A larger than life sized hand made cross stitch of the Image of the Divine Mercy was on loan to the Monastery of the Holy Cross during Lent through the Octave of Easter. On Divine Mercy Sunday, the monks celebrated with an hour of adoration, the public recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Solemn Vespers, and Benediction.
Jerry and Brigitta Gedvillas pictured with the image of Divine Mercy
The Divine Mercy stitchery, crafted by Brigitta Gedvillas with the assistance of her husband, Jerry, of Houghton, MI, in the Diocese of Marquette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, was begun in 2005 and finished in 2013. Measuring 84 inches by 40 inches, The stitchery, an eight year labor of love and evangelization, contains 237 colors and 13.52 miles of floss. The computer generated pattern for the image consisted in 500 sheets of paper and 10 rolls of tape. During the 8 years of its fabrication, Brigitta faithfully prayed for the poor souls in purgatory as the 514,503 stitches of the image took shape.
Following in the footsteps of St. Faustina, who first received the image from Jesus in a vision 1931, to make this mystery of His Divine Love known to the world, Brigitta experienced great consolation and grace from God while enduring spiritual attacks on her faith and life from from the devil, because of her cooperation with the dictate and desire of God: “My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy” (from the Diary of St. Faustina, # 699).
Brigitta and Jerry Gedvillas lovingly, intricately and faithfully bring to the eyes of the senses and of faith the commission of our Lord Jesus entrusted to St. Faustina to communicate to the world the great message of God’s mercy and to reveal the pattern of Christian perfection based on trust in God and on the attitude of mercy towards one’s neighbor.
On February 22, 1931, Sr. Faustina was visited by Jesus, who presented himself as the “King of Divine Mercy” wearing a white garment with red and pale rays coming from his heart. She was asked to become the apostle and secretary of God’s mercy, a model of how to be merciful to others, and an instrument for reemphasizing God’s plan of mercy for the world.
Her entire life, in imitation of Christ’s, was to be a sacrifice – a life lived for others. At the Divine Lord’s request, she willingly offered her personal sufferings in union with Him to atone for the sins of others. In her daily life she was to become a doer of mercy, bringing joy and peace to others, and by writing about God’s mercy, she was to encourage others to trust in Him and thus prepare the world for His coming again.
Her special devotion to Mary Immaculate and to the sacraments of Eucharist and Reconciliation gave her the strength to bear all her sufferings as an offering to God on behalf of the Church and those in special need, especially great sinners and the dying.