In the year 2000, St. John Paul II proclaimed that the Second Sunday of Easter should be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday to draw the clear connection between the merciful love of God and the Paschal Mystery.
In doing so, he put the Divine Mercy devotion, which began with the visions of a Polish nun, in the full embrace of the Catholic Church.
On Sunday, April 23, Catholics around the Diocese of Nashville will join others around the world in celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday, asking for God’s mercy for themselves and the whole world, with special services that will include praying the Divine Mercy chaplet and venerating the Divine Mercy image.
The devotion to Divine Mercy is based on the writings and revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun in the 1930s. The revelations from Jesus Christ were recorded in notebooks that were compiled as “The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.”
In the revelations, Christ asked for acts of mercy arising out of love for him, through deed, word and prayer.
St. Faustina’s diary includes a passage in which Christ asked people to say a novena of the Divine Mercy Chaplet in preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy. The novena is to begin on Good Friday. In one vision, Christ gave St. Faustina the words of the Divine Mercy chaplet and instructions on how it should be prayed, using the beads of a rosary.
According to her diary: “First of all, you will say one ‘Our Father’ and ‘Hail Mary’ and the ‘I Believe in God’ (the Apostles’ Creed). Then on the Our Father beads you will say the following words, ‘Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.’ On the Hail Mary beads you will say the following words, ‘For the sake of His sorrowful passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.’ In conclusion, three times you will recite these words: ‘Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.’”
“By this novena (of Chaplets) I will grant every possible grace to souls,” St. Faustina wrote that Christ revealed to her.
In another vision, Christ asked St. Faustina to have his image painted as he appeared to her. In the Divine Mercy image, Jesus is shown with his right hand raised in blessing and his left hand touching his chest. Two rays of light emanate from his heart, one red and the other white, representing the blood and water that poured from his side on the cross. At the bottom of the image are the words, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
For more information about the Divine Mercy devotion, visit www.divinemercy.org.
Parishes hosting services on Divine Mercy Sunday include:
Cathedral of the Incarnation, Nashville. Confessions 1:30-3 p.m., Divine Mercy Celebration at 2 p.m.
Church of the Assumption, Nashville. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 2:30 p.m. Divine Mercy Chaplet, followed by Vespers and Benediction, begins at 3 p.m.
Church of the Nativity, Spring Hill. Divine Mercy Celebration at 3 p.m. The Divine Mercy image will be venerated at all Masses during the weekend: 5 p.m. Saturday and 8:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday.
Good Shepherd Church, Decherd. A Divine Mercy service will follow the 10:30 a.m. Mass.
Holy Trinity Church, Hohenwald, 3 p.m.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Nashville, 1-3 p.m.
Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Springfield, 3 p.m.
Our Lady of the Lake, Hendersonville, 3 p.m.
Sacred Heart Church, Lawrenceburg, 3 p.m. The Divine Mercy Celebration will include praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Anointing of the Sick, and Benediction.
Sacred Heart Church, Loretto, 3 p.m.
St. Andrew Church, Sparta, 9:30 a.m. following the 8:30 a.m. Mass.
St. Anthony Church; Fayetteville, 3 p.m. Divine Mercy Service and Adoration followed by Benediction.
St. Catherine Church, McMinnville. Rosary at 2:30 p.m. followed by the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Benediction.
St. Christopher Church, Dickson. Adoration, Rosary and Confession at 2 p.m. Divine Mercy prayers at 3 p.m. Reception to follow in the parish Social Hall.
St. Edward Church, Nashville, 3 p.m.
St. Ignatius of Antioch Church, Nashville will have one hour of Eucharistic Adoration between Sunday Masses, 9:15-10:15 a.m.
St. Joseph Church, Madison, 3 p.m.
St. Luke Church, Smyrna, Confessions 1:30-2:45 p.m., Divine Mercy Celebration, 3 p.m., followed by a reception.
St. Paul the Apostle Church, Tullahoma, 3 p.m.
St. Philip Church, Franklin, 3 p.m.
St. Pius X Church, Nashville. Confessions at 2:30 p.m. Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m., followed by refreshments in the back of the church.
St. Rose of Lima Church, Murfreesboro. Rosary at 2:30 p.m. Divine Mercy Celebration at 3 p.m. The service will be bilingual.
St. William Church, Shelbyville. The parish will host a special presentation on the Divine Mercy devotion after the 10 a.m. Mass on Sunday, April 23. The presentation will be bilingual. The parish hosts a Divine Mercy service at noon and 3 p.m. every day except Sunday.