Late last week, Polish lawmakers granted initial approval to a law that has sparked grave concerns among Israeli officials and Holocaust historians.
This has got to be one of the most powerful statement from the peoples of a catholic country.Powerful message to those Islamic extremists.Hope they get the message.
The Polish people have spoken. Senator Pauline Hansen of Australia advises banning Muslim immigration into christian countries.
THE EVIL OF ISLAM SHALL BE DESTROYED.
At Ostra Brama SAPIECHA FAMILY PALACE DONATED TO THE CONVENT
The place where the image of the Merciful Jesus was displayed for the first time – the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Ostra Brama – is also important. In the 16th century Ostra Brama was built along with the city walls – it was the first gate to Vilnius. There was a route which led to Medininkai, Ashmyany and Minsk through it; therefore, at first the gate was called the Medininkai Gate. It was also called ‚Zaranna Gate’ [the Gate of Dawn] and, later it was named ‚Aštra’ [in Polish: ‚Ostra’, in English: ‚Sharp’] – because of the name of the southern end of the city. In the gate a picture of Our Lady was put up – it was greatly venerated as early as in the 17th century, and Carmelites who served in Saint Teresa’s Church,the church adjacent to Ostra Brama, started to take care of the image. In 1671 a wooden chapel was built, however, after less than fifty years it burnt down. In its place a new one was erected in 1829 – it was made of brick and built in the neoclassical style. The inhabitants of Vilnius have loved Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn a lot, which, for instance, a large number of votive offerings prove. As early as in the 18th century Our Lady received a beautiful dress made of gold-plated silver, which was probably given by a goldsmiths’ guild. In the 20th century the picture was crowned twice (papal crowns) and the title of the Mother of Mercy was conferred on Our Lady of Ostra Brama.
In March, 1936, Sister Faustina left Vilnius for good, however, Rev. Sopoćko continued her mission in the city. By every possible means he tried to propagate the devotion to the Divine Mercy and he also broadened his theological knowledge of the mystery. Therefore, in Vilnius there are places which are not so much connected with Sister Faustina herself as with the mission entrusted to her by the Lord Jesus. Saint Michael the Archangel’s Church is worth-mentioning because it was there that the image of the Merciful Jesus hung since 1937 till 1948 – the year when the church was closed down. In place of the church and the
***Bernardine Sisters’ convent there used to be a medieval palace of the Sapiecha family. Lew Sapiecha, who was a grand hetman [the second highest military commander] of Lithuania and a governor of Vilnius province, donated the palace to the Bernardine Sisters and adapted it for the needs of the convent.***
In 1594-1596 he had Saint Michael the Archangel’s Church built next to the palace. In 1933 the church and the convent were renovated. However, unfortunately, in 1948 the church was closed down and since 1956 it has been a museum of architecture.
After the closure of Saint Michael’s Church its equipment, therefore, also the image of the Merciful Jesus was transferred to the Holy Spirit Church. Originally, it was a wooden church erected in King Władysław Jagiełło time. After a fire in 1441 Casimir the Jagiellonian had it rebuilt and since the beginning of the 16th century the church was in the charge of the Dominicans, who had been brought to Vilnius by Alexander the Jagiellonian. In the second half of the 18th century the church was rebuilt again and its present outward appearance dates back to that time. Since the convent was closed down by the tsarist authorities in 1844 the church has since functioned as a parish one. Inside there are numerous frescos and pictures, including the valuable painting ‚The Holy Spirit’s Apotheosis’, which dates back to the 19th century. Initially, the image of the Merciful Jesus was stored there as a deposit of Saint Michael’s Church and since 1985, for ten years, it was displayed for public worship on a side altar.
On the 28th September, 2005, through the decision of the Archbishop of Vilnius, A. Bačkis, the image of the Merciful Jesus was transferred to the Holy Trinity’s Church. In that place there was a church as early as in the 15th century and at that time probably it was a wooden one. There is no reliable information about the date when the brick church was erected. In 1536 King Sigismund I funded a hospital attached to the church and at the beginning of the 19th century the authorities converted the church into an Orthodox one. After it was rebuilt, its initial appearance changed almost completely. One hundred years later the church was returned to Catholics, who had it renovated. Today the Holy Trinity’s Church is a shrine of the Divine Mercy.
Sr M. Natanaela Czajkowska O.L.M.
‚Divine Mercy Newsletter’, no. 68 (2008) and 69 (2009), pp10-11.