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A Feast of Great Power

The Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday is a “refuge and shelter for all souls”, especially poor sinners. On this day, Jesus extends His mercy toward all. Our Lord Himself promises that the soul who goes to confession and receives Holy Communion in a state of grace will receive the total renewal of their baptismal graces.


Divine Mercy Sunday

Our Lord tells us that on Divine Mercy Sunday, the soul who has gone (or will go) to confession (within twenty days) and receives Holy Communion in a state of grace will receive the total renewal of their baptismal graces (see Diary 699). They will receive the total and complete healing of their soul and the total forgiveness of all temporal punishment due to sin. Unlike a plenary indulgence, there are no other actions or dispositions necessary to receive this extraordinary grace. Also, unlike a plenary indulgence, the fruits of this meritorious act are for the individual alone and cannot be offered for another.

The Unique Power of This Feast

Normally when I preach (or write) on the feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, I like to build up this teaching and present it dramatically as a “great reveal.” However, in my travels, I have encountered two big issues: (1) There are many faithful parishes or dioceses that mistakenly claim that this promise of Jesus for Divine Mercy Sunday only equates to a plenary indulgence, and (2) people are totally unaware that these promises and graces exist.

In this book, I do not want to leave any room for confusion. Rather, let us come straight to the point, which is that on Divine Mercy Sunday, the soul who meets those two conditions (confession and communion) will receive the total renewal of its baptismal graces.

This teaching comes directly from Our Lord Himself:

Whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment. (Diary 300)

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. (Diary 699)

I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy. (Diary 1109)

The questions related to this extraordinary grace, of the renewal of baptismal graces, prompted a full review of the issue, and a theological response was compiled. In 2003, the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy published a forty-page document entitled “Understanding Divine Mercy Sunday.” This document, that carries with it an Imprimi Potest and Nihil Obstat, walks us through the theological validity of such extraordinary graces.

While it is good for the Church to rely on the studies of theologians, the average Catholic need only listen to the words of Jesus. He literally says, “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.” In the sentence prior, He says, “On that day . . . I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the Fount of My Mercy.” Jesus then goes on to say, “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.” This does not sound like any ordinary day or set of graces! This last statement shows us that something so much greater than a regular plenary indulgence is at work. With this being true, let every priest proclaim from the pulpit, let every faithful voice proclaim this from the rooftops (or every social media platform) that these graces are available! Can you imagine what would happen if, worldwide, every parish for the three weeks prior to Divine Mercy Sunday offered confessions and truly prepared their people for Holy Week and Easter, but also for this very special grace to be received the following Sunday? This would literally change the course of world events. I do not know that heaven itself could contain the joy of such a response.

This article is taken from a chapter in Spiritual Warfare and Divine Mercy: The Weapon for Our Times by Fr. Ken Geraci, CPM which is available from TAN Books

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