God wants the kind of love which expresses itself through love of neighbour – wrote Bishop Wiesław Szlachetka, President of the Charity Commission of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, in his message for Divine Mercy Sunday, which falls on 7 April. This day is the patronal feast of Caritas and begins Mercy Week.

“God, being the giver of temporal and eternal life, deserves our love. But at the same time, he points out that he desires the kind of love that expresses itself through love of neighbor” – wrote Bishop Wiesław Szlachetka on the occasion of Divine Mercy Sunday, which is the patronal feast of Caritas and begins Mercy Week.

This year, the celebration of Mercy Week will be accompanied by the words: “everyone who loves the father loves [also] the one begotten by him” (1 Jn 5:1). As Bishop Szlachetka explained, the motto of this year’s Mercy Week is linked to the Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord which falls on this time and is celebrated as the Sanctity of Life Day. He recalled that the life of every human being is a gift of God’s love. “You cannot love God without loving your neighbour. And we love God and our neighbour when we keep God’s commandments” – Bishop Szlachetka wrote. „And when our neighbour is in need of help and we show that help to him, then love becomes mercy” – he added.

In his word for Mercy Sunday, the President of the Charity Commission of the Polish Bishops’ Conference thanked all Caritas workers, co-workers, volunteers and donors. „Thanks be to God for all those who practice love of neighbour on a daily basis and are not afraid to do mercy, even when it involves great sacrifice” – he stressed. He noted that Caritas is a huge charitable institution of the Catholic Church, and in the dimension of our country it includes: Caritas Poland, diocesan Caritas, parish Caritas teams and school and academic Caritas circles.

He also mentioned some of the works carried out by Caritas at home and abroad. Among them, various forms of assistance to Ukraine, programmes such as: „Family to Family”, „A Backpack Full of Smiles” or „Christmas Eve Aid to Children” and „I will save you”.

Bishop Szlachetka recalled that on the patronal feast of Caritas, a collection for charitable purposes is traditionally conducted throughout Poland. On the other hand, the last day of Mercy Week is traditionally called the „Day of Good”.

Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference