Though Pope Francis arrived at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy a little earlier than expected, hundreds of people were waiting for him.
The Pope made a brief, but significant visit to the place from which the devotion of Divine Mercy spread throughout the world.
He prayed for a moment in silence before the tomb of St. Faustina Kowalska and the Divine Mercy image described to the Polish nun from her visions.
In the presence of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, St. Faustina's order, he signed the book of honor of the sanctuary. He wrote "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." Then he prayed a Hail Mary.
He was then transported by the Popemobile to the new part of the sanctuary. From its terrace he greeted hundreds of young people waiting for him for hours in the so-called "meadow of confessions." Pope Francis asked them to never turn away from Christ.
"Let's never turn away from Jesus, even if we think that our sins and our faults are the worst. He prefers us as we are, as such His mercy pours out on us."
Five small children with disabilities offered the Pope some gifts. After this tender meeting, Pope Francis walked through the Holy Door of Divine Mercy.
He sat in the confessional and listened to the confessions of five young people from around the world.
Before leaving, he blessed a picture of Divine Mercy, and as always, he urged pilgrims not to forget to pray for him.