A Guide to Divine Mercy: The Feast of Refuge for Souls

Inspiration for the Second Sunday of Easter

Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet is an important devotion.
Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet is an important devotion. (photo: EWTN Religious Catalogue)

On April 30, 2000, Pope John Paul II granted a new feast to the universal Church. With great joy, he declared that the Second Sunday of Easter would be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday as “an invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come” (Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments).

This would fulfill the desire Jesus Christ expressed to the Polish nun St. Faustina Kowalska during his apparitions to her in the 1930s. 

“I desire,” Jesus told her, “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. … It is my desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter” (diary of St. Faustina, 699). 

We are to show mercy, as well. 

“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 your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it” (diary of St. Faustina, 742).


Corporal Works of Mercy

— Feed the Hungry

— Give Drink to the Thirsty

— Clothe the Naked

— Shelter the Homeless

— Visit the Imprisoned

— Care for the Sick

— Bury the Dead


Spiritual Works of Mercy

— Admonish the Sinner

— Instruct the Ignorant

— Advise the Perplexed

— Comfort the Unhappy

— Bear Wrongs Patiently

— Forgive All Injuries

— Pray for the Living and the Dead


Devotions associated with Divine Mercy include:

— the Divine Mercy Chaplet

— the Divine Mercy Image

— the Hour of Mercy 

— the Divine Mercy Novena

— the indulgence associated with the Feast of Divine Mercy: “I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion on the feast of my mercy” (Jesus to St. Faustina in her diary, 1109).

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Pictured rosary is available at EWTNRC.com, Item: 254DF