What is Divine Mercy Sunday?

Apr 16, 2023 | Ministries, Social

In a series of revelations to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s, our Lord called for a special feast day to be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. Today, we know that feast as Divine Mercy Sunday, named by Pope St. John Paul II at the canonization of St. Faustina on April 30, 2000. 

St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, OLM (1905-1938) was a Polish Catholic religious sister and mystic whose apparitions of Jesus Christ inspired devotion to the Divine Mercy, which we celebrate today. Throughout her life she reported having visions and conversations with Christ, which she noted in her diary which was later published. She commissioned an artist to paint the first Divine Mercy image, based on her vision of Jesus. She died in 1938 and was canonized in 2000 by St. Pope John Paul II. 

Divine Mercy Sunday is not a feast based solely on St. Faustina’s revelations. Indeed, it is not primarily about St. Faustina — nor is it altogether a new feast. Liturgically the Easter Octave – the week from Easter to the following Sunday – has always been centered on the theme of Divine Mercy and forgiveness. Divine Mercy Sunday, therefore, point us to the merciful love of God that lies behind the whole mystery of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ made present for us in the Eucharist. It is meant to be the day of thanksgiving for the goodness God has shown to man in the whole Easter mystery. 

The feast receives from Jesus the greatest promises of grace for those who attend confession, receive Communion, and who participate in the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Christ had indicated to St. Faustina that the Feast of Mercy should be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners (Diary 300.) 

If you would like to learn more, visit: 


Or read Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul, written by Sr. Kowalska, based on her diary entries.

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