HOLY SEE DECREES DAY OF DIVINE MERCY
Proposed by Sister Faustina Kowalska
VATICAN CITY, MAY 23 (ZENIT.org). - Today the Vatican Press Office
published a decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the
Discipline of the Sacraments, whose prefect is Cardinal Jorge Arturo
Medina, which at John Paul ll's instruction, establishes the feast
of Divine Mercy to be held the Second Sunday of Easter. The official
name of this liturgical day will be "Second Sunday of Easter
or of Divine Mercy."
Devotion to the Divine Mercy is an authentic spiritual movement
within the Catholic Church promoted by St. Faustina Kowalska, whom
the Pope canonized on April 30. The Pope chose that day to announce
the surprise. "Throughout the world, the Second Sunday of Easter
will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation
to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence,
the difficulties and trials that humankind will experience in the
years to come," the Holy Father explained on that occasion.
However, this statement was not part of the Holy Father's prepared
speech, so they do not appear in the official transcription of his
address for that canonization. The publication of this decree by
the Congregation for Divine Worship serves to announce officially
to the universal Church the Pope's desire.
Faustina Kowalska, a Polish religious who died at 33 in 1938, lived
a mystical experience of consecration to Divine Mercy, a spiritual
journey that included visions, revelations, and hidden stigmata.
At the suggestion of her spiritual director, all was recorded in
her journal. The canter of her life was to announce God's mercy
toward every human being. This message that has touched the hearts
of many simple people, but also marveled many theologians, surprised
to find in the writings of a humble, hardly literate nun such extraordinary
The Apostles of Divine Mercy are a movement inspired in the Polish
nun's experience. It embraces priests, religious, and laity, united
in their commitment to live mercy in relating to their brothers
and sisters, to make the mystery of Divine Mercy know, and to invoke
God's mercy on sinners. This spiritual family, approved in 1996
by the Archdiocese of Krakow, at present is found in 29 countries
of the world.
The Vatican decree clarifies that the liturgy of the Second Sunday
of Easter and the readings of the Divine office will continue as
established in the Missal of the Roman rite.