INSTITUTE OF DIVINE MERCY
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We are a female lay institute of consecrated life operating in Poland, Brazil, the USA, Italy, Lithuania and Ukraine.

We do not live together but remain in our own environments trying to change the world from the inside with our daily prayer, work, attitude and testimony. All women who feel the vocation for consecrated life, but at the same time intend to carry on living and working in the secular world, staying in touch with their families are invited to have a look at our mission and the way we live.

The origins and history of the Institute of Divine Mercy


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Św. Siostra Faustyna

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bł. ks. Michał Sopoćko

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Ludmiła Roszko

The main Patron Saints of the Institute are Mother of Mercy and Saint Sister Faustina Kowalska.

Our founder is Blessed Fr. Michael Sopoćko - a confessor of St. Faustina, the cofounder is Ludmila Roszko - a spiritual daughter of Blessed Fr. Michael Sopoćko.

The earliest beginnings of the Institute were marked by World War II, when a group of Stefan Batory University students in Vilnius - the so-called "the first six" - in conspiracy and with the help of Blessed Fr. Michael Sopoćko, looked for an opportunity to establish a congregation on the basis of Jesus's proclamation of Divine Mercy received by Saint Faustina Kowalska. Already in that small community, there were two mainstreams: the first one saw their future as a congregation, the second one desired consecration but still wanted to be part of secular life.

One of the Vilnius "first six" - Ludmila Roszko (the cofounder and first president of the Institute of Divine Mercy) moved to Torun and started her career at Nicolaus Copernicus University. There, she managed to attract a few more people to the idea of Divine Mercy. The meeting with Blessed Fr. Michael Sopoćko in Mysliborz in August, 1948 was momentous for "the first six". Having read the Apostolic Constitution by Pope Pius XII Provida Mater Ecclesia, which was published in 1947 and provided the basis for Catholic secular institutes of consecrated life, Blessed Fr. Michael Sopoćko formed two communities out of "the first six": the Congregation of The Sisters of Merciful Jesus and the Institute of Divine Mercy.

Blessed Fr. Michael Sopoćko - the founder of the Institute - worked as professor in the Archdiocesan Major Seminary in Bialystok. Therefore, it was Ludmila Roszko and Fr. Leon Nowak (the first IDM Church Bishop's Assistant) who became responsible for the organization of the Institute and the formation of its first members. Thanks to Fr. Leon Nowak's huge involvement, the Institute grew quickly in numbers and organizational strength. In 1958, with the presence of the Primate of Poland - Archbishop Stefan Wyszynski, the Institute celebrated its tenth anniversary. Despite the problems connected with Stalinism, arrests, the court trial in 1960 and the fact that two members were sentenced to prison for being part of an illegal organization, still new members joined and new groups emerged in various cities.

In 1986, Bishop of Culm - priest Marian Przykucki issued a decree which transformed the informal community into a formal religious Society.

In 1988 in Brazil, Bishop Edward Zielski created a community of Divine Mercy, which was formally confirmed as a religious Society by Czeslaw Stanula, Bishop of Floresta, in 1993.

In 1997, both communities united. The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life managed to obtain nihil obstat by the decree of Andrzej Suski, Bishop of Torun, who erected the Institute of Divine Mercy as a secular institute of consecrated life under the diocesan law on the 4th of March, 1998.

On the 9th of May, 1998 the Institute adopted Saint Faustina Kowalska as its Patron Saint. At present, IDM members live and operate in Poland, Brazil, the USA, Italy, Lithuania and Ukraine.