Divine Mercy Sunday and Plenary Indulgence

Divine Mercy SundayIn her diary “Divine Mercy in my Soul”, Sister Faustina Kowalska wrote about having over twenty apparitions of the Blessed Virgin, as well as over thirty visions of Christ, the angels and the departed. The humble saintly young nun had been chosen by Our Lord to be both secretary and missionary of His Divine Mercy for our times:

“On March 25th, in the morning, during meditation, God’s presence enveloped me in a special way, as I saw the immeasurable greatness of God and, at the same time, His condescension to His creatures. Then I saw the Mother of God, who said to me, ‘Oh, how pleasing to God is the soul that follows faithfully the inspirations of His grace!’ 

‘I gave the Saviour to the world, as for you, you must speak to the world about His great mercy and prepare the world for the second coming of Him who will come, not as a merciful Saviour, but as a just judge. Oh, how terrible is that day! Determined is the day of justice, the day of divine wrath. The angels tremble before it.’ 

‘Speak to souls about this great mercy while it is still the time for mercy. If you keep silent now, you will be answering for a great number of souls on that terrible day. Fear nothing. Be faithful to the end. I sympathize with you.’”

During the course of Jesus’ revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The liturgical texts of that day, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concern the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy, and are thus already suited to the request of Our Lord. This feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sister Faustina on 30 April 2000.

In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that “throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial 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.” These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give to a private revelation, an act of  papal infallibility proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to Saint Faustina.

Concerning the Feast of Mercy Jesus said:

Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)

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. (Diary341)

This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies. (Diary 420)

On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I 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 complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.* [our emphasis] 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. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)

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)

I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109)

As you can see, the Lord’s desire for the feast includes the solemn, public veneration of the Image of Divine Mercy by the Church, as well as personal acts of veneration and mercy. The great promise for the individual soul is that a devotional act of sacramental penance and Communion will obtain for that soul the plenitude of the divine mercy on the feast.

* The Polish diocese of Krakow was at the centre of the spread of the devotion and the sponsor of the Cause of Sister Faustina. During his time as Cardinal of Krakow, Franciszek Macharski wrote that we should use Lent as a time of preparation for the Divine Mercy Feast and confess even before Holy Week. So, it is clear that the confessional requirement does not have to be met on the feast itself. That would be an impossible burden for the clergy. The Communion requirement is easily met that day however, since, being Sunday, it is a day of obligation. We would only need confession again (if received earlier in the Lenten or Easter Season) if we were in the state of mortal sin on the Feast.

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8 Responses to Divine Mercy Sunday and Plenary Indulgence

  1. ginnyfree says:

    Only one little detail I’d like to add: Jesus Christ actually DID visit our little Faustina more than once. Sometimes it was a locution, sometimes it was a mystical vision, but other times, He actually spent some time with her. I hope everyone here who frequents this site experiences the Divine Mercy of our Blessed Lord. He is so kind and merciful. I wish everyone could know Him and love Him as I do, but they reject Him, too often for other things. That is very sad. God bless. Ginnyfree.

  2. mmvc says:

    Ginny, if you re-read the above text, I think you’ll find that it makes quite clear that Our Lord visited and communicated with Saint Faustina “on numerous occasions”.
    God bless!

  3. ginnyfree says:

    No, MMVC. It really doesn’t make clear the fact that Jesus Christ Himself, in His resurrected body was there in her cell communicating with her. I’ve read the Diary and the above article is recounting locutions and visions, not actual visitations of Jesus as she saw Him. That is what the Image is all about. There is a huge difference between an inner locution and an actual visitation by our Blessed Lord. She was very clear in her Diary about the different types of communications she experienced. Some were actual mystical transports. Some were visions such as our Prophets have had. Most were locutions. I think it is important for folks to know the whole story. God bless. Ginnyfree.

  4. ginnyfree says:

    P.S. The actual first image, painted by the polish artist who turned our Blessed Lord into a vision of God as a Son of Poland, complete with his angular face and blonde hair made St. Faustina weep because, the image he painted was NOT of Jesus Christ, who had asked that HIS Image be painted. It was key. She records in her Diary the disappointment and consternation it caused. The Image was repainted, and she confirmed that second Image as closer to the Man Whom she had visit her. There was a fight between her claims and certain persons who worked against this basic fact, that God Himself, picked Faustina out of all to come to instruct her in His own Person. They worked to reduce the great facts of her Visitation to just simple visions and locutions. Remember that the whole thing did get repressed for a time. This controversy of Our Blessed Lord Himself in the flesh appointing a simply Polish religious as His Apostle of Divine Mercy by coming to her in this way is what caused them to turn away. Nuff said. Happy Feast Day! God bless. Ginnyfree.

  5. mmvc says:

    Thank you, dear Ginny. The aim of this post was first and foremost to remind our readers of Divine Mercy Sunday and the plenary indulgence associated with this Feast. Please God, many will have availed themselves of this grace today.

    For anyone interested in Saint Faustina’s mystical experiences and the history of the Divine Mercy devotion, the book “Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul” (available from Amazon) is indeed a must-read. There are also many excellent websites with background information to the Divine Mercy devotion such as this: https://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/
    And here’s an interesting article about the history of the Divine Mercy image: http://www.thedivinemercy.org/library/article.php?NID=2826

    Jezu, ufam Tobie!

  6. toadspittle says:

    “… Jesus Christ actually DID visit our little Faustina more than once. Sometimes it was a locution, sometimes it was a mystical vision, but other times, He actually spent some time with her.”
    What reasonable evidence do you have for any of that, Gin-Girl?
    In fact, even what unreasonable evidence do you have?

    You must be aware that, to most of the world, all this seems like utter nonsense.

  7. ginnyfree says:

    Hello Toadie! Happy Easter, belated and Happy Divine Mercy Sunday!!! Did you hear the good news yet? If a little Toadie went to Confession and goes to Communion today and then prays the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 this afternoon, that little Toadie is Promised by God Himself to have all his sins forgiven and forgotten! Hint hint hint. I hope you had an really happy Easter. God bless. Ginnyfree.

  8. toadspittle says:

    Very kindly, and charitably, said, Gin-Free-Girl.
    I’m not sure I’d want my sins forgotten. If they were, I might repeat them again by accident. Although, I’m a bit past all that, these days – “Beyond Good And Evil,” as Fred put it.

    A last, hopeless, word on Hell. The idea seems, to me, to indicate a total lack of compassion. I couldn’t be happy there knowing that even Judas alone was suffering in infinity.
    After, all Christians owe him a great deal.
    What utter rubbish, Toad. No point in anyone bothering to try to answer.

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