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Divine Mercy Sunday

Sunday, April 27, 2014
The Chapel of the Convent in Cracow - Łagiewniki
with tomb of Saint Sister Faustina
The first Sunday after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. This feast was inspired by a desire of Jesus which was conveyed by Sister Faustina. Jesus told her: "I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especilly 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 all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. 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" (Diary 699). A special preparation for this Feast is the Novena to the Divine Mercy that begins on Good Friday and that includes the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy, which on each day should be offered in a special intention.

The Basilica of Divine Mercy in Cracow - Łagiewniki
In the revelations Jesus spoke also about the great promises related to this feast. The greatest of them is the grace of complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. "Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life in this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment" (Diary 300). This promise is connected with a good confession, without any attachment to the smallest sin, as well as with a devotional act of sacramental penance and Holy Communion received on that day. "I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy" (Diary 1109). This Feast is a day of special worship of God in the mystery of His mercy which is the source and motive of all His acts toward man, and particularly of the act of redemption, but it is also a day of special grace for all souls, and particularly for sinners who are most in need of God's mercy.

The interior of the basilica
A privileged time of the devotion to the Divine Mercy is the hour of Jesus' death - 3 pm. Jesus said to Sister Fasutina: "At three o' clock implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourslef in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world" (Diary 1320). Jesus expressed also a desire that those who worship Him should exercise mercy toward other people. In this way a soul glorifies and pays reverence to His mercy. There are three ways to do so: the first by act, the second by word,  the third by prayer. Thanks to this the worship of the Divine Mercy does not have only a devotional character, but is a deeply experienced form of Christian life. Jesus reminds us through Sister Faustina that exercising mercy is the basic Christian duty and a proof of love for Him as well.

Today in Rome there takes place the canonization of Blessed Pope John Paul II, and his beatification also took place on Divine Mercy Sunday, 1st May 2011. Since he had been bishop of Cracow he was a great promoter of cult to the Divine Mercy. As Pope he instituted Divine Mercy Sunday for the whole Church on the day of Sister Faustina's canonization, 30th April 2000. On 17th August 2002 Pope John Paul II consecrated the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Cracow - Łagiewniki (Poland) and solemnly entrusted the world to the Divine Mercy.

O God, merciful Father,
Who have revealed your love
in your Son, Jesus Christ,
and have poured it out upon us in the Holy Spirit,
the Comforter.
We entrust to You today the destiny of the world
and every man and women.
Bend down to us sinners,
heal our weaknesses,
conquer all evil,
and grant that all the inhabitants of the earth
may experience Your mercy.
May they always find the source of hope
In You, the Triune God.
Eternal Father,
For the sake of the sorrowful Passion,
and the Resurrection of Your Son,
have mercy on us
and on the whole world. Amen.

Paweł Szylak OP


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