The Divine Mercy Sunday

This day is a time of special grace for everyone, regardless of the gravity of their sins or mistakes.

Shrine of Divine Mercy in Vilnius

On 30th of April 2000, Pope John Paul II proclaimed Sister Faustina a saint and established the feast of Divine Mercy for the entire Church.

“I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image (…) to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.” (Diary, 49) – these words of Jesus, along with the request to paint His image, were heard by Sister Faustina while she was still in the Plock convent in 1931. Later, He repeatedly reminded her of this request.

In the Shrine of Divine Mercy, the way to the most significant celebration of Divine Mercy – Divine Mercy Sunday – leads through the Holy Mass, testimonies, and events throughout the entire Divine Mercy Week, which begins on Easter Sunday. On the eve of the feast, on Saturday evening, there is an ecumenical Way of Light procession from the Gates of Dawn to the Shrine of Divine Mercy. In preparation for the Feast of Mercy, the Divine Mercy novena is prayed throughout the entire week beginning from Good Friday.

“I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom strength and refreshment and whatever grace they need in the hardships of life, and especially at the hour of death. On each day you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls, and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy, and I will bring all these souls into the house of My Father.” (Diary, 1209) Thus, the mystery of Easter Redemption is closely linked with Divine Mercy. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is recited for nine days in unity with Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our and the whole world’s salvation, joining the love with which the Heavenly Father loves the Son, and through Him – us.

“I desire, – Jesus said, – 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.” (Diary, 699)

In His revelations to St. Faustina, Jesus established the placement of the Feast of Divine Mercy in the liturgical calendar of the Church, its motive, and the way of celebration. He gave a great promise related to this feast: “Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion. I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy.” (Diary, 965) The Lord asks that during this feast, sincerely repenting, confession be made and the Holy Sacrament be received, then the whole ocean of mercy will be poured out on the soul: “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.” (Diary, 699)

During the Divine Mercy Sunday, the Holy Mass is offered and broadcast in various languages on the internet, radio, and television, so that believers all over the world can hear the message of God’s mercy. “On that day, priests are to tell everyone about My great and unfathomable mercy.” (Diary, 570)

In cooperation with the Vilnius Pilgrim Center, a pilgrimage route of Divine Mercy is also organized, visiting St. Faustina’s house – the former convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. People from all over the world can write down the names of their loved ones for whom prayer is requested. Intentions are placed next to the image of the Merciful Jesus and they are prayed for during all the Holy Masses offered that week. “Say, My daughter, that the Feast of My Mercy has issued forth from My very depths for the consolation of the whole world.” (Diary, 1517)