Understanding Divine Mercy Sunday

III. The Extraordinary Graces of Divine Mercy Sunday According to St. Faustina’s Diary, Jesus Christ made a special promise, which she was to communicate to the whole world (Diary, 699): 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. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. In three places in her diary, St. Faustina records a promise from our Lord of specific, extraordinary graces He will make available through the devout reception of Holy Communion on this Feast Day; truly a “whole ocean of graces” is contained in these promises: 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 (1109). Whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (300). The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (699). 1. The Promise and the Liturgical Tradition Why would our Lord promise to pour out such extraordinary graces on this particular Feast Day? On the one hand, we should note the liturgical appropriateness of this promise. If the Octave Day of Easter is truly meant to be, as Pope John Paul II once said, a day of “thanksgiving for the goodness God has shown to man in the whole Easter mystery” (see Chapter I above), then we should not be surprised that He promised the most extraordinary spiritual benefits to those who come to Holy Communion on that day in a state of grace, and with the disposition of trust in His merciful love. After all, what better day could there be in the liturgical calendar for such a generous outpouring of divine grace than the day that recapitulates and completes the greatest annual celebration of the Paschal mystery? As Jesus said to St. Faustina, on this special day of the Church’s liturgical year “the very depths of my tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon these souls who approach the fount of My Mercy” (Diary, 699).

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