Roger McCrorie has found a new home for his Divine Mercy painting by Ukrainian artist Josyp Terelya. St. Francis de Sales parish in Ajax, Ont., now houses the painting. The parish has a prayer group with a strong devotion to the Divine Mercy. Photo by Roger McCrorie

Divine Mercy painting finds a new home

  • April 21, 2016

TORONTO – A painting of the Divine Mercy put up for adoption last year by the man who commissioned it more than a decade ago has finally found a new home at St. Francis de Sales Church in Ajax, Ont.

Back in December The Register reported that Roger McCrorie, who commissioned the painting in 2004 at a cost of $4,000, was searching for a new home for his beloved piece of art. Although the painting spent more than a decade hanging inside McCrorie’s cottage in Bobycaygeon, Ont., his main stipulation was that wherever it ended up, that it not be a private home.

“That isn’t where it belongs any more,” he said. “I want to find a ... church that is really into the Divine Mercy.”

St. Francis de Sales fits the bill.

“We’ve always had an image of the Divine Mercy but this opportunity came and it is more beautiful,” said Fr. Joseph Grima, pastor at St. Francis de Sales. “The other one was simply a print, a poster that got framed, where as this one is a painting and it carries with it a particular weight.”

What gives this rendition of the famous Divine Mercy image, originally painted by Eugene Kazimierowski, “weight,” besides its size of about 2.2 metres by 1.4 metres, is the painter — Josyp Terelya, a well-known Ukrainian artist.

The St. Francis de Sales’ community has a strong attachment to the Divine Mercy. Each Friday faithful parishioners have been coming to their parish at 7 p.m. to pray the Divine Mercy as a group. Grima said the evening prayer service now attracts between 200 and 250 parishioners each week.

“It holds a particular importance to all of us, me included,” said Grima, adding that it is a popular devotion worldwide. “We’ve been trying to give it more and more importance over the years. We’ve kind of built it up for it.”

Origins of the image date back to the 1930s when St. Faustina Kowalska is said to have received instructions from Jesus Christ regarding His desire the image to be painted with the inscription “Jesus, I trust you,” a feast day on the first Sunday following Easter known as Divine Mercy Sunday and the reciting of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3 a.m. or 3 p.m., all to be done with the intention of spreading mercy.

“We can’t do it at 3 o’clock kind of when we should because people actually work in Toronto but we try to do it some time,” said Grima. “People have it close to their hearts. It is special to them that they can actually come to Mass and congregate and say it together as a Catholic family, a family of believes to pray it together.”

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