Divine Mercy Sunday
In a series of revelations to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s, our Lord called for a special feast day to be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. Today, we know that feast as Divine Mercy Sunday, named by Blessed John Paul II at the canonization of St. Faustina on April 30, 2000.
The Lord expressed His will with regard to this feast in His very first revelation to St. Faustina. The most comprehensive revelation can be found in her Diary entry 699:
My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. 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 are opened all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. 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. Everything that exists has come from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My mercy.
Nevertheless, Divine Mercy Sunday is NOT a feast based solely on St. Faustina's revelations. Indeed, it is not primarily about St. Faustina — nor is it altogether a new feast. The Second Sunday of Easter was already a solemnity as the Octave Day of Easter. The title "Divine Mercy Sunday" does, however, highlight the meaning of the day.
The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion
The message of The Divine Mercy is simple. It is that God loves us – all of us. And, he wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy.
The Divine Mercy message is one we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC:
- A - Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.
- B - Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.
- C - Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.
Spend time to learn more about the mercy of God, learn to trust in Jesus, and live your life as merciful to others, as Christ is merciful to you.
The Graces of the Feast
In her Diary, St. Faustina records a special promise given to her by Jesus. He told her to communicate it to the whole world:
My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy (699).
In three places in her Diary, St. Faustina records our Lord's promises of specific, extraordinary graces:
I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy (1109).
Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (300).
The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (699).
To receive these graces, the only condition is to receive Holy Communion worthily on Divine Mercy Sunday (or the Vigil celebration) by making a good confession beforehand and staying in the state of grace and trusting in His Divine Mercy. By these conditions, our Lord is emphasizing the value of confession and Holy Communion as miracles of mercy. The Eucharist is Jesus, Himself, the Living God, longing to pour Himself as Mercy into our hearts.
In addition, our Lord says through St. Faustina that we are to perform acts of mercy:
"Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy" (742).
"The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive" (1578).
The worthy reception of the Eucharist on Divine Mercy Sunday is sufficient to obtain the extraordinary graces promised by Jesus. A plenary indulgence, obtained by fulfilling the usual conditions, also is available.
Learn more about Divine Mercy from www.thedivinemercy.org.