Saint Faustina writes in her Diary:
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 grace flow are opened (Diary #699).
It was Jesus Himself, through the mediation of this humble and holy religious sister, Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament, Who instituted the Feast of Mercy that we celebrate today. In addition to the above quote from her Diary of Divine Mercy, Jesus spoke on numerous other occasions about His desire that this feast be instituted as a universal Feast of Mercy to be celebrated throughout the world on the eighth day of Easter every year.
From the time of her death in 1938, the private revelations from Jesus to Sister Faustina began to be read and shared. At first, the Feast of Mercy was celebrated by only a few who knew of these messages. As these private revelations began to circulate further, there were some within the Church who questioned their authenticity. Thus, on March 6, 1959, the writings of Sister Faustina were put on the “forbidden” list by the Holy Office, Rome. However, in 1965, with the permission of the same Holy Office, the Archbishop of Kraków, Poland, Archbishop Karol Wojtyła, began an informative process in which new light was shed upon Sister Faustina and her writings. This process concluded on April 15, 1978, with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Rome, issuing a new decree permitting the spread of Sister Faustina’s writings and the new devotion to The Divine Mercy. Then, by the providence of God, just six months later, the Archbishop of Kraków, Karol Wojtyła, was elected pope, taking the name Pope John Paul II. A little over two decades later, on April 30, 2000, Sister Faustina was canonized a saint in a ceremony presided over by Pope John Paul II. During her canonization, the Holy Father also instituted the Feast of Mercy for the universal Church to be celebrated on the eighth day of the Octave of Easter every year.
The providence of God is truly amazing. God started with this humble cloistered nun. He allowed His private revelations to be scrutinized by the Church and ultimately hand picked one of the greatest popes our Church has ever known to introduce these private revelations to the world. It’s amazing to ponder the process by which these revelations went from the silent cloister of Sister Faustina to the universal Church. One thing this process truly tells us is that God must deeply desire that we immerse ourselves in the messages of Divine Mercy given through Saint Faustina. It was by God’s providence that these messages slowly moved from the silence of the cloister in Kraków, Poland, to the universal Church beginning in the year 2000. Though it may be tempting to think that these messages are old and outdated, we should realize that God knew how long it would take for them to become instituted as a universal feast for all. Therefore, though these messages were first revealed before 1938, it was God’s plan that they would especially be needed and read starting in the year 2000 and beyond. The message of Divine Mercy is especially for us today.
Reflect, today, upon this beautiful providence of God in bringing forth His message of mercy. Allow His providential methodology to not only inspire you but also to greatly encourage you to immerse yourself in the messages given to us from Jesus through Saint Faustina. Try to commit yourself to reading these messages so that, through them, God’s providence will be able to come to fruition.
Most merciful God, You are The Divine Mercy, You are Mercy Itself. Help me to continually ponder this glorious gift of Your Mercy in my life. May the inspired writings of Saint Faustina especially be a gift to me so that their messages will bring forth Your mercy more fully in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.
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