Divine Mercy Sunday is the Second Sunday of Easter. This feast day is highly regarded in the Catholic Church, even though it has only been celebrated for twenty years—a short time compared to other feasts that have been a long part of our Catholic tradition..
Why is Divine Mercy Sunday so important?
Most of us recognize the Divine Mercy image, which is based on St. Faustina’s visions of Jesus. In this picture, Jesus is wearing a white garment, His left hand is touching His heart, and His right hand is raised in blessing. Red and pale blue rays pour out of Jesus’ heart. At the bottom of the image are the words, “Jesus, I Trust In You.”
In the 1930s, when Faustina’s vision occurred, the world was facing the rise of fascism, communism, and a major World War. Devotion to Divine Mercy was desperately needed to restore a proper understanding of the sanctity and dignity of the human person.
Not only was St. Faustina asked to have an image made of her vision of Jesus, she also recorded her encounters with Christ in her diary, now known as The Diary of St. Faustina. According to her entries, in one appearance, Jesus said:
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. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary, no. 699)
Jesus then requested that His mercy be celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Five days after St. Faustina was canonized, the Vatican decreed that the Second Sunday of Easter would be known as Divine Mercy Sunday.
The image of Divine Mercy reminds us of Christ’s infinite love and His desire for all of us to be close to Him. In times of trouble and despair, we remember that Christ’s Divine Mercy will lead us to heaven.
To read in depth about St. Faustina’s encounters with Jesus, check out her diary, sold here.