko.
>> The beatification of Father Michael Sopocko
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