The Feast of Mercy is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, which is the second Sunday of Easter, which is currently known as Divine Mercy Sunday.
The inspiration that led to the institution of this feast in the Church came from the desire that Jesus had communicated to Sister Faustina. Jesus said to him: I wish that the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy (Diary 299).
I wish that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls and especially for poor sinners. That day the bowels of My mercy are open. I pour out a whole sea of graces on the souls that approach the spring of My mercy.
The soul that confesses and receives Holy Communion will obtain full forgiveness of guilt and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are open (Diary 699).
In various appearances, the Lord revealed not only when the feast was to be celebrated in the Church’s liturgical calendar, but also the motive and purpose of her institution, how to prepare the feast, how it should be celebrated, and she also spoke of the. big promises associated with the party.
The greatest of these is the grace “of full forgiveness of guilt and sorrow” related to Holy Communion received on this day after a good confession (without attachment to the slightest sin), and lived in the spirit of the devotion to Divine Mercy; In other words, it is about having an attitude of trust towards God and actively exercising love of neighbor.
This grace, as Father Professor Ignacio Różycki explains, is greater than plenary indulgence. It consists only of the forgiveness of temporal penalties due to the sins committed, but it is never about the forgiveness of the guilt itself.
This particular grace is also greater than the six sacraments, except the sacrament of Holy Baptism; This is so because the forgiveness of all guilt and sorrow is only a sacramental grace reserved for the sacrament of Baptism.
On the other hand, in the promises of Jesus linked to the Feast, the Lord associated the forgiveness of guilt and sorrow with the Holy Communion received on the feast day, that is, to the fact of receiving Communion on the Feast of Mercy; With this, Jesus elevated the Holy Communion received on this day to the rank of a “second baptism”.
In order to properly prepare for the Feast of Mercy, a novena must be made, praying the Chaplet the 9 days preceding the Feast, starting on Good Friday.
Jesus said to Sister Faustina: My daughter, say that this Feast has sprung from the bowels of My mercy for the comfort of the whole world (Diary 1517).
Saint John Paul II and the Feast of Mercy
On May 23, 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments published a decree establishing, by indication of John Paul II, the feast of Divine Mercy, which will take place on the second Sunday of Easter. The official name of this liturgical day will be “Second Sunday of Easter or of Divine Mercy.”
The Pope had already announced it during the canonization of Sister Faustina Kowalska, on April 30: “Throughout the world, the second Sunday of Easter will be called Sunday of Divine Mercy. A perennial invitation for the Christian world to confront, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that await the human race in the years to come ».
However, the Pope had not written these words, so they did not appear in the official transcription of his speeches of that canonization.
Saint Faustina, who is known as the messenger of Divine Mercy, received mystical revelations in which Jesus showed her heart, the source of mercy, and expressed her desire that this feast be established. The Pope dedicated one of her encyclicals to Divine Mercy (“Dives in misericordia”).
It also enriched the party by granting a plenary indulgence for that event.
Requirements to win the plenary indulgence of the Feast of Mercy
Apart from the usual requirements, that of confession, communion, praying for the Holy Father’s intentions and not having any attachment to sin, not even venial is:
Plenary indulgence is granted,
the faithful who participate in acts of piety performed in honor of Divine Mercy.
“Or at least pray, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist, publicly exposed or preserved in the Tabernacle, the Lord’s Prayer and the Creed, adding a pious invocation to the merciful Lord Jesus (for example, ‘Merciful Jesus, I trust you’) ”, Says the text of the decree.
Likewise, partial indulgence is granted “to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, raise to the merciful Lord Jesus one of the legitimately approved pious invocations.”
Also the sick and the people who assist them, the navigators, those affected by war, political vicissitudes or inclement places “and all those who for just cause cannot leave their home or carry out an activity that cannot be postponed for the benefit of the community, they will be able to obtain the plenary indulgence ”.
This as long as, with total rejection of any sin and with the intention of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three habitual conditions pray “in front of a pious image of our merciful Lord Jesus, the Our Father and the Creed, adding a pious invocation the merciful Lord Jesus. “
Likewise, if even the aforementioned could not be done, the plenary indulgence can be obtained “those who join with intention those who carry out in the ordinary way the work prescribed for the indulgence and offer merciful God a prayer and sufferings at the same time of his illness and the inconvenience of his life, also having the purpose of fulfilling, as soon as possible, the three prescribed conditions to gain the plenary indulgence ”.