Divine Mercy Sunday
Thank you to all who celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday
with The Most Reverend David A. Zubik
that was held Sunday, April 7, 2013
at St. Bernard's Church
Divine Mercy Sunday Blessed Connection
On May 1, 2011, Divine Mercy Sunday, more than 1.5 million pilgrims came to Rome to witness the beatification of Pope John Paul II by Pope Benedict XVI.
Throughout Blessed John Paul II’s 26 year pontificate, millions of people’s lives were transformed by his witness, his strength … the Divine Mercy message as revealed to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938). His beatification underscored an enduring legacy of Divine Mercy. Pope John Paul II, once said, the message of Divine Mercy “forms the image of my pontificate.” In his writings and homilies, he described Divine Mercy as the answer to the world’s problems. He entrusted the world to Divine Mercy. He called it the message of the Third Millennium.
By Divine Providence, Pope John Paul II died on the Vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, April 5, 2005, at the age of 84. But before his death he left behind these words:
“As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles and reopens hearts to love. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and
accept Divine Mercy!
In 2000 Pope John Paul II canonized Saint Faustina, the first saint of the New Millennium, and on that same day, he also established Divine Mercy Sunday as the special title for the Octave Sunday of Easter for the Universal Church.
In 1993 when the Pope beatified Sister Faustina, he visited her tomb in Lagiewniki, Poland, and proclaimed:
“There is nothing that man needs more than Divine Mercy…From here went out the message of Mercy that Christ Himself chose to pass on to our generation through Blessed Faustina.”
It was to the young religious by the name of Sister Faustina in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Cracow, Poland, that Our Lord in repeated revelations brought His message of Mercy for the whole world. Complete Trust in Jesus is the essence of our Divine Savior’s message to Sister Faustina. In repeated revelations to Sister Faustina, Jesus makes it clear that the foundation is His Heart, the water is His Mercy and the vessel is Trust.
On February 22, 1931, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ appeared to Sister Faustina with a wonderful message for all mankind. Sister Faustina tells us in her diary under this date:
“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 in the garment 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!’”
Sometime later Our Lord again spoke to her:
“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 on him.”
David Came, Editor of the Marian Helper Magazine and Marian Press at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, said that in order to receive the graces promised by our Lord to Saint Faustina as recorded in her diary, one must make a good confession preferably during Lent and then receive Jesus in Holy Communion worthily on the Feast Day of Divine Mercy Sunday.
The graces promised on Divine Mercy are “Complete forgiveness and punishment of sins.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 699).
Marian Father Seraphim Michalenko states in The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion Booklet, “So our Lord’s Promise of complete forgiveness is both a reminder and a call. It is a reminder that He is truly present and truly alive in the Eucharist filled with love for us and waiting for us to turn to Him with Trust. And it is a call for us all to be washed clean in his love through confession and Holy Communion – no matter how terrible our sins – and begin our lives again. He is offering us a new start.”
“Be apostles of Divine Mercy under the maternal and loving guidance of Mary,” Pope John Paul II charged the Marians at their chapter in Rome on June 22, 1993. In a written message to the Marians at their chapter the month before his death, Pope John Paul II echoed this charge. “Be apostles and witnesses of Divine Mercy for everyone,” his message said.
For the world, Pope John Paul II’s beatification serves as a challenge to be witnesses to God’s mercy and to make his unforgettable exhortation on October 22, 1978, our own: “Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!”
(Some information was taken from an article written by Felix Carroll in the Summer 2011 Marian Helper magazine, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.)