Divine Mercy Sunday is April 8, 2018, the Octave Day of Easter. Devotion to Divine Mercy has been growing worldwide for many years and was added to the calendar of the universal Church in 2000, the year St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina Kowalska.
St. Faustina Kowalska was a nun who, in the 1930s, received a series of private revelations centered on God’s mercy as his greatest attribute. She recorded those experiences in her Diary. In addition to a theology and spirituality of Divine Mercy, the revelations also contain five concrete forms of devotion requested by the Lord, one of which was the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy. (The others include a chaplet prayer, similar to the rosary; a daily 3:00 p.m. reflection on Christ’s passion and divine mercy; an image of Jesus as the Divine Mercy; and a request to spread mercy, both in terms of the devotions themselves, as well as through concrete spiritual and corporeal acts of mercy). The devotions themselves also have promises attached to them for those who pray them sincerely.
In the case of the Feast of Divine Mercy, our Lord promises that “… [W]however approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment” (Diary, # 300). “On this day, the very depths of my tender mercy are open. I pour 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. … Let no soul fear to draw near to me, even though its sins be as scarlet” (Diary, # 699).
Most parishes seem to observe Divine Mercy Sunday in a relatively minimal way. Priests mention something about the feast in the homily and perhaps put the Image of Divine Mercy on the parish bulletin. Parishes should consider handing out holy cards or other images of the Divine Mercy for people to display in their homes. This not only addresses Our Lord’s promise to bless those who venerate the image, but also helps restore some Christian imagery and iconography to our peoples’ homes whose religious décor is often more Zwinglian than Catholic. Some may even arrange for recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the zealous perhaps at 3:00 pm (the hour of Divine Mercy), though I have seen such afternoon devotions also left to the devices of lay people.
Read more at Crisis.