Understanding Divine Mercy Sunday

prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!"); A partial indulgence, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation. For those who cannot go to Church, especially the seriously ill, there were special, compassionate provisions for the obtaining of these indulgences. In addition, the Holy Father encouraged priests on Divine Mercy Sunday to lead the recitation of the prayers for the plenary indulgence, and he exhorted them to “gently encourage the faithful to practice works of charity or mercy as often as they can, following the example of, and obeying the commandment of Christ...” Why did the Pope make this decree of a plenary indulgence for special acts of devotion to The Divine Mercy on Divine Mercy Sunday? The decree itself clearly explains that the Holy See wanted to ensure that the faithful could experience the Mercy of the Lord in a special way on this Feast Day, in the hope that then they might be inspired to be more merciful to others, as God is merciful to us (cf. Lk. 6:36): To ensure that the faithful would observe this day with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence, ... so that the faithful might receive in great abundance the gift of the consolation of the Holy Spirit. In this way, they can foster a growing love for God and for their neighbour, and after they have obtained God's pardon, they in turn might be persuaded to show a prompt pardon to their brothers and sisters. It is important to note that the Church’s provision of these indulgences for Mercy Sunday devotions does not constitute either a substitute for, nor an official endorsement of, the extraordinary graces promised by our Lord to St. Faustina for those who receive Holy Communion with trust in God’s mercy on that day. As explained above (see Chapter IV, section 3), the complete renewal of baptismal grace promised by our Lord to St. Faustina — the “extraordinary grace” par excellence of Divine Mercy Sunday — is something even greater than a plenary indulgence. This new plenary indulgence offered by the Church is therefore an opportunity to receive additional graces on this extraordinary feast day! Ideally, the faithful would seek to obtain the plenary indulgence on this day for the sake of souls suffering in purgatory, even while, at one and the same time, they are receiving for