Sunday 23rd April is Divine Mercy Sunday when the Church all over the world celebrates and implores God’s merciful love for all people.
A special celebration of Divine Mercy will be held at the Lady Chapel, Osmotherley on Sunday 23rd April. There will be confessions available from 1.30pm with adoration of the blessed sacrament and the divine mercy chaplet. Mass will be celebrated at 3pm.
It began with a Polish nun called Faustina Kowalska, who received visions of Jesus and messages from him about the power of his mercy, which she recorded in her diary. The key image was of Jesus blessing with his right hand and pointing to his heart with his left. From the heart came rays of blue and red which symbolised the blood and water which poured forth from Jesus’ heart when it was pierced on the cross. The rays are a sure sign of Jesus’ constant and overwhelming love for each person. As part of his message, Jesus asked that this image be venerated on the second Sunday of Easter. This act would crown a novena to his mercy and include making the effort to go to confession and receive holy communion.
Although at first this devotion was relatively unknown, it received great prominence from Pope St John Paul II, himself a Pole who was familiar with the writings of St Faustina from his upbringing. In 2000, he declared that the whole Church would celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday and today, the devotion enjoys great prominence throughout the whole Church.