The parishes in and around Great Bend will celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with a solemn hour of prayer and benediction at 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28, at Saint Rose of Lima Church, 1412 Baker Ave. in Great Bend.
The service will include adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Divine Mercy Chaplet in song, as well as prayers, music and meditation. Confessions will be heard during the service.
Devotion for Divine Mercy began in the 1930s when Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun, received special communications with Jesus in which he asked her to have this image painted to spread the message of his mercy.
Under the instructions of a spiritual director, Saint Faustina, as she is known, wrote down her revelations with Jesus, which are now contained in her 600-page diary. In these writings, Saint Faustina said we are to call upon Jesus with trust, receive his mercy and let it flow through us to others.
This mercy fulfills the message in Matthew’s gospel that states, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
Saint Faustina said in her diary that we “radiate” God’s mercy to others by our actions, our words and our prayers.
The Divine Mercy image is a painting of Jesus with two rays emerging from his heart representing the blood and water which flowed from the side of Jesus as his heart was lanced after he died upon the cross.
One is pale, representing the water which makes souls righteous. The other is red for the blood, which is the life of souls.
“These two rays issued forth from the very depths of my tender mercy when my agonized heart was opened by a lance on the cross. These rays shield souls from the wrath of my father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him,” Saint Faustina wrote in her diary. (Diary number 299)
Saint Faustina died in 1938 at the age of 33. She was canonized a saint April 30, 2000, in Rome by the Pope at that time, Saint John Paul II. He said that the Sunday after Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, would now be an official feast day of the Church.
Divine Mercy is not just for Catholics – it is for all souls. All Christians share in Jesus’ mercy, and all are invited in this special hour of prayer.