Have you heard it too many times? Are you numb to God’s Mercy? 

What if you give Jesus a serious chance tomorrow, on Divine Mercy Sunday?

Saint John Paul II is widely known for his contribution to the fall of communism, the New Evangelization, his renowned Theology of the Body. But the day he instituted “Divine Mercy Sunday” and canonized St. Faustina Kowalska 20 years ago, Pope John Paul II was widely reported as saying: 

​”This is the happiest day of my life!” 

Encountering Jesus’ Mercy is a cornerstone of every JP2 Project program. Next to our residence in Krakow is the epicenter of Merciful Love:  the Divine Mercy Shrine, where Jesus appeared to Sister Faustina.

Marlena shares her powerful experience there from the Young Adult’s TOB Pilgrimage.


Marlena (2nd from left) on the Tatra Mountain hike.

“Partaking in the JP2 Project’s “Young Adults TOB” pilgrimage was an incredible experience.  To have been able to walk in the footsteps of St. John Paul II, learn about Theology of the Body as well as learn of Poland’s history from Dr. Houde and Father Zack was so enriching and provided a full picture of an incredible man who truly emulated Christ.  

​On the pilgrimage, I experienced a deeper love and more intimate relationship with Jesus and our Mother Mary as well as peace and clarity. Before going to Poland, I knew Jesus was always with me, but envisioned Him like a lifeguard; watching over us all but from a little bit of a distance.  While at the Divine Mercy Shrine, that vision changed.


 A sister of the Our Lady of Mercy congregation retold a story from St. Faustina’s diary. At the end, she mentioned we were standing where Jesus appeared to St. Faustina in order to experience for Himself all the greatness she was accomplishing.  It really struck a chord in me as I had recently read that excerpt before going to Kraków and had been deeply touched. As we walked out of the building, the wind picked up and I felt a surge of peace like I was being enveloped in a big hug. Though my feet were firmly planted on the ground, I felt for a moment that I was not on Earth but somewhere else with Jesus. When the moment passed, I thought maybe I was just really excited and had imagined the moment because Jesus can’t come that close with so many to take care of and love.  

Shortly after, each of us chose (at random) a slip of paper containing different excerpts from St. Faustina’s diary.  Sister told us the message we chose would be either for us or someone we knew. I turned over my chosen slip and it said,

“I am with you” -Jesus (Diary, 36). 

It was in that moment that I realized what I had experienced earlier was, in fact, Jesus. He is not distantly watching like a lifeguard but walking with and next to me.  This was the first, of three times, He specifically made His Presence known to me during the pilgrimage which changed my life and relationship with Him. ​

​I am more fully committed now to living a life of “being not afraid and opening the doors wide for Christ” as St. John Paul II said as well as trusting in the constant intercession of our Mother Mary. “

– Marlena, 30 years old, Youth Minister from Colorado Springs