The first ‘Hospice for the Dying’ in Lithuania
The first ‘Hospice for the Dying’ in Lithuania built by our charity was seen as an historic national event. National television channels and media journalists from all over Poland, and Lithuania, were there to record the event for public broadcasting.
It seems extraordinary that there was no hospice or palliative care centre in this country until HUDT "Divine Mercy in Action" built it. It took an Irish charity to open the first hospice here, which was appreciated by the Irish Government by having the Irish Ambassador cut the ribbon. It was as a result of a plea from the ‘Sisters of Merciful Jesus’ (the community of sisters founded on the request of Jesus to St.Faustina) caring for the sick and dying elderly people of Vilnius, crying out for a place of cleanliness, security and warmth for poor souls to live out their last years in peace and dignity.
The HUDT Charity (‘Divine Mercy in Action’) answered that call and today there is one of the most modern palliative care centres in Europe now opened for these people. The place chosen to do this was an old abandoned Vincentian Convent on the grounds of the artist who painted the original image of Divine Mercy. The site was donated by the Archbishop of Vilnius, Cardinal Backis, to the Sisters of Merciful Jesus.
The astonishing and maybe miraculous happening for us, a ‘Divine Mercy Apostolate’ was that the site was on ground where Saint Faustina and Blessed Michael Sopocko walked to instruct the artist in the painting of the image. These two ‘Apostles of Divine Mercy’ chosen by God to bring the message of Divine Mercy to the world, had met together over a period of more than six months with the artist, to supervise the painting of the image that Our Lord had instructed Saint Faustina to have painted.
It was the image that Christ wanted to make available to the world, for all to venerate and seek His Divine Mercy. It was also on this ground that this congregation that Jesus asked for was founded.
Here they will work and bring God’s mercy in deed, word and prayer to the poor elderly homeless of Vilnius.
It is one of "Divine Mercy in Action's" greatest works, in continuation of Christ’s request to St. Faustina and Blessed Sopocko to bring His mercy to those in need.
The project was approved and blessed by Cardinal Audrys Backis in 2005. Once again we thank all Divine Mercy devotees who supported and continue to support this ongoing project. This project cost over €1.5 million Euro.
Spiritual Projects Vilnius
When Val Conlon arrived in Vilnius some years ago, very few people knew that this was the place where Saint Faustina had received the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. From her diary, Divine Mercy devotees knew that it happened in Vilnius but no one could tell where exactly the place was.
It took Val some time to discover the ruined convent which had only one surviving house, which through some extraordinary miracle happened to be the house where Saint Faustina lived, where she wrote the Diary and received the “Chaplet of Divine Mercy”. It was a revelation and an astonishing miracle at the same time, that this although a ruin should be the only convent house left out of five that made up the whole convent community in Faustina's time. Amidst wars, destruction, Nazi and Communist occupations, this part of the convent survived.
Val felt God must have preserved this part of the convent for a holy purpose. It must be one of the most important places associated with the Divine Mercy revelations, the place where He gave her the prayer with such promise's attached to it, for those who recited it in certain circumstances, especially in preparation for the Feast of Mercy, to achieve complete cleansing of the soul.
And on the occasion of saying it at the bedside of a dying person, a promise to save that soul, regardless of the sins they had committed in life. This extraordinary prayer is so related to the mass, giving ordinary people an opportunity to offer up the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross to the eternal Father in atonement for our family’s sins and those of the whole world, especially now when in many parts of the world there is no priest to celebrate the mass.
Vilnius is now known as the “City of Divine Mercy”, a place that must have been highly favoured by Jesus. This is where His sacred image, the original “Image of Divine Mercy” was painted and exposed to the world for the first time, it is here that the “Chaplet of Divine Mercy” was given to the world; it is here that the “Feast of Mercy” was celebrated for the first time in 1934. It was here the Diary of St. Faustina was written, “Divine Mercy in My Soul”. It was here that the congregation of the “Sisters of Merciful Jesus” was founded as asked for by Jesus in the Diary of Faustina.
It is the City where Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko proclaimed and made known to the world the revelations on Divine Mercy for the first time. No single place on this earth is more associated with Jesus and Divine Mercy than this city of Vilnius, in Lithuania, which of course was politically part of Poland in Faustina’s time, and that is why when Vilnius is mentioned in the Diary, it is in Poland because Lithuania was part of Poland at that time.
Hospice for Terminally ill Children in Vilnius
Our ‘Help Us Dry the Tears’ Charity, is pleased to have the opportunity to extend our Palliative Care Hospice for the Dying in Vilnius, Lithuania, and to add a new building which will be an especially dedicated hospice for terminally ill children.
The aim of palliative care is to enhance the quality of life of those living with life limiting progressive conditions focusing on promoting comfort through relief of pain and other physical and psychosocial problems.
Our adult Hospice for the Dying in Vilnius has been a great success for many suffering and impoverished people who could have otherwise died in miserable conditions on the streets or in wretched hovels in Lithuania.
Following on from the success of our adult hospice, we have decided to support and fund a new building which will provide for the needs of terminally ill children, who might otherwise not receive the care they need.
We thank the ‘Sisters of Merciful Jesus’ for voluntarily running these Hospices and we thank all of our ‘Help Us Dry the Tears’ supporters and ask for their continued support for the success of this project.
We will keep you updated on this special project through our new Website and Divine Mercy Newsletter.
The cost of this projects will be over €1, 000, 000 Euros