Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Meeting with the Sick - Visit to the Shrine of Divine Mercy

by Pope Benedict XVI

Descriptive Title

Poland: Visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Kalwaria in Kalwaria Zebrzydowska 2006


During his return journey to Krakow on May 27, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Langiewniki. He paused in prayer before the tomb of St. Faustina Kowalska, where Karol Wojtyla frequently came to pray when he was a worker and later as a clandestine seminarian in the 1940s. Benedict also visited the basilica, where he met with 800 sick people and gave this address. He told them that they are "the most eloquent witnesses of God's mercy," and beautiful examples of confidence in God's divine plan.

Publisher & Date

Vatican, May 27, 2006

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am very pleased to be able to meet you during my visit here to the Shrine of Divine Mercy. I extend heartfelt greetings to all of you: to the sick, their carers, the priests engaged in pastoral ministry at the Shrine, to the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, to the members of the “Faustinum” and to all those present.

On this occasion we encounter two mysteries: the mystery of human suffering and the mystery of Divine Mercy. At first sight these two mysteries seem to be opposed to one another. But when we study them more deeply in the light of faith, we find that they are placed in reciprocal harmony through the mystery of the Cross of Christ. As Pope John Paul II said in this place: “the Cross is the most profound bowing down of the Divinity towards man … the Cross is like a touch of eternal love on the most painful wounds of humanity’s earthly existence” (17 August 2002). Dear friends who are sick, who are marked by suffering in body or soul, you are most closely united to the Cross of Christ, and at the same time, you are the most eloquent witnesses of God’s mercy. Through you and through your suffering, he bows down towards humanity with love. You who say in silence: “Jesus, I trust in you” teach us that there is no faith more profound, no hope more alive and no love more ardent than the faith, hope and love of a person who in the midst of suffering places himself securely in God’s hands. May the human hands of those who care for you in the name of mercy be an extension of the open hands of God.

I would so willingly embrace each one of you. But since this is impossible, I draw you spiritually to my heart, and I impart my Blessing in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

© Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

This item 6973 digitally provided courtesy of