October 5, 1938 a young religious by the name of Sr. Faustina (Helen Kowalski) died in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady in Cracow, Poland. She came from a very poor family that had struggled hard on their little farm during the terrible years of World War I. Sr. Faustina had only three years of very simple education. Hers were the humble tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or in the vegetable garden or as porter in the convent.
On February 22, 1931 Our Lady appeared to Sr. Faustina bringing a wonderful message of mercy for all humanity. In her diary Sr. Faustina writes: "In the evening when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening on the garment on the breast there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently on the Lord, my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me: "Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription "Jesus I trust in You."
Some time later Our Lord again spoke to the young nun and explained the image. "The pale ray stands for the water which makes souls righteous, the red ray stands for the blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depth of my most tender mercy at the time when my amazing heart was opened by a lance on the Cross...fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him."
As a further sign of His forgiving love, Jesus called for a Feast of Divine Mercy to be celebrated in the whole Church. This second Sunday of Easter (the first one following Easter) is now celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday throughout the Church. On April 15, 1978 the Holy See, having reviewed all documents concerning the devotion to the Divine Mercy, gave permission for the furtherance of such devotion. The one primarily responsible for the permission for devotion to the Divine Mercy was Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, then Archbishop of Cracow. After his elevation to the See of Peter, Pope John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina on April 30, 2000 and called for the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday on this day.
We want to thank all who helped make our Holy Week and Easter Sunday liturgies so beautiful, the choir, the ministers of the Word and Eucharist Ministers, our Cantors, altar servers and those who contributed to and helped arrange our Easter flowers. We are also grateful to you for your generous response to our Easter appeal for the Clergy Health and Retirement Fund.
Fr John R. Mulvehill