Nine years ago Pope John Paul II named the Second Sunday of Easter "Divine Mercy Sunday" during the canonization Mass of St. Maria Faustyna. Just over seventy years ago, Jesus appeared to St. Faustyna and told her that it was His desire that we celebrate this special feast of his Mercy on the first Sunday after Easter. Here is what He said:
- On that day the very depths of my tender Mercy are open.
- I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon these souls who approach the fount of my mercy [the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Holy Eucharist].
- 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.
- 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.
Our Lord has a tremendous heart. He desires intensely that we allow Him to forgive our sins. If we are separated from Him, it is not his fault but ours. Many willingly keep themselves separated from Him because they want to hold onto their own ways of doing things and their own plans and desires. Without realizing it, they miss out on so much love and so much peace.
Today, we will recite the Chaplet of Mercy twice: after the 9:00 AM Mass in English and at 10 AM in Polish (before the Polish Mass). This will give the most people the opportunity to participate together in this prayer of mercy. A good Confession before Easter and receiving Holy Communion today will merit complete forgiveness of your sins (as long as no serious sins were committed after that Confession).
May each of us avail ourselves of this wonderful gift. Moreover, may more and more people throughout the world know the Divine Mercy.