The Sunday after Easter has been designated as Divine Mercy Sunday.
On April 30, 2000 (Divine Mercy Sunday of that year), Pope John Paul II canonized St. Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament and designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.
According to the notebooks of Saint Faustina, Jesus made the following statements about this day:
"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. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace 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 of Saint Faustina, 699)
Devotion to Divine Mercy is also associated with an image painted as Jesus wished, based on descriptions by Saint Faustina. The words that accompany the image are "Jesus, I trust in Thee" ("Jezu, Ufam Tobie" in Polish). The rays coming from Jesus' body represent the Blood and water that poured forth from the wound He suffered when pierced by the lance.
The devotion is practiced by praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novena to the Divine Mercy -- both of which may be prayed at any time, but especially at "The Hour of Great Mercy" -- 3:00 PM, the hour our Lord died, and in conjunction with Divine Mercy Sunday.
I find it particularly interesting that after working to promote devotion to the Divine Mercy and even writing an encyclical about God’s Mercy--Dives in Misericordia or Rich in Mercy (1980)--Pope John Paul II died during the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005.
Is this just mere coincidence or another indication of the hand of God continually at work in our world?
Jesus I trust in Thee!
Fr. Ed NamiotkaPastor