Divine Mercy Sunday

Divine Mercy Sunday (7 April) is the Sunday after Easter each year.

It was first announced in an April 2000 homily given by Pope John Paul II for the Mass celebrating the canonization of Maria Faustina Kowalska.

St Faustina Kowalska was a Polish nun who received prophetic messages from Christ.

By Phancamellia245 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47145752

These messages included revelations about the infinite mercy of God and her obligation to spread the message to the world as recorded in her diary, “Divine Mercy in My Soul.”

John Paul II granted plenary and partial indulgences to the faithful who observe certain pious practices on Divine Mercy Sunday each year in a June 2002 decree.

He did this to ​​inspire the faithful in devotion to the divine mercy.

What is an indulgence?

An indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due to sins that have already been forgiven, and it can be plenary or partial.

Plenary indulgence

A plenary indulgence can be obtained by going to a church on Divine Mercy Sunday “in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin,” and participating in the prayers held in honor of Divine Mercy, the 2002 decree says.

Those practices could consist of devotions such as the Divine Mercy chaplet, Eucharistic adoration, and the sacrament of confession.

The faithful could also visit the Blessed Sacrament either exposed or in the tabernacle and recite the Our Father, the Nicene Creed, and a devout prayer to Christ. The example of a devout prayer that is given in the decree is “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”

In order to receive the indulgence, the three usual conditions of going to confession, receiving Communion, and praying for the intentions of the Holy Father must also be met.

While it is appropriate that the two sacraments be received on the same day, the Church permits them to be received up to about 20 days before or after the day the indulgenced work is performed.

Can’t make it to a church? Be not afraid

For the sick or others who are unable to make it to church that day, a plenary indulgence may still be obtained.

One must intend to make a confession, receive Communion, and pray for the intentions of the Holy Father as soon as possible, while praying one Our Father and the Nicene Creed before an image of Jesus.

In addition, one also must pray “a devout invocation” to Christ such as “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you.”

Partial indulgence

A partial indulgence is granted to the faithful who on that day pray “a legitimately approved invocation” with a contrite heart.

As is written in the decree, this invocation could be “Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!”

This is an abridged version of an article on CNA.

Q&A: Spreading the message of Divine Mercy

The Divine Mercy Group in Edinburgh is spreading the word of Jesus' unfathomable mercy across the Archdiocese. On this Divine Mercy Sunday we hear from member Belen, a parishioner in Livingston/East Calder.

What is the DM group?
It is a group of Catholic people who have been meeting in Edinburgh for the past 12 years to pray, celebrate and promote the Divine Mercy devotion. We are amazed about the message that we are so deeply saved by Jesus' Mercy! We are normally based in the Cathedral where we have the relics of St Faustina.

Of course this year things are very different so we had to adapt. On Sunday, we will be hosted very kindly to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at St John the Baptist church in Edinburgh, which will be streamed online from 2:45pm.

Why did you join?
I was invited to help with some readings by my friends who were already involved. I was looking to grow in my faith. I had never heard of this devotion before and nothing at all about the Diary of St Faustina but I said yes because I was looking for closeness to Jesus. He had it all planned!

I was deeply touched by the message of Jesus' Divine Mercy to St Faustina and realised that we have been given the tools to actually be saved, here and now, by Jesus Himself! This totally blew my mind, so here I am! It fascinates me how much power there is behind the Divine Mercy message. I am learning more about it every day, it is a journey and every Divine Mercy Sunday I have had the most powerful sense of closeness to Jesus.

It fascinates me how much power there is behind the Divine Mercy message. I am learning more about it every day, it is a journey and every Divine Mercy Sunday I have had the most powerful sense of closeness to Jesus.

Why is Divine Mercy Sunday important to you?
Because I love Jesus in my limited way and this day, Divine Mercy Sunday, was given to us by Jesus in St Faustina's diary as the time of the year when He fulfils His final promise of salvation for everyone, including those souls who are in purgatory. It is something like 'washing your clothes well before you are going to meet your Father'. So we have been given the tools to be able to accept the Divine Mercy of God and be deeply and truly saved from our own brokenness.

What's a good way to pray for Jesus' Divine Mercy?
One tool we have been given is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. This is the prayer that Jesus gave to Saint Faustina. This is a powerful prayer to be said for someone who might be about to die, or when we really need help or any other time we pray really. It is easy to pray it every day. We aim at praying it at 3pm on Divine Mercy Sunday as this is when Jesus expired. With it we offer Jesus suffering as atonement.

There is also meditating on the Diary of Saint Faustina. It is a very spiritual book with Jesus' words to Saint Faustina in it. Or contemplating the picture of Divine Mercy Jesus is also a way to pray to the Divine Mercy. So there you go, so many different ways, all beautiful.

Can you give us your favourite quote from the diary of St Faustina?
I have too many favourites! but the one which really touched my heart and makes me keep going is:

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 grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. Diary 699

This is the most powerful message of Divine Mercy for me. I am asking big and want those graces! Don't you?

What has the group planned for Divine Mercy Sunday?
This year is different due to current public health restrictions so we’re inviting people to a Holy Hour at St John the Baptist church, St Ninian's Road, Edinburgh. It begins at 2:45pm and includes Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the chaplet at approximately 3pm and the opportunity for confession. This will all be livestreamed on Facebook, on both the Divine Mercy Group Edinburgh page and the parish Facebook page.

How can people find out more about the Edinburgh Divine Mercy Group?
The easiest way is to join us on Facebook.

WATCH: The message behind Divine Mercy Sunday

This weekend we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. Here's Fr Kevin Dow, formerly of Most Holy Trinity Parish in West Fife (Rosyth, Inverkeithing, Dunfermline) explain the amazing message of mercy, given to St Faustina by Jesus Christ (repost from 16 April 2020).

WATCH: The amazing background to Divine Mercy Sunday

This weekend we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. We asked Fr Kevin Dow, from Most Holy Trinity Parish in West Fife (Rosyth, Inverkeithing, Dunfermline), to explain the amazing message of mercy, given to St Faustina by Jesus Christ.