In my study of the Divine Mercy devotion, particularly focused in this Jubilee Year of Mercy, I ran across in one of the biographies of St. Faustina information concerning her spiritual director, Blessed Michael Sopocko (in Polish: Michał Sopoćko.) It is pronounced “Soh-potch-ko.”
I won’t get into a biography of him here (there’s a link later on that is a biography) but Blessed Sopocko was instrumental in guiding and advising Sr. Faustina during her life, especially in getting her to write down the messages she received from Jesus as well as other observations on her life (a spiritual journal, or diary.)
The information in particular that attracted my attention, apart from his assistance to Sr. Faustina and the Divine Mercy Message, was that in postwar Poland Fr. Sopocko was involved in a sobriety movement. I found nothing in particular as to what he did except for “In October 1947, the new academic year started at the seminary in Białystok. Father Sopoćko taught the same subjects that he had taught in Vilnius: catechetics, pedagogy, psychology, and the history of philosophy. His work at the seminary was not limited solely to teaching. He was also a confessor of the seminarians and conducted for them numerous retreats. At the same time, he also pursued pastoral, religious, social and educational activities. An important part of his activities were his educational programmes promoting sobriety in a society.“ From: Biography of Bl. Sopocko
I feel that since we sober (and sobering up) Catholics deeply need Divine Mercy to assist us in achieving and maintaining our sobriety, we should avail ourselves of yet another intercessor. Especially one who is closely acquainted with Divine Mercy and its Apostle. When you read his biography and do additional research on him in the Divine Mercy links in the sidebar, you can appreciate what a powerful intercessor he can be. He lived a difficult life, especially after St. Faustina died in 1938. From the Nazi invasion and occupation of Poland, to the later Soviet sequel, to the banning of the Divine Mercy Message as taught by St. Faustina for over a 20 year period, Bl. Sopocko suffered persecution. A lesson many of us can draw strength from. Although we may not suffer persecution in our work, we can ask Bl. Sopocko for the strength to persevere.
He was beatified on September 28, 2008. His feast day is February 15th.
More on Fr. Sopocko.
On the Year of Mercy and us sober Catholics: The Year of Mercy and what it means for us sober Catholics and St. Faustina and Divine Mercy.Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"