Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
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St. Thomas More Parish, Spokane, schedules Divine Mercy novena
by Father James Peak, for the Inland Register
(From the April 9, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)
The Easter season offers many graces in our Church. It is a time for us to contemplate just how far our God will go to redeem humanity. April 19 marks Divine Mercy Sunday, on which enormous graces are made available through the contemplation of the merciful love of God shining through the death, burial and resurrection of his Son.
St. Augustine called the Octave Day (Divine Mercy Sunday) itself “the compendium of the days of mercy,” while Pope John Paul II described Divine Mercy as “the answer to the world’s problems and the message of the third millennium.” St. Thomas Aquinas said that mercy is the supreme attribute of God. The Divine Mercy devotion summarizes God’s merciful and saving love found throughout Scripture and Tradition.
On June 29, 2002, in a decree of the Apostolic Penitentiary, the Holy Father Pope John Paul II granted a plenary to the devout observance of the Second Sunday of Easter, “Divine Mercy Sunday.” The decree offers: “a plenary indulgence (granted under the usual conditions, which include sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. ‘Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!’).”
To prepare for the special graces given on Divine Mercy Sunday, consider participating in the Divine Mercy Novena at Spokane’s St. Thomas More Parish, 505 W. St. Thomas More Way, from Good Friday continuing daily through Divine Mercy Sunday. The novena will be sung every day at 3 p.m. (known as the Hour of Mercy, since it is the hour Christ died on the cross). Any number of other Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations are taking place throughout the diocese.
In less than a decade since Pope John Paul II declared the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday, participation in this devotion has increased dramatically. Many Catholics are familiar with at least some part of the Divine Mercy devotion. The image of Jesus with red and white rays of light shining from His heart, with the words “Jesus I Trust in You” is gaining recognition. Many have read or heard of the diary of St. Faustina Kowalska, a polish nun to whom Jesus gave his message of mercy in the 1930s.