This Sunday is known as Divine Mercy Sunday. During the 1930’s, Sr Maria Faustina Kowolska, a nun living in the Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy in Poland received a series of visions or revelations from the Lord Jesus. Her Spiritual Director asked her to record these revelations in a diary.
One night Jesus appeared to her dressed in a white garment with rays of red and pale blue emanating from his Divine Heart. She records that she was asked to paint such an image of the Lord, with the words “Jesus, I trust in you” and that the image should first be venerated in her convent’s Chapel and then throughout the world. By 1941, two years after her death, veneration of the image had spread from Poland to the United States and millions of Divine Mercy prayer cards had been distributed worldwide.
The message of Divine Mercy is that God loves us; loves each one of us. When we reach out to God in prayer, his mercy will always be greater than our sins. Jesus also wants us to extend the mercy and forgiveness we receive from him to others, so that waves of love and forgiveness flow from Jesus, through us, to the whole world. In 2000 Pope Saint John Paul II made Sr Faustina the first saint of the of the new millennium. On that day, which he described as the happiest day of his life, he established, in Sr Faustina’s honour, the Sunday after Easter as a Divine Mercy feast for the whole Church. In 2002, in the suburbs of Warsaw, near to the burial place of Sr Faustina, the Pope consecrated the Shrine of the Divine Mercy and solemnly entrusted the whole world to Divine Mercy. He died on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, 2005.
“Love endures everything, love is stronger than death, love fears nothing. Love is a mystery that transforms everything it touches into things beautiful and pleasing to God.” (Sr Faustina’s diary)