Divine Mercy Chaplet and Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter, are devotions that were very close to the heart of our late Holy Father, Saint Pope John Paul II. John Paul believed that this devotion is one of the most pressing for his time, and it seems all the more necessary today. John Paul’s life was deeply impacted by the realities of Communism and Fascism in Europe pre- WWII, especially as these affected his homeland of Poland. As he wrote in his 2003 apostolic letter, “The Church in Europe,” Christianity’s historic heartland (and, by extension, the entire western world) was beset by guilt over what it had done in two world wars and the Cold War, at Auschwitz and in the Gulag, through the Ukrainian hunger famine and the communist persecution of the Church. But having abandoned the God of the Bible, it had nowhere to turn to confess this guilt, seek absolution, and find forgiveness.
John Paul believed that the Father has turned His face toward the world at this time, and in response John Paul named the 2nd Sunday of Easter Divine Mercy Sunday and made the Divine Mercy chaplet known. The source of this devotion is in his homeland of Poland, but its need is throughout the world.
Jesus made known his desire for devotion to Divine Mercy. Speaking with St Faustina, he told her: I desire that this image be venerated, throughout the world. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish I promise victory over (its) enemies already here on earth, and especially at the hour of death, I Myself will defend it as My own glory. The image he speaks about is the Divine Mercy image, from which he promises great graces will flow wherever it is exposed and venerated. This Image is a fountain of mercy that we can continue to come to, and replenish our strength and belief, with the graces that flow from it.
This is the time of His mercy: Our world is experiencing a pandemic on top of all the other spiritual and physical ailments we face from failing to listen to God. Devotion to the Divine Mercy image and praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy are powerful spiritual weapons for our battle over all these ailments, spiritual and physical, including a spiritual battle against the Corona Virus.
To make reparations to His Divine Heart, Jesus has given us a message revealed through Saint Faustina, with extraordinary promises attached, to help attract modern society back to the faith. In her vision, St Faustina received a new image, and of this image, in a vision Jesus spoke to Saint Faustina: ‘I desire that this image be venerated, throughout the world. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I promise victory over (its) enemies already here on earth, and especially at the hour of death, I Myself will defend it as My own glory’.
Jesus promises great graces will flow wherever this image is exposed and venerated. This image is to be a fountain of mercy, which we can continue to come to, and replenish our strength and belief, with the graces that flow from it. When we approach the Image with trust, we can fill the vessel, which is our soul, with spiritual renewal that will instill in us a new strength of purpose in life, as we renew our trust in Jesus.
Jesus, I trust in You