Joseph Pronechen is staff writer with the National Catholic Register since 2005. His articles have appeared in a number of national publications including Columbia magazine, Soul, Faith and Family, Catholic Digest, and Marian Helper. His religion features have also appeared in Fairfield County Catholic and in one of Connecticut’s largest news dailies. He holds an MS degree and formerly taught English and courses in film study that he developed at a Catholic high school in Connecticut. Joseph and his wife Mary reside on the East Coast.
Worried about the world situation? About your spiritual life? Jesus gives us the hope-filled solution. Seek and accept his mercy. Start in the Eastertide celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday, then continue with the devotion.
Jesus himself called for this devotion and feast. He made his urgent, essential request through Polish mystic St. Faustina Kowalska, the first saint canonized in the new millennium by John Paul II.
Jesus said, “I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. … I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon the souls who approach the Fount of My mercy. 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. … Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy” (Diary, 699).
Divine Mercy Sunday, also known as “The Feast of Mercy,” marks the Second Sunday of Easter. The Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, the authentic promoters of The Divine Mercy message and devotion, explain that there are tremendous promises of graces and benefits that Jesus attached to the feast.
Jesus said, “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” (Diary, 1109). “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment” (Diary, 699).
In 2002, the Church “endorsed” this promise by granting a plenary indulgence on this feast under usual and certain conditions.
In A Nutshell — To Prepare for the Feast and Receive These Promises:
1. Celebrate the feast of Divine Mercy on the Sunday after Easter;
2. Sincerely repent of all our sins;
3. Place our complete trust in Jesus;
4. Go to sacramental confession, preferably before that Sunday; preferably during the Lenten season.
5. Receive holy Communion on the day of the feast;
6. Venerate the image of The Divine Mercy;
7. Be merciful to others, through our actions, words and prayers on their behalf.
The Marian Fathers make clear The Divine Mercy image represents the risen Christ. The “two rays signify the sacraments of mercy (baptism and penance or reconciliation and the Eucharist). The Eucharist is the blood of souls, carrying life-sustaining food for our spiritual journey. The water points to the sacraments of baptism and penance, in that through these sacraments our souls are washed clean.”
“I want the Image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter,” Jesus said, “and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it” (Diary, 341).
Jesus said, “I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You” (Diary, 327).
Listen to Marian Father Seraphim Michlenko, an international expert on Mercy authority, explain more about Divine Mercy Sunday here.
Don’t fear confession. Our Lord noted he himself is there waiting for you. Jesus said, “When you go to confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flows down upon your soul,” and “Every time you go to confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul" (Diary, 1602).
Jesus also added incredible promises and wants to grant great graces to souls for praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. In part, he said, “Say unceasingly the Chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it, they will receive great mercy at the hour of death. … Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy” (Diary, 687). “It pleases me to grant everything souls ask of me by saying the chaplet” (Diary, 1541).
“At the hour of their death, I defend every soul that will say this Chaplet as I do my own glory. When this Chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated and His unfathomable mercy envelops the soul” (Diary, 811).
Pray it in the 3 o’clock hour. Jesus said, “This is the hour of great mercy. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion" (Diary, 1320).
After you pray it once, guaranteed you’ll find you want to continue praying it for mercy for yourselves, your loved ones, the sick, dying and the world.
Blessed John Paul II emphasized, “There is nothing that man needs more than Divine Mercy … it is a message that is clear and understandable for everyone. Anyone can come here, look at this image of the merciful Jesus, His Heart radiating grace. … And if this person responds with a sincere heart: ‘Jesus, I trust in You,’ he will find comfort in all his anxieties and fears …”
Our Lord made the Divine Mercy message clear as the “Great Mercy Pope” died on the evening of April 2, 2005, the vigil of the feast of the Divine Mercy, after the vigil Mass.
The next day, John Paul II’s last message, prepared for that Divine Mercy Sunday, was read at the end of the Mass in St. Peter’s Square. He reassured: “the risen Lord offers his love that pardons, reconciles and reopens hearts to love. It is a 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 today: Jesus, I trust in you, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world.”
Don’t pass up on our risen Lord’s incredible promises. Accept his mercy and trust in him.