“I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy . . . on the first Sunday after Easter.” – Jesus (St. Faustina’s Diary, 49)
Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter, is a Catholic parent’s dream. The simple words “Jesus, I trust in you” convey an orientation of heart that Jesus wants us all to have, which is why he asked St. Faustina to have the phrase written at the bottom of the Divine Mercy Image. These words can be the foundation of our lives if we embrace them.
Jesus promised to “pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy” (St. Faustina’s Diary, 699) on this day. To celebrate this great feast day and receive the promised graces of complete forgiveness of sins and the punishment associated with those sins (699) is actually pretty easy—go to confession before or on the feast, attend Mass in the state of grace and receive Communion with the intention of receiving the graces, and do an act of mercy.
At the canonization of St. Faustina in 2000, the future saint Pope John Paul II proclaimed the first Sunday after Easter “Divine Mercy Sunday,” to be universally recognized by the Church from that day forward. This day was so special to this pope that he told Dr. Valentin Fuster, the cardiologist who investigated the miracle that led to St. Faustina’s canonization, “This is the happiest day of my life.” As renowned author and speaker on Divine Mercy Fr. Michael Gaitley writes, “It is a day of extraordinary grace of being cleansed of sin and punishment due to sin.” Today, many parishes offer special celebrations on Divine Mercy Sunday to make it easy for you to go to confession, attend Mass, and even do your act of mercy by praying the Chaplet for others. I never miss this special feast day. Even before it was officially proclaimed I would seek out a parish hosting this devotion because of the great graces I knew I would receive.
To prepare for the feast, our family prays the Divine Mercy Novena, which starts on Good Friday and ends on Divine Mercy Sunday. The whole family enjoys this simple and powerful devotion. We also bring out the Divine Mercy Image and place it on our mantel so we can focus on Christ’s mercy as we contemplate the Passion, death, and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus during the Easter Triduum and the following week leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday.
This excerpt from Divine Mercy for Moms was reprinted with permission of Ave Maria Press. For complete citations see the “Notes” section of Divine Mercy for Moms: Sharing the Lessons of St. Faustina.