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Parishes Preparing for Divine Mercy Sunday

"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior." This Sunday now has an even greater focus, based on the devotion of St. Faustina Kowalska of Poland to Divine Mercy. With the Second Sunday of Easter now Divine Mercy Sunday, faithful Catholics will be gathering in their parishes to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Services are normally held at the "hour of mercy," 3:00pm in the afternoon, which is the hour that Jesus died.

"For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) – This Sunday concludes the Octave of Easter, the eighth day of our special feast of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and the second Sunday of our Easter Season.

This Sunday now has an even greater focus, based on the devotion of St. Faustina Kowalska of Poland to Divine Mercy. With the Second Sunday of Easter now Divine Mercy Sunday, faithful Catholics will be gathering in their parishes to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Services are normally held at the "hour of mercy," 3:00pm in the afternoon, which is the hour that Jesus died.

Divine Mercy Sunday really began with a young Polish teenager, Helena Kowalska, who had felt called to religious life and tried to enter a number of convents. Finally, she was accepted by entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy whose members devote themselves to the care and education of troubled young women. Entering the convent when she was almost twenty, Faustina made her profession as a nun at age twenty-one, in 1926.

During the early 1930´s, Sister Faustina received a number of appearances and visions of Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. During her early visitations from Jesus, he revealed to her that her purpose on earth was to bring about a devotion to His Divine Mercy; she was to be an apostle and secretary of God´s mercy. She was to demonstrate mercy and call attention to His purposes of mercy for the world.

Much of what we know about Saint Faustina and Divine Mercy are found in the pages of her diary.

On February 22, 1931, Jesus Christ appeared to her, bringing a message of God´s mercy for the world. She wrote in her diary:

"In the evening, when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening of the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently at the Lord; my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me, 'paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You.'"

At a later time, the Lord explained some of the meanings involved in his appearance:

"The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous; the red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My most tender Mercy at that time when My agonizing Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross....Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him."

Four years later, in 1935, he revealed to her the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a series of prayers prayed using Rosary beads, and said, "....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior."

Concerning a Sunday for Divine Mercy, she wrote in her diary, "On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity."

In 1936, Faustina became ill with what was probably tuberculosis. Though dealing with disease, she spent as much time as possible praying the Chaplet for Divine Mercy and for the conversion of souls. She also continued to write in her diary.

By June of 1938, she could no longer write and died four months later, on October 5. When Faustina's superior was cleaning out her room she opened the drawer and found the paintings of the Divine Mercy.

At the time of her death, all of her writings were sent to Rome for review, as they contained reports of her visions with Jesus and Mary.

Her writings were the subject of a great deal of controversy at the Vatican and, for twenty years, were included in the list of "Forbidden Books."

When Karol Wojtyła (who became Pope John Paul II) was installed as the Archbishop of Kraków in the 1960´s, he re-opened the investigation of Saint Faustina and her writings, which brought about a different conclusion. This led to a revitalization of devotion to Divine Mercy.

Observation of a Sunday for Divine Mercy was observed sporadically in a number of places over the years that followed.

However, on April 30, 2000 Pope John Paul II canonized St. Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament and designated the Second Sunday of Easter each year as Divine Mercy Sunday. The pope had always had a special devotion to St. Faustina and Divine Mercy.

In his homily for Divine Mercy Sunday, 2005, the Holy Father said, "It is the appropriate and incisive answer that God wanted to offer to the questions and expectations of human beings in our time, marked by terrible tragedies. Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity."

He died on the Vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005.

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Randy Sly left ministry as an Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church years ago to come into the full communion of the Catholic Church. He is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online. 

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Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.

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1 - 10 of 15 Comments

  1. Lonny D'Agostini
    1 year ago

    It is interesting to watch that as the Divine Mercy celebration takes on a more prominent place in the life of the Universal Church a deeper and clearer understanding of the Feast of Mercy is gradually emerging. But there is still a lot of educational work that needs to be done. Many Catholics still do not know about this feast, nor how to properly observe it, etc. I sincerely hope these six points will help assist in this work. Of course, the best place to get information about Divine Mercy is from the Marians themselves - they are the official promoters.

    1) As previous mentioned, the "tabula rasa" promise of Jesus, (699) "The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment" is not a plenary indulgence - granted under the usual conditions - it is the complete restoration of the grace given to us at baptism. It is not a "second baptism" (for one can only be baptized once) but it is like a second baptism. Therefore, if we were to die immediately after receiving this promise we would go straight to Heaven with no time to serve in Purgatory. This is a most generous gift on the part of Jesus.

    Consider: a certain deceased nun was asked whether the fire of Purgatory was like that on earth and she responded, "Yes, with this difference...that [the fire] of earth is very mild compared to that of Purgatory. It is a shadow compared to the furnace of Divine Justice."

    2) This "tabula rasa" promise is applicable only to the communicant and cannot be "transferred" to another person -- whether living or deceased. However, one can certainly offer the plenary indulgence which the Church has attached to Divine Mercy Sunday for the relief of souls in Purgatory - but this is subject to the usual requirements of a plenary indulgence. [see the Apostolic Penitentiary’s decree concerning Divine Mercy Sunday]

    3) As far as the preparatory and celebratory aspects of the Feast of Mercy are concerned - the only essential thing we need to do in order to receive the "tabula rasa" promise is to go to confession and receive Holy Communion. Still, the other devotional elements should not be overlooked. Certainly, if we want God’s mercy, then we need to show mercy to others ("by deed...by word...by prayer") - this includes both the corporeal and spiritual works of mercy:

    Corporeal works of mercy: i) feed the hungry; ii) give drink to the thirsty; iii) clothe the naked; iv) shelter the homeless; v) visit the sick; vi) ransom the captive; vii) bury the dead.

    Spiritual works of mercy: i) instruct the ignorant; ii) counsel the doubtful; iii) admonish sinners; iv) bear wrongs patiently; v) forgive offenses willingly; vi) comfort the afflicted; vii) prayer for the living and the dead.

    4) Our Lord did not say, "The soul that is in a state of grace and will receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment." Although it is not essential to go to confession on the Feast of Mercy - having the sacrament available on Sunday is a unique and conspicuous sign highlighting the great importance of this Feast. While the pastoral demands vary from diocese to diocese, I do not think it prudent to separate too far the confessional requirement from the Holy Communion - the potential danger is that the connection between the two might become obscured or lost.

    5) The novena promise, "By this novena I will grant every possible grace to souls" (1209, 796) stands on its own and is distinct from the "tabula rasa" promise.

    6) One can pray the chaplet of Divine Mercy any time but Jesus specifically asked that it be prayed as a novena (for nine consecutive days; starting on Good Friday). If a person innocently forgot to start the novena on Good Friday, they should not forsake the whole thing - but rather make up for the missed days and then trust in God’s Infinite Mercy. Who knows...He may yet leave a blessing behind?

  2. Jim
    4 years ago

    Is there a web page like this one, http://www.comepraytherosary.org/ But you pray the the Divine Mercy Chaplet instead? If you have one please e-mail me back.

  3. lovena mohammed
    4 years ago

    BLESSED BE THE LORD GOD, THE MOST HIGH.BLESSED BE HIS SON JESUS CHRIST,BLESSED BE THE HOLY SPIRIT ALL THREE IN ONE.AND BLESSED BE THE MOST HOLY VIRGIN MARY THE MOTHER OF JESUS Who we can called to intercede for us through her son Jesus Christ to bring help, comfort,peace, love and to just give thanks for all that are given to us.
    To the people who made this web site GOD blessings to you all it is a place I can come too for my catholic reviews or just simply to read an relax in God Words and meditate of my Spirituality.
    Glory to God in the Higest .
    AMEN.

  4. Patti
    4 years ago

    I just started saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet a few weeks ago after attending a Crusillo. I have a BIG love for our Lord and need his mercy everyday. So, this is the first year I even knew what Divine Mercy Sunday was about , praise God for Sister Faustina.

  5. Earnest Bunbury
    4 years ago

    Much related to the Divine Mercy is the Sacred Heart of Jesus devotion given to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the First Friday devotion with the 12 promises given for its faithful following. In addition to mercy, we must not forget the justice due to God, the reverence, and that fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. In the diary, St Faustina is told that God's Justice would not be diminished the least little bit. This follows St. Thomas Aquinas in the Summa: 1, 1, q 21 rto 2 "God acts mercifully, not indeed by going against His justice, but by doing something more than justice..." and James 2:13: "And mercy exalteth itself above judgment". His Mercy will endure forever.

  6. Dave
    4 years ago

    Divine Mercy Sunday is a time to renew the Lords heart shining upon all of us. Be blessed in teh gaze of His divine heart and Mercy. Thank you Merciful Lord for the gifts you give me that I do not deserve. I am humbled by your presence in my life. I am thankful for all that you bring to me. I am thankful that you chose to reveal yourself to me. Please continue to guide me and in the path you want of me and away from temptations that take me away from your path for me. Amen.

  7. Jackie
    4 years ago

    On Easter Eve 2002, I was confirmed as a Roman Catholic Christian. Previously, I was a member of a Christian Presbyterian Church. During the early 1970s, I had experiences with the "Jesus Freaks" ; which left me with a a very negative view of evangelical "Charismatic Christian" non-denominational worship groups.

    As time passes, I am always learning more about the Roman Catholic Christian Church, The Original Christian Church. During an after mass Easter visit to my local parish, there was a bulletin board devoted to Divine Mercy Sunday. Your article has answered my questions about Saint Faustina and Diviine Mercy Sunday. Thank you.

  8. Eng. Rusongoza K. Patrick
    4 years ago

    May the good Lord have Mercy on us all in the World. Blessed be the Souls of Sr. Faustina Kowalska and Pope John Paul II (Karol Wojty)! Amen

  9. EUGENE & JEENA
    4 years ago

    PRAISE, HONOR,GLORY AND THANKS BE TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST,
    Truely, this Divine Mercy Chaplet is a great chaplet and is very POWERFULL

  10. Celeste Flor S. Laungayan
    4 years ago

    "When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior." - How much indeed the Lord jesus Christ loves us. I would like to be present at the death of my loved lones andso many other people so that I could pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy for them. But even before that time and at the earliest possible opportunity that God will give to us, may we and many of our brethren approach the throne of Jesus and allow ourselves to be immersed in His Divine Mercy and thenceforth, live in accordance to His Divine will. May God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be praised now and forever!


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