Saturday, April 26, 2014


Last year's Divine Mercy Sunday with about 250 in attendance:

Each Divine Mercy Sunday, since the late 1990's at my former parish of the Church of the Most Holy Trinity and here at my current parish, St. Joseph, Divine Mercy Sunday has been celebrated with Solemn Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament around 1:30 pm to 2:00 pm. Confessions are heard and the Divine Mercy Devotions are prayed at 3:00 PM followed by Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament and veneration of the image or icon of Divine Mercy.

It will happen again this Divine Mercy here at St. Joseph Church with Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament beginning after the Prayer after Holy Communion (and announcements)at our 12:10 PM Mass, confessions heard and then the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Benediction and veneration of the icon of Divine Mercy.

Both Saint Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis was/is very keen on reviving popular devotions in the Church and there is none better than the Divine Mercy devotions!

Has your parish gotten with the revival of popular devotions program of Pope Francis or not?


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


John Nolan said...

I am ambivalent about this cult, however popular it may have become, and in November last year I gave reasons for my misgivings. The objections to Sr Faustina's writings (and those of her clerical backers) advanced by the Holy Office and on more than one occasion by Pope John XXIII seem to be well-founded and not simply a result of mistranslation, as her supporters would have us believe. And John is one of the popes being canonized tomorrow.

Apart from anything else, this particular cult would appear to overlap with, if not supplant, that of the Sacred Heart which is a Feast with its own Mass and Office. We are all in need of divine mercy, and I don't denigrate those who find this devotion useful. The reason why it is attached to this particular Sunday is because of a revelation supposedly given by Our Lord himself to Sr Faustina. Yet even JP II, who campaigned for her rehabilitation before he was elected Pope, beatified her and canonized her, stopped short of replacing the Octave Sunday of Easter with a new Feast.

Sr Faustina writes about Hosts miraculously flying from the tabernacle into her hands. I suppose this makes her the patron saint of Communion in the Hand. I shall be hearing Mass tomorrow in the EF, and shall be spared all this.

Anonymous said...

John, I am not ambivalent about "this cult"--the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, said daily before the exposed Blessed Sacrament, is a personal devotion.

And aside from how you or I may feel, the Church has granted a plenary indulgence (under the usual conditions) to anyone who participates in appropriate Divine Mercy devotions in a church on the Octave Sunday of Easter (which so far as I know is the only tangible thing "Divine Mercy Sunday" means).

So in attending Mass the EF tomorrow, as I do every Sunday without exception, I will not be "spared all this". For after the TLM our Latin Mass schola will lead all who wish to stay in singing the Divine Mercy chaplet.

Rood Screen said...

I think I have an understanding of John Nolan's concerns, but this is not a feast of Sr. Faustina, but a Paschal Octave day named in celebration of Our Lord's mercy. If we focus on Divine Mercy this Sunday, rather than on private revelations, then everything should be fine.

Rood Screen said...

My little 85 family parish in the mountains will have three hours of solemn exposition, from 3pm to 6pm.

George said...

St Faustina-Mystic and prophet

She only had a few years of formal education.

She had a vision that the feast of the Divine Mercy would be celebrated in her local chapel and would be attended by large crowds and also that the same celebration would be held in Rome attended by the Pope.

Prior to the oubreak of WWII Faustina predicted that "there will be a a terrible, terrible war" and asked the nuns to pray for Poland. In 1939, a year after Faustina's death when Archbishop Jałbrzykowski noticed that her predictions about the war had come to pass, he allowed public access to the Divine Mercy image which led to the spread of the Divine Mercy devotion

She prophesied that there would be a ban on her writings

In 1959, the Holy Office issued a notification that forbade circulation of "images and writings that promote devotion to Divine Mercy in the forms proposed by Sister Faustina" The negative judgement of the Holy Office was based both on a faulty translation of the Diary and what appeared at the time to be a minor theological problem with something in her writing.

Then, on 15 April 1978, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a new notification, signed by the Prefect and the Secretary of the Congregation, that rescinded the previous one, reversing the ban on circulation of Faustina's work. This all came about because of the work of Karol Wojtyła of Kraków (this occurred prior to him being elected Pope). Because of his work, all previous objections to her writings had been satisfied.

A lot of unlikely things had to transpire before the realization of the Feast of Divine Mercy. It is not difficult to imagine a supernatural hand in all this.

Anonymous said...

There is no "Divine Mercy Sunday" without Sr. Faustina. One cannot fully appreciate the apparition of the BVM at Lourdes without St. Catherine Laboure, or Our Lady of Guadalupe without St. Juan Diego and his tilma.

I doubt if may of the faithful delve into the questions some have regarding St. Faustina, but those who do will, very likely, as John Nolan notes, find not be as drawn to the feast as others.

Anonymous said...

It's likely that if modern medical care had been available to Sr.Faustina, this bizarre story would have never been told.

Anonymous said...

John, my first reply may have been a bit too cute to convey my intent. I myself am dubious about virtually all "cults" based on private revelations as such--from Faustina's, which might conceivably have some merit, to Medjugoje, which surely has none.

However, I have no personal devotion to St. Faustina as prophet and mystic, have not read any of her writings and, from what I've heard of them, have no interest in doing so.

I simply regard the Chaplet of Divine Mercy itself as a beneficial private devotion. I see Divine Mercy Sunday as the occasion of one of the Church's many indulgences attached to specific days. But not as a feast day of St. Faustina--her actual saint's day is October 5, not the Octave Sunday of Easter.

George said...

One is not bound to accept private revelations of any saint. If the Church through her wisdom says something or someone is worthy of devotion, I accept that.
Canonization, on the contrary, decrees the public cultus of the Universal Church to the saints. Benedict XIV enumerated seven acts as constituting this official cultus. (1). All Christians are commanded to regard them as, and call them, saints. (2). They are invoked in the public prayers of the Church, and it is forbidden any longer to pray for them. (3). Churches and altars may be dedicated to God in their honour. (4). Mass is offered and Divine Office recited in their honour, and though this Mass may not be prescribed for the universal Church, but only for one or more dioceses, yet it may be said, as a votive Mass, anywhere throughout the Church. (5). Feast days are assigned to them. (6). Their images are depicted with the aureole or other attributes of sanctity. (7). Their relics are publicly honoured.
Canonization is the final and irreformable judgment of the Church, and therefore we are bound to believe that saints duly canonized are in heaven.

After reading "Divine Mercy in my Soul" (St Faustina's diary), I came away convinced (as did Pope St. John Paul II)of what she wrote.

Carol H. said...

The Divine Mercy devotion in no way replaces devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. In fact, personally, I had no devotion to the Most Sacred Heart until after I embraced the Divine Mercy devotion. In my mind, they are two distinct facets of the same devotion.

When I was a protestant, I was taught that Christ's death and resurrection were all that was required on His part to obtain for us eternal life- His suffering was completely left out of the equation. After I became Catholic, I discovered, through Saint Faustina's Diary, that Christ's suffering was part of His sacrifice, and that we could unite our sufferings with His for the benefit of souls. Our suffering has meaning- if we let it. It is a huge part of what separates us from the worldly of this generation.

Saint Faustina is one of my patron saints, and I will happily stand up for her; just as I know that she has already acted in my behalf.

PS- Anon at 1:02 It was St Bernadette at Lourdes; St Catherine Laboure was given the Miraculous Medal. ;-D

Anonymous said...

It may be that Fr. McD and I are the only cradle Catholics in this joint. Many others seem to be newcomers. Welcome to the club. I hope you're worthy. I think that I might make a pretty good United Methodist....or Anglican....the ones with gay bishops and women priests.

Anonymous said...

Carol H, I think you read Anon 1:02 incorrectly.

A Strozza said...

Much of the world understands the value of sacrifice, although in Western culture where suffering of any kind is devalued, and where suffering "for another" is largely misunderstood, this notion is not popular.

Christ sacrificed His will to the will of the Father. In this is our primary understanding of His sacrifice. The manner of his death - crucifixion - makes His sacrifice an offering of a "sense-perceptible gift to God," thus fulfilling the natural notion of sacrifice and showing veneration for and a desire to commune with God.

There can be a tendency to over-emphasize the "Passion" of the Lord to the point that the essential nature of the subjection of His will to that of the Father is almost lost. Some parts of Christianity have, for largely cultural reasons, elevated the physical abuse of the Lord's natural body almost to the level of a fetish. While He undoubtedly suffered excessive cruelty at the hands of the Romans, these cultural tendencies to emphasize the blood and the wounds, as found in the "embroidered" descriptions from Bl A C Emmerich thorugh C Brentano. (These writings have been set aside in the consideration of her cause for sainthood.)

Divine Mercy, with or without S Faustina, is a welcome gift and a solace for the faithful.

George said...

St Margaret Mary had a much more difficult time(and it took much longer) for her revelations on the Sacred Heart to be accepted by the Church. Thankfully, like St Faustina they finally were. God is good. He knows that we can be slow sometimes in accepting His Divine Will, but His mercy endures forever.