Sunday, April 27, 2014

Divine Mercy and Two New Saints

In April of the year 2000, Pope St. John Paul II named the Second Sunday of Easter "Divine Mercy Sunday" during the canonization Mass of St. Maria Faustyna. In 1931, 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 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 and receiving Holy Communion today will merit complete forgiveness of your sins. Your Confession before Easter counts - 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...

Today, is the day that two Blesseds are defined as saints. Pope John XXIII (1881 - 1963) and Pope John Paul II (1920 - 2005) are now saints. Title "Saint" is a declaration that the particular soul in heaven is recommended as an example for us to imitate.

Pope St. John XXIII's motto was "Obedience and Peace." During World War II, while he was the Apostolic Delegate to Turkey, he was instrumental in saving the lives of an estimated 24,000 Jews by issuing them transit visas.

During his first Mass as pope in Saint Peters Square, Pope St. John Paul II said: "Do not be afraid! Open, open wide the doors to Christ!" By his witness of faith, love and apostolic courage, accompanied by great human charisma, this exemplary son of Poland helped believers throughout the world not to be afraid to be called Christian, to belong to the Church, to speak of the Gospel. In a word: he helped us not to fear the truth, because truth is the guarantee of liberty. To put it even more succinctly: he gave us the strength to believe in Christ, because Christ is the Redeemer of man.*

Father Stanley

* from the homily of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during the beatification Mass of Pope John Paul II, May 1, 2011.

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