Sunday, April 19, 2009
Divine Mercy Sunday
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. 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. 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 forth 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.
(Diary of St. Faustina Kowalska, # 699)
(a) Essential Celebration
The essential celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday consists in the celebration of the
liturgy of the Second Sunday of Easter, during which the homily should focus on the scriptural
readings of the day. It should be noted that the three cycles of scriptural readings and liturgical
prayers are all centered on the forgiveness of sins and God’s infinite mercy, which endures
In addition, it is necessary that the day publicly be called by its proper name, “Divine
Mercy Sunday.” The Decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the
Sacraments of May 5, 2000, which added this title to the Second Sunday of Easter, did not intend
to leave this as an optional title. The Latin of the original decree literally states that “in the
Roman Missal, after the title ‘Second Sunday of Easter,’ there shall henceforth be added the
appellation ‘that is, Divine Mercy Sunday.’ ” Unfortunately, the English version in official use
translates the phrase ambiguously: “or Divine Mercy Sunday.” But the Latin is clear: “seu,” in
other words, “namely,” or “that is.” Moreover, this was the Holy Father’s intention in granting
this title to the Octave Day of Easter; it is clear from his own public announcement during the
homily for St. Faustina’s canonization, when he stated: “It is important then that we accept the
whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which
from now on throughout the Church will be called ‘Divine Mercy Sunday.’ ” In his Regina Caeli
address on Divine Mercy Sunday, 2001, the Holy Father thanked God that he was able “to
proclaim the Second Sunday of Easter as the feast of Divine Mercy for the entire Church.”
(b) Enhanced Celebration
It is highly recommended that bishops and pastors:
· Arrange for special diocesan and parish celebrations of Divine Mercy Sunday.
· Invite participation in the special celebrations of Divine Mercy Sunday through diocesan
publications, parish bulletins and mass media.
· Encourage parishes and schools to obtain and make available Divine Mercy video and
audio tapes and literature related to the Divine Mercy. A variety of such materials are
available from the Marian Helpers Center, telephone: 800-462-7426.
· Encourage the practice of Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy as a way of life.
Celebrations of Divine Mercy Sunday may be as varied as the individuals planning them.
1. An afternoon celebration of Holy Eucharist, with an appropriate homily, ending with
the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet at the Hour of Great Mercy.
2. A Divine Mercy Holy Hour with Exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament,
a homily, the praying of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and ending with Benediction during the Hour
of Great Mercy, 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon.
3. Veneration of the Divine Mercy Image with a procession, appropriate hymns and The
Divine Mercy Chaplet, followed by a blessing with the Image.