Faith is not only passed on by listening to a priest or a lecturer, but also by talking with other people who believe in Christ, by sharing Christian experiences and insights, by asking questions, and by collaborating in various ministries.


My story began a few years ago at school. Our teacher taught us to embroider. On Mother’s Day, we had to embroider the first letter of our mother’s name. It was through this I became very interested in embroidery. I really enjoyed it. I even bought embroidery magazines. So once in one magazine I came across a huge photo and asked my mom for advice. And mom says, “Maybe it’s not a bad idea at all.”

When I was 11, I was halfway done with that project. Then we drove with my family to the sea. It was the summer of 2005. One day my brother and I went for a swim. There were huge waves. I really enjoyed the waves. I was left swimming alone. I was overwhelmed by one wave, then another and after a while I thought this was the end of me. I will go to God. But then one of the best images I’ve ever seen – when I already thought I was going to die, and when I felt utterly helpless, I saw the lifeguard’s float drifting above me. Thanks to that lifeguard, I survived that day.

Then I wondered why God wanted me to stay alive. Sure, it might sound naive, but one reason – maybe he wanted me to finish embroidering that picture. And I continued to embroider, finishing that picture, it took over a year. The picture I talked about so much is the picture of the Jesus Divine Mercy. A few years ago, my mother and I attended Mercy Week services. Then, you could say, I then returned to the path of faith.

(April 2019)


My testimony of God’s Mercy, the sanctuary of God’s Mercy, and the image of the Merciful Jesus is very similar to love at first sight. This happened a good decade ago and looking back I realize it continues to this day.

Then, if I remember correctly, we participated in retreats in Antakalnis with the youth of Kaišiadorys diocese. The program included a visit to St.Faustina’s house, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayer and a visit to the Shrine. This is the first time I have heard of St. Faustina and her life, her infinite trust in God and such true closeness of the Lord to her, which was taking place here in Vilnius at that time.

After the prayer in the house, we traveled to the shrine and carried the following thought in my heart: Lord Jesus, Your love and mercy are so close here and I WANT to be HERE! Of course, with such a disposition I did not have to wait long before arriving at the Shrine, although at that time there was no constant adoration, I experienced a strange feeling that visits me from time to time, I knew that this is the place where I want to stay.

I looked at the image of the Merciful Jesus and in prayer I probably reserved a place in my heart for the Merciful Jesus. We sang especially much with the youth at the time, it was one of our main ways of praying, and at that moment I truly knew that the Lord would give grace to serve in the sanctuary when the time came. 🙂 Since then, both theChaplet of Divine Mercy and the gaze on the Merciful Jesus have become my refuge and shelter. I’m glad a lot of things change over time, but the desire to BE HERE never fades.

(April 2019)


I “discovered” the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Vilnius around the year 2009. At that time, it was not open around the clock. I joke that there is no “debate” about why I can’t come to the Lord. Friends know what it means when I say, “I’m going on a date.”

When I read Chapter 561 of St. Faustina Kowalska’s Diary: “All at once, I saw the image in some small chapel and at that moment I saw that chapel became an enormous and beautiful temple (…)” – I realize – wow, it is right here, just as described! Unspeakable wonder and reverent silence come to my heart. Sometimes I think that we underestimate this great grace for Vilnius, Lithuania and even the whole world. There are people who want to visit this shrine at least once in their lives, and some are allowed to be almost on duty here. I remind myself not to get used to this miracle.

Traveling around the various shrines of the world, I find one or another copy of the image of the Merciful Jesus everywhere. When I see it, I immediately feel at home, even if I am in a distant country. I see this image of mercy becoming that thin red thread that connects the members of the Church. And it’s very beautiful.

Although at least a few ecclesiastical and monastic communities contribute to the formation of my spiritual views, the Shrine of Divine Mercy occupies a significant place among them. Together with the patient educators, the spirituality of this sanctuary and, most importantly, long hours of adoration began to carry a wonderful message into my life that the Lord is loving and good, and the relationship with him has become more and more close. Gradually, the image of God, a menacing punisher, was the image I had growing up, as was typical of the mindset of old times changed for me. After all, there is no love in fear, and we are punished only by our own misunderstanding. Today, I can’t imagine how God could be anything but Love. Any remnants of doubt dissolve, looking at the image of the Merciful Jesus, into those rays flowing generously from his Heart.

The Prayer of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Hour of Mercy became a natural part of the rhythm of my life. I have more than once experienced the power of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayer, especially in critical situations and in accompanying the souls of the dead. Fulfilment of what Jesus said to St. Faustina: “… Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet; the very depths of My tender mercy are stirred for the sake of those who say the chaplet…” (Diary, 848) And so is the promise granted by Pope Francis!

On the one hand, I realize that there is no need to be attached to any particular place or image, because faith is first and foremost in one’s heart. On the other hand, having certain “own” special places provides security on the way of faith. To all who create and sustain the Shrine of Divine Mercy, I thank you more and more for that opportunity to come quietly for adoration and contemplation. This is endlessly lacking in many other cities. Sacraments, Holy Mass, and a lively, personal relationship with Jesus is especially revealed to me in silence. After all, “…if souls are to concentrate, God will speak to them at once, for distraction overshadows the word of the Lord.” (Diary, 452) While here, I sometimes write short creative thoughts, sometimes those notes turn into long sections of the diary, sometimes into hymns, and sometimes I just experience inner silence and the closeness of the Lord, which is His greatest gift and source of strength in my life.

I am learning to listen more and more deeply and to trust that these are not just words, but my real life: “Jesus, I trust in you.” I wish that upon all of us.

(April 2019)


With my arrival in Lithuania, the love for the Shrine of Divine Mercy was strengthened considerably. I have heard a great deal about the image of the Merciful Jesus. From childhood I remember how the pastor of my native parish shared pictures of the Merciful Jesus with everyone. I got that picture when I was still a student. Since then, this painting has taken a very important place in my life. As I remember today, I carried this picture all the time in my backpack. Since then, I have also learned the Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayer, a prayer that has also been spoken in my family.

I remember the times when I performed pastoral-liturgical practice in Vilnius at St. Bartholomew’s Parish. Every Sunday morning, on my way to the practice site, I couldn’t get around the Shrine of Divine Mercy, which was on its way to Bartholomew’s Church. Since then, the whole story with special devotion to the Merciful Jesus, the Shrine of Divine Mercy’s community has brought a new beginning in my life. The sincerity of the community, the certainty, and the simplicity of the people allowed me to know even more the mysteries of Mercy. Over time, I became part of this community.

I can’t imagine my life today without this community. It is imbued with Mercy, the works of charity, sensitivity, simplicity and understanding. I consider what is happening in the sanctuary today a miracle – its doors are open 24 hours a day, which means that anyone can visit it at any time, go for a short prayer, just stay in it, rejoice or just cry. During that short period of my stay in Lithuania, I see what wonderful things are going on in this shrine with people’s lives. And this is above all a sign to me and to all of us that God is close to us and shows us His Mercy.

So let the Lord continue to reign in our hearts to change our lives to permeate all of us with His mercy and love. Let us glorify Him for this, for His Mercy is eternal!

(April 2019)


8 years ago in the Shrine, I was offered a job – to wash the floors in the church. I agreed. Only then the sanctuary was not yet open 24 hours a day. On that week, when there was celebration of the Week of Divine Mercy, I would arrive on the last bus every day at 23.00. Cleaning the shrine would take me from 2 AM to 6 AM in the morning. Then I would attend 8AM Mass and then go home to rest. I strive for the glory of God and for the good of men. I want everything to shine, to smell nicely. No one will lose sight of Father Vaidas (the first rector of the Shrine) – I think he could make incredible things out of the simplest of things. But he loves this shrine very much and strives very much for it. It is good to watch. Thank God for health that I can do this job, even though I am almost 80 years old, so the job is getting harder, but for me, this job is extremely rewarding and important. Glory to Jesus Christ!

(April 2019)


This Week of Mercy is our sixth! I remember knowing Donata for a very long time (sister!), and Dovilė and Laura met a couple of months ago in a prayer group.  We have all recently returned to the Catholic Church in different ways. During that Easter, Christ REALLY RESURRECTED, so when we returned to Vilnius, we really wanted to go to Mass. We all met at the Shrine of Divine Mercy on Monday. Then on Tuesday, and Wednesday, and Thursday, and Friday, and SATURDAY. That Saturday was very warm – all the outdoor cafes were occupied. And we participated in the Light Path procession for the first time. For the first time, I joined the ranks of brothers and sisters, Catholics. I walked and rejoiced that I was going, not sitting at one of those tables. It took courage. After all, friends and all can see! After Mercy Week, the church emptied, the guests left, and I began to recognize the locals. We began to greet and get to know each other. I remember once during Mass, I surveyed our small community and thought, “What if there were so many of us in the world who loved Jesus – would I still believe?” And the answer was – YES! There are not many of us, but I am not alone. If I were alone, it would no longer be the Church. I am grateful for the gift I received at the very beginning of my faith – friendship! You don’t understand much at the beginning, or it seems like it’s just for you alone, so it’s important to have friends who explain and confirm that to them as well. Everything is real.


I first encountered the image of the Merciful Jesus in 2011, when the Year of God’s Mercy was proclaimed in Lithuania. I was 11 years old and that was the year I considered myself an atheist. Every time I passed through the Cathedral Square, where that image was posted, I was fixated on it, because the picture annoyed me a lot. The inscription “Jesus, I trust in You” was even more provocative because trust was a very sensitive subject for me. And here Jesus was still involved, whom I then denied entirely. Also, the picture looked very ugly. But for a long time, it soon happened that nothing seemed more important in life than God’s Mercy. I appeared in the shrine by accident, but I have remained there until now. At that time, it seemed that my whole life and everything in it had collapsed. The cornerstones of God’s grace occurred during adoration and confession. Despite being a wounded, fragile lady, more and more spices of joy began to be found in the cup of my suffering. I couldn’t comprehend what was going on with me, how suffering could go hand in hand with joy. Hence the desire to glorify God’s Mercy. Praise with joy and song. To me, God’s Mercy has become a source of strength, love, joy, and freedom. All over the world, I feel at home if I find a church with a THAT image. The Shrine of God’s Mercy in Vilnius is my home.


One day, more than 6 years ago, Dovilė tells me, “Friend, Listen up. There is such a shrine, and we need to go there and stay at night because it is open 24 hours a day.”  At the time, I didn’t yet honestly know what it meant to adore because I was quite far from the Catholic faith and didn’t go to church. We went. This time I didn’t understand Dovilė’s euphoria about the wonder of Mercy, because the picture was so “non-artistic” for me, and the priest was so kind, the people are so strange … I imagine how then God had to smile at such thoughts, because it is funny to remember. After all, now the name of my confirmation is Faustina, and I have not looked at any other painting with such care, serenity and depth in life (without, of course, valuing it as a work of art), the priest is wonderful, all people are God’s beloved children … to Jesus, there were various, but the strongest knowledge of Him in my life came by accepting His incomprehensible mercy as I can, with what I have, as I am. And this is a never-ending process, because for sure: the treasure of God’s mercy is inexhaustible.


I have hated my name since I was a teenager. There was a time when I hurt my mother when I blamed her for why she chose me like that. I thought to myself, well, why am I not Akvilė, or Živilė? Why Dovilė? Through experiencing inner pain, I didn’t accept myself for who I was. Years passed, I studied, I created, I searched. At that time, my neighbor, a graphic artist, created a creative sign for me – a logo with a graphic symbol – three letters of my surname “gud”. Since then, I have become Deauville Gud. I started to like it, especially when I discovered that “gud” means God (in Danish). It was a small miracle that my name was greater than me. The years went by, and I was very scared, looking for happiness, meaning, and myself, but happiness seemed so ephemeral… so searching. I was more partial to my own devices, but I was slowly hurting more and more. But there came the day that I was saved, and He took me by the hand, saying, Talita KUM! Girl, I tell you, RISE! He brought me home to Lithuania and at the same time, made the whole world – Heaven and Earth – Home. For home is where He is.

I first entered the Shrine of God’s Divine Mercy on December 31, 2012, on New Year’s Eve. I didn’t know what adoration was, but I knew that He gave me his hand and told me to get up. Not long ago, such a UNIT came together – we are FOUR: Laura, Donata, Gabija and I. Daily visits to the Shrine and talks about God’s Mercy until nightfall. That was our beginning, we jokingly called it a “secret congregation” (the elder of which was appointed our youngest sister, Donata). From the side we looked like 4 “Fools for Christ” or crazy, though we weren’t worried about this image at all.

In 2014, Laura and Donata and I prepared for the Sacrament of Confirmation. We all picked names. I thought a lot about Peter, who denounced Jesus. I prayed, “God, give me, show me your name.” And suddenly I turn to the Bible, the works of the apostles, the place where Peter is raised in Joppa from the dead Tabitha. Peter says, “Tabitha, I tell you to get up!” Just as Jesus said, “TALITA KUM!” So – Tabitha of God’s Mercy! (D.G. – Dovilė Gud) Here are such beautiful, small overlaps to measure the accuracy of the silk thread diameter. Before the Sacrament of Confirmation, there was Divine Mercy Week, and St. Faustina spoke to us so much that we all chose St. Faustina’s name. We all told the bishop in a row: FAUSTINA, FAUSTINA, FAUSTINA (Gabija was confirmed as a teenager, but for me she is also Faustina). And our rector, Fr. Vaidas, calls us FOUR MARIES and it is very dear to us. So, I’ll try to say my name-God’s Divine Mercy Tabitha, Dovilė (“Providing Hope”) Maria, Faustina, Gud (Gudaciauskaite) – this is the entire aristocratic-sounding name that presents who I am, for do you know who my Father is? And what is most amazing is that our noble nature sometimes takes time to understand. I will praise the mercy of the LORD for ever and ever.

(April 2019)