June 6, Bl Mary (Maria) Karłowska

June 6
In the Diocese of Toruń
Optional memorial

Mary Karłowska was born on 4 September 1865 in the village of Słupówka in Greater Poland. At 17, she privately vowed chastity. From 1892, she undertook apostolic works in order to give morally neglected girls the chance of religious and social rehabilitation. Despite piling up difficulties, she remained faithful to the calling, crowning it with the foundation of the Congregation of the Pastor Sisters of Divine Providence. She died in the opinion of sanctity on 24 March 1935.

Common of Virgins.



From works by Blessed Mary Karłowska, Virgin
(MK 121-IV/6, p. 48)
On the Divine Mercy

“Through all ages I shall proclaim Lord’s mercy.” What is Divine Mercy? Mercy is an attribute that either partially or fully forgives the guilt and debt which deserve punishment. Thus, mercy grows from (not) only social background: either man to man, or a superior to an inferior, but (above all) God as the Lord of everything that exists – to man, who is his inferior, and culprit, and debtor.

While speaking of the Divine Mercy, we often think of the latter relation: guilt and debt. The debt in question incurred by man with God is visible in the creation and sustenance of man, and man’s guilt has been growing constantly through sins, first  original sin and then sins of deed that amount to infinity. Out of this guilt God’s wrath had to grow, as he could not look at sin that would result in an eternal guilt, i.e. eternal punishment; he was, so to say, obliged to deny man His grace and His Countenance, to condemn him and banish to hell.

So God began to feel compassionate toward the culprit. He felt pity. He showed mercy that is bigger than the guilt and sin – the endless mercy. He pardoned the punishment, seeing his grief and boundless misery. He forgot about the eternal punishment and left only a temporal one in the form of penance. And it all happened according to God’s ways, so magnificently that even the temporal penance became sweet, as Jesus Christ, Son of God and Lamb of God, took both (but more importantly the eternal one) on His divine shoulders, carrying the cross for the world’s guilt and man’s sin.

Jesus, as the endless sacrifice, united God with man who, as the greatest debtor and culprit deserving eternal death, become God’s friend, walking in His grace and salvation. And this is God’s endless mercy – Jesus Christ.

Therefore, the mercy that God showed to us is not dead and soulless. It is not a mere psychic attribute, but a living Person; the dearest, Divine Person who died for you so that you may live with a life of grace and hope of heaven – it is Jesus Christ himself. And the mercy has no end, nor exception, nor alternations.

So feel as though you would rather die today in God’s grace than in sin tomorrow. If you feel this way, God’s mercy will present you with its wonderful miracles more and more clearly in order to guide you to the heights of heroism and sanctity.

Be worthy, then of this Divine mercy by cooperating with grace and obeying His Law. May you never stop thinking and believing that you are the manifestation of the Divine Mercy! And amidst everyday duties, amidst joy, temptations and dryness may your heart utter with your lips an ardent act to the Heart of merciful Jesus “Through all ages I shall proclaim Lord’s mercy.”[1]

RESPONSORY Sirach 2:16; Luke 1:50

Those who fear the Lord seek to please him,
Those who love him are filled with his law.

His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him.
Those who love him are filled with his law.


O God,
in your Providence you gave Blessed Mary Karłowska the grace to help women liberate from the captivity of sin, imitating the example of the Good Shepherd,
through her intercession grant us, your servants, that we may, following good things, be able to avoid harmful ones.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Congregatio de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum. Probatum seu confirmatum, die 30 aprilis 1997. Prot. 434/97/L.

[1] Translated by DChojnacki (2014).


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