Vilnius, Lithuania, Apr 28, 2019 / 03:03 am (CNA).- Among Catholic devotions, the Divine Mercy message is well-known: the iconic image of Christ, with rays of red and white pouring from his heart; St. Faustina, called the “Apostle of Divine Mercy;” and the Basilica of Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland.
But what you might not know is that more than 450 miles north of Krakow, in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, there is another Sanctuary of Divine Mercy, one which houses the first image of the merciful Jesus created, and the only Image of Divine Mercy St. Faustina herself ever saw.
Archbishop Gintaras Grusas of Vilnius told CNA that the city, often called the “City of Mercy,” is not only “a place of the Divine Mercy revelations, but also a place that is in need of mercy, throughout history, and a place that in the last couple decades has been a place where we need to show mercy.”
Since long before St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy revelations, the Mother of Mercy has been the patroness of Vilnius, Grusas said.
In fact, in the 1600s, a painting of Our Lady of the Gate of Dawn was created and placed in a niche above one of the prominent city gates. Many miracles are attributed to the image, which was canonically crowned Mother of Mercy by Pope Pius XI in 1927.
It was in this small chapel of the Mother of Mercy, above the gate, that the Image of Divine Mercy was first displayed. So Vilnius has had “mercy upon mercy,” Grusas noted.