VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has made a surprise announcement to dioceses around the world, on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday.
Addressing faithful in St. Peter’s Square at a Saturday evening prayer vigil for the Jubilee of Divine Mercy — 11 years to the day after the death of St. John Paul II — the pope announced his wish that, in every diocese, “a hospital, a home for the elderly, for abandoned children, a school where none exists, a home for the recovery of addicts,” or some similar structure be established as “a living memory” of the Year of Mercy.
The Pope said the idea came to him recently during a meeting with directors of a charitable agency. But he thought to himself: “I will share it in the square on Saturday.”
“There are so many things that could be done,” he said. “It would be very good for each diocese to consider: what can we leave as a living memory, as a work of living mercy, as a wound of the living Jesus for this Year of Mercy? Let us reflect on this and speak to the bishops about it.”
The surprise announcement came after Pope Francis told pilgrims at the prayer vigil that “a faith that cannot be merciful, as the Lord’s wounds were a sign of mercy, is not faith: it is an idea, an ideology.”
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to read 17 things Jesus revealed to Faustina about Divine Mercy.