The summer of 2012 was an important time in the history of the USA. The entire country was engaged in a great debate over the direction our country should take. The paths were very clearly laid out and we were poised as a nation to choose to walk with God or reject Him. It was during this pivotal time that the Divine Mercy for America initiative was born.
In August, Dave and Joan Maroney, prompted by concerns about the political, economic, spiritual and cultural conditions in America, prayed a novena to the Holy Spirit. At the conclusion several passages from the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul came to light in which the Lord specifically asked St. Faustina to pray for Poland.
St. Faustina died in October 1938 and in less that one year Poland was invaded by Nazi Germany marking the beginning World War II. It was obvious there was much for St. Faustina to pray for with such a dark period in the world on their doorstep.
But what the Maroneys found surprising, and concerning, was that she was often asked to pray and make sacrifices in order to appease God’s anger with her country – for its ingratitude and sins committed there. Sins so terrible that St. Faustina said, “If God were to visit our country with the greatest chastisements, that would still be great mercy, because for such grave transgressions, He could punish us with eternal annihilation.” (Diary, 1533)
Concern was heightened when the Maroneys came across Diary passage 818 where St. Faustina mentions her neighboring country of Russia. She wrote that she offered her day, all her “prayers and sufferings for that poor country” and the Lord told her, “I cannot suffer that country any longer. Do not tie my hands, My daughter.” St. Faustina continues, “I understood that if it had not been for the prayers of souls that are pleasing to God, that whole nation would have already been reduced to nothingness. Oh, how I suffer for that nation which has banished God from its borders!”
Ingratitude, sinfulness, banishing God from its borders . . . this was a perfect description of the US in the summer of 2012. If God had been angry at Poland in 1936, how angry must He be at our country now?
Suddenly it seemed that it was time to step up the game in terms of praying for our country and thus the Divine Mercy for America initiative was born. It was obvious from the immediate positive reaction that many were in agreement and with no delay the Action Plan was laid out for the Campaign platform. A high goal of one million registered members was set, materials were designed and printed and the initiative was off and running. Within one year live presentations had been given to audiences from coast to coast including at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts over Mercy Weekend 2013.
Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M, Stockbridge, MA 01263. All rights reserved. www.marian.org