Catholics all over the world will celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday on April 28 to spread continuously the unfathomable mercy of God, and for mankind to repent now, not later, for the forgiveness of sins in these troubled times.
Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter Sunday.
Sister Faustina was only 20 years old when Christ appeared to her in several apparitions, which she wrote about in her diary.
In her Diary Entry 848, St. Faustina wrote, “Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy. If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity… tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near.”
In another entry, she said, “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.”
In Diary 742, St. Faustina recorded, quoting Jesus’ “promises of Grace and Mercy associated to the Feast of Divine Mercy on Mercy Sunday.”
“Ask of my faithful servant (a priest) that, on this day, he tell the whole world of My great mercy; that whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy,” she quoted Christ as saying.
St. Faustina also wrote, “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 the 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.
“I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy.”
On Sept. 13, 1935, Sister Faustina started the devotion of Divine Mercy after Christ appeared to her in a series of apparitions to promote the Devotion to the Divine Mercy.
Incidentally, it was the fifth day and the 18th year anniversary of the Apparition of Fatima by the Blessed Virgin Mary to three shepherds—Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco—in Fatima Portugal, asking mankind for penance.
Since then, the devotion to the Divine Mercy has continued to flourish throughout the world.
The Divine Mercy Devotion grew more vigorously during the reign of Pope John Paul II when he led the faithful to pray the Divine Mercy prayer daily at 3 p.m.
It was also John Paul II, who canonized Sister Faustina to sainthood in 2000.
On April 1, 2005, John Paul II wrote his last and final statement from his death bed that it be read on Divine Mercy Sunday on April 3, 2005.
However, the Holy Father died on April 2, 2005.
St. John Paul II was canonized on April 27, 2014, together with Pope John XXIII.
In his final message, the Pope expressed to the world the great importance and the urgency to understand and accept Our Lord’s incredible gift of Divine Mercy to all the people of the world.
“As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness, and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles, and reopens hearts to love. It is love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy! Lord, who reveal the Father’s love by Your Death and Resurrection, we believe in You and confidently repeat to You… Jesus, I trust in You, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world. Amen.”
These words of our Holy Father have motivated the faithful to “be not afraid” to ask the Lord Jesus to pour out His unfathomable Divine Mercy “that will surely melt those stony hearts and make them trust in the Lord’s complete pardon of sin and punishment.”
Today, in the Philippines, many churches are named Divine Mercy in honor of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Divine Trinity.
Foremost of which is the Divine Mercy Shrine in Marilao, Bulacan, some 30 km. north of Manila, where thousands of devotees are expected to attend the Holy Masses on Divine Mercy Sunday.
Every day at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, the prayer of Divine Mercy is repeatedly recited by the Catholic faithful to seek God’s mercy.
In fact, several television and radio stations, particularly Channel 2 of ABS-CBN and its sister radio station DZMM, spearhead in airing the Divine Mercy Prayer:
“You died, O Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls and an ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You. Amen.”