Understanding Divine Mercy Sunday

IV. The Celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday 1. Preparing for Divine Mercy Sunday Given that the disposition of trust is absolutely essential for the devout soul to be able to receive all the graces that our Lord desires to lavish upon it on Mercy Sunday, it can be said that the whole time of preparation for this Feast, as well as the liturgical celebration of the Feast itself, should be geared toward the strengthening of trust in Divine Mercy by the faithful. Here again, the exposition and veneration of the Image plays an important role. For in a way that speaks to the heart on a level deeper than mere words, the Image, like any good icon, confronts the praying and worshiping soul with the merciful love of Christ, and its very inscription – “Jesus, I trust in You” – encourages the soul to respond to His invitation with confidence. For this reason, it is highly recommended that the Image of the Divine Mercy be exposed well before the Feast Day itself, or, even better, that such an image might be on permanent display in each and every church, for the edification of the faithful. Alternatively, or in addition, pastors could pass out to their congregations holy cards bearing the Image of Mercy, for use as an aid to prayer and devotion in preparation for the Feast (such holy cards are always available from the Marian Helpers Center, telephone 1-800-462-7426). Pastors also should be sure to explain to their people well in advance of the Feast Day both the extraordinary graces, and the new indulgences available to them (see Section 3 below), on Divine Mercy Sunday. As Fr. Rozycki stated in his analysis of St. Faustina’s Diary (quoted above), Christ never specifically asked for the faithful to go to Confession on the day of the Feast itself (which, practically speaking, would be an impossible burden upon most pastors). In fact, St. Faustina herself made her confession on the Saturday before Mercy Sunday (diary entry 1072). Whenever times of Confession may be offered, the important thing is for the faithful to be encouraged to come to Mercy Sunday in a state of grace, having confessed at least all mortal sins, and trusting in the Mercy of God. Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, rounds out for us the other important aspects of the proper preparation for this Feast in the booklet, The Divine Mercy: Message and Devotion, (p. 54-55): Going to Confession is not the only way we should prepare ourselves for

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