Fr Mario Attard OFM Cap
Today, April 23, the Second Sunday of Easter, we celebrate the Divine Mercy Sunday. In the homily of Saint Faustina’s canonization, Saint John Paul II declared that “this Second Sunday of Easter, … from now on throughout the Church will be called “Divine Mercy Sunday”.
Because of its powerful message millions of people look forward to its celebration. Many are deeply delighted by its celebration.
Jesus’ promises for the Divine Mercy Sunday are so lovingly compelling! “Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment” (Diary 300). “I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it” (Diary 341). “This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies” (Diary 420). “Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it”(Diary 742). “I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy” (Diary 1109). “The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy” (Diary 699).
After Saint Faustina’s canonziation the universal Church started strongly encouraging the Divine Mercy Sunday Feast. Thanks to the Decree by the Apostolic Penitentiary the Church details the three conditions for the plenary indulgence:
“A plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even avenial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout 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 or the seriously ill. In addition, sailors working on the vast expanse of the sea; the countless brothers and sisters, whom the disasters of war, political events, local violence and other such causes have been driven out of their homeland; the sick and those who nurse them, and all who for a just cause cannot leave their homes or who carry out an activity for the community which cannot be postponed, may obtain a plenary indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday, if totally detesting any sin, as has been said before, and with the intention of fulfilling as soon as possible the three usual conditions, will recite the Our Father and the Creed before adevout image of Our Merciful Lord Jesus and, in addition, pray a devout invocation to the Merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you).
If it is impossible that people do even this, on the same day they may obtain the Plenary Indulgence if with a spiritual intention they are united with those carrying out the prescribed practice for obtaining the Indulgence in the usual way and offer to the Merciful Lord a prayer and the sufferings of their illness and the difficulties of their lives, with the resolution to accomplish as soon as possible the three conditions prescribed to obtain the plenary indulgence”.
Let us benefit from God’s unfathomable mercy for us by subscribing to today’s plenary indulgence! Its power relies on Jesus’ sure promises for you and me!