Today, I got up a little late for the Sunday mass on TV. Still, I decided to start my day with the mass. I missed about 80% of the mass but really learned something great. There, I found out that today is The Divine Mercy Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter.
When I was a still a kid, I remember that my Grandmother (who was then a member of The Catholic Women’s League) would always encourage me and my cousins to come with her to church and attend the mass and even join processions. Now, I have realized that the procession that happens every Sunday after Easter is for the feast of The Divine Mercy.
I have then made a little research about the Divine Mercy Sunday and I am glad I did because today is also a special and blessed day for all the Catholics in the world. Popes John XXIII and John Paul II will be canonized today. The canonization of the two former Popes will be presided by Pope Francis during a Mass at the St. Peter’s Square. Huge crowd has poured in Rome as this is yet another global media event to look forward to.
Everything that follows herewith are the information I got from Wiki:
Divine Mercy Sunday is originally based on the Catholic devotion to the Divine Mercy that Saint Faustina Kowalska reported as part of her encounter with Jesus, and is associated with special promises from Jesus and indulgences issued by the Church.
Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun reported visions and visitations from Jesus and conversations with Him. He asked her to paint the vision of his Merciful Divinity being poured from his sacred heart and specifically asked for a feast of Divine Mercy to be established on the first Sunday after Easter so mankind would take refuge in Him:
“I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.” (Jesus’ words, Diary 341)
“Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it.” (Diary 742)
The devotion was actively promoted by Pope John Paul II who, On 30 April 2000, canonized Faustina Kowalska, and officially designated the Sunday after Easter as the Sunday of the Divine Mercy in the General Roman Calendar.
A year after establishing Divine Mercy Sunday, on April 22, 2001 Pope John Paul II re-emphasized its message in the resurrection context of Easter:
Jesus said to Sr Faustina one day: “Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy”. Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.
The devotion to Divine Mercy Sunday grew rapidly after its designation by Pope John Paul II and is now widely celebrated by Catholics.