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The Catholic Defender: The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy Sunday Novena The First Day:



I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My mercy.


According to the vision, those who receive communion and attend confession on the Feast of Mercy receive total forgiveness of sins. Pope John Paul II discussed the significance of the image of Divine Mercy in his homily for the canonization of St. Faustina: From that Heart [of Christ], Sr.


This Sunday, the Second Sunday of Easter, is now known as Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast inaugurated in 2000, following the canonization of St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who had received visions of Jesus asking specifically for a feast day on the Second Sunday of Easter dedicated to the boundless mercy of God.


Firstly, it should be said at 3pm (3 PM), because it is to honour the moment of Jesus' agony on the Cross.


Today bring to Me ALL MANKIND, ESPECIALLY ALL SINNERS, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.


Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.


Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.


On April 30, 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, who is the patron saint of mercy. On the same day, he declared the second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.


On May 5, 2000, Pope Saint John Paul II decreed that the Second Sunday of Easter, the Octave of Easter, would be known as Divine Mercy Sunday. The feast was established by the pope after he canonized Saint Faustina, a humble Polish nun to whom Jesus revealed his message of divine mercy.


Empty Cross - the forgiveness of sins, Empty Tomb - eternal life, Empty Burial Clothes - personal relationship with Jesus.


Jesus said to Thomas, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe." It is because of this Scriptural episode that this day is called Thomas Sunday in the Eastern tradition.


Wear red, white, or pale blue in honor of the rays depicted in the Divine Mercy image. In St. Faustina's Diary, she writes that Jesus explained to her, “The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous.



Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday The Holy Gospel that the Liturgy presents to us on this second Sunday of Easter, is one of the most well known, discussed, and appreciated—the meeting of the Risen Lord with St Thomas. The Fathers of the Church have given us numerous insights into this Gospel text. Likewise, it is has proven the inspiration to the numerous artists who have physically represented the events of this Gospel in order to give us a clear idea of what happened, ‘eight days after’ the first apparition of the Risen One, to the disciples congregated in the cenacle.


Jesus’ response to Thomas, after he recognized Him as ‘My Lord and my God’, has a mysterious fascination that must relate not so much to the disciples—those who ‘have seen’—but rather to those, like us, who were added to their number afterwards. ‘You have come to believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.’ (Jn 20:29)


The attention that these words evoke seems yet more paradoxical if we remember that the Lord had proposed, to the same author of the Gospel, what can be justly referred to as the Christian method, ‘come and see’ (Jn 1:39). How can we possibly reconcile these two phrases by Jesus that form the ideal setting for the whole of the fourth Gospel? Perhaps, in the end, the Lord decided to change His method? What do the words ‘have not seen’ really mean?


The timely recollection of the ‘eight days after,’ which is the Sunday after the Resurrection, permits us to tie our reflection to one of the most significant Eucharistic hymns composed by another Thomas, St Thomas Aquinas. In the Adore Te Devote, which refers to the Eucharist, we read: ‘Sight, touch, taste are all deceived in their judgement of you. But hearing suffices firmly to believe’. Combining these words with today’s Gospel we can justly affirm that the experience ‘to see’ was not denied to us, but it is in contrast with the Apostle Thomas’ physical experience, who was able to put his own finger into the holes in Christ’s hands and side, whilst we can only comprehend it in the faith which is guarded and transmitted by the Church, our Mother and Teacher.


That which we ‘have not seen’ is therefore the glorious Body of the Risen One. However, today we have the ability to ‘listen’ to the Word of God and the Magisterium of the Church and so we can ‘see’ the real Body of Christ which is the Eucharist. We can ‘see’ His Mystical Body which is the Church. We can ‘see’ Him in our lives and in the lives of our many brothers who, after meeting the Lord in a real but mysterious way, are united to Him in His Spirit!


Like Thomas, Christ calls us to fill the holes left by the instruments of the passion in His Body with our own hands so that our lives and the verbal witness that we give proclaim His Resurrection. Our senses could betray us, but we know that we have met the Risen One and we have recognized Him!


The certain hope that Peter, who betrayed the Lord three times for fear of death, proclaims to us with the words, ‘rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy’ (1 Peter 1:8), become fully comprehensible because blessed are they that ‘have not seen’ the Risen Lord, but seeing the joy of His disciples ‘have believed’ in Him!

14 Amazing Promises Jesus Made to Those who Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet: How often do you pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet? It’s very powerful! The Divine Mercy Chaplet was presented to Saint Faustina in 1935 during a private revelation. Jesus asks that we meditate upon His Passion at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. The Divine Mercy Chaplet is an especially powerful way to do so.

Reasons to Pray

Our Lord also made promises to those who pray his Divine Mercy Chaplet. How amazing! Here are the 14 promises Jesus made to those who pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet:


(1) “I promise that the soul that will venerate this image (of Divine Mercy) will not perish. I also promise victory over one's enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 48)


(2) “The two rays denote Blood and Water... These two rays issued 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... I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy... whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment. Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 299-300)


(3) “I desire that the Feast of Mercy... be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter... The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion (in a state of grace on this day) shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 699)


(4) “Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 687)


(5) “Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy... I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 687)


(6) “The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 754)


(7) “Souls who spread the honor of My mercy... at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1075)


(8) “The prayer most pleasing to Me is prayer for the conversion for sinners. Know, my daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1397)


(9) “My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1485)


(10) “To priests who proclaim and extol My mercy, I will give wondrous power; I will anoint their words and touch the hearts of those to whom they will speak.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1521)


(11) “Through this chaplet, you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1731)


(12) “When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1541)


(13) “When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as a just Judge but as a merciful Savior.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1541)


(14) “At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony... I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion.” (Diary of Saint Faustina, 1320)


For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world!


Second Sunday of Easter (or Sunday of Divine Mercy)

Reading 1 Acts 2:42-47 They devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their property and possessions and divide them among all according to each one’s need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple area and to breaking bread in their homes. They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart, praising God and enjoying favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24 R. (1) Give thanks to the LORD for he is good, his love is everlasting. or: R. Alleluia. Let the house of Israel say, “His mercy endures forever.” Let the house of Aaron say, “His mercy endures forever.” Let those who fear the LORD say, “His mercy endures forever.” R. Give thanks to the LORD for he is good, his love is everlasting. or: R. Alleluia. I was hard pressed and was falling, but the LORD helped me. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. The joyful shout of victory in the tents of the just: R. Give thanks to the LORD for he is good, his love is everlasting. or: R. Alleluia. The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. By the LORD has this been done; it is wonderful in our eyes. This is the day the LORD has made; let us be glad and rejoice in it. R. Give thanks to the LORD for he is good, his love is everlasting. or: R. Alleluia.

Reading 2 1 Pt 1:3-9 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time. In this you rejoice, although now for a little while you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Although you have not seen him you love him; even though you do not see him now yet believe in him, you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Alleluia

Jn 20:29 R. Alleluia, alleluia. You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are they who have not seen me, but still believe! R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel Jn 20:19-31 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained.” Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands, and bring your hand and put it into my side, and do not be unbelieving, but believe.” Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.” Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name. b

Jesus to Sr. Faustina On one occasion, I heard these words: "My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.


"[Let] the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right before others to trust in the abyss of My mercy. My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy. Write: before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice.


"From all My wounds, like from streams, mercy flows for souls, but the wound in My Heart is the fountain of unfathomable mercy. From this fountain spring all graces for souls. The flames of compassion burn Me. I desire greatly to pour them out upon souls. Speak to the whole world about My mercy." —Excerpted from Diary of Sr. M. Faustina Kowalska.


Saint of the day: St. Bernadette Soubirous





Bernadette is the patron saint of bodily illness, Lourdes, against poverty, shepherds and shepherdesses, and people ridiculed for their faith.


Bernadette Soubirous was born in 1844, the first child of an extremely poor miller in the town of Lourdes in southern France. The family was living in the basement of a dilapidated building when on February 11, 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette in a cave above the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes. Bernadette, 14 years old, was known as a virtuous girl though a dull student who had not even made her first Holy Communion. In poor health, she had suffered from asthma from an early age.


There were 18 appearances in all, the final one occurring on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, July 16. Although Bernadette’s initial reports provoked skepticism, her daily visions of “the Lady” brought great crowds of the curious. The Lady, Bernadette explained, had instructed her to have a chapel built on the spot of the visions. There, the people were to come to wash in and drink of the water of the spring that had welled up from the very spot where Bernadette had been instructed to dig.


According to Bernadette, the Lady of her visions was a girl of 16 or 17 who wore a white robe with a blue sash. Yellow roses covered her feet, a large rosary was on her right arm. In the vision on March 25 she told Bernadette, “I am the Immaculate Conception.” It was only when the words were explained to her that Bernadette came to realize who the Lady was.


Few visions have ever undergone the scrutiny that these appearances of the Immaculate Virgin were subject to. Lourdes became one of the most popular Marian shrines in the world, attracting millions of visitors. Miracles were reported at the shrine and in the waters of the spring. After thorough investigation, Church authorities confirmed the authenticity of the apparitions in 1862.


During her life, Bernadette suffered much. She was hounded by the public as well as by civic officials until at last she was protected in a convent of nuns. Five years later, she petitioned to enter the Sisters of Notre Dame of Nevers. After a period of illness she was able to make the journey from Lourdes and enter the novitiate. But within four months of her arrival she was given the last rites of the Church and allowed to profess her vows. She recovered enough to become infirmarian and then sacristan, but chronic health problems persisted. She died on April 16, 1879, at the age of 35. Bernadette Soubirous was canonized in 1933.


On her deathbed, as she suffered from severe pain and in keeping with the Virgin Mary's admonition of "Penance, Penance, Penance," Bernadette proclaimed that "all this is good for Heaven!" Her final words were, "Blessed Mary, Mother of God, Pray for me". Soubirous' body was laid to rest in the Saint Gildard Convent.


She was canonized as a Saint of the Church by Pope Pius XI on December 8, 1933, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. In her messages to Saint Bernadette, Our Lady emphasized prayer and penance for the sins of mankind. The visions also call to mind the love that Our Lady has for God's people.


Lourdes has become a major place of Roman Catholic pilgrimage and of miraculous healings.


Bernadette, 14 years old, was known as a virtuous girl though a dull student who had not even made her first Holy Communion. In poor health, she had suffered from asthma from an early age. There were 18 appearances in all, the final one occurring on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, July 16.


On the feast of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary on March 25th, the Lady at last proclaimed her identity. Speaking to Bernadette in the local Lourdes patois, she said 'I am the Immaculate Conception'. The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception had been proclaimed only a few years before, in 1854.


The message of Lourdes is the Good News of the Gospel message of prayer, penance and poverty. After four years of investigations, the Catholic Church proclaimed the apparitions at Lourdes in 1858 as valid and pronounced this site a place worthy of pilgrimage.


Our Lady of Lourdes teaches – and Bernadette understood clearly – three lessons for the sick: presence, healing, and sacrifice.

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