On April 7, Catholics worldwide will celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. This observance of the Church stems from Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, a poor, Polish sister of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. In the 1930s, Jesus appeared before Sister Kowalska and commanded her to write down everything he wanted his people to know about God’s mercy and love. Her writings were recorded in a 600-page diary which is now sold around the world.
In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized Sister Kowalska and designated that Divine Mercy Sunday would be celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter. According to Church teachings, those who participate in feast celebrations, go to confession within 20 days of the feast, receive holy Communion on the feast day, pray for the pope’s intentions and extend mercy to others will receive a “plenary indulgence,” a gift of divine mercy from God, removing the effects of confessed, forgiven sins.
Parishes throughout the Diocese of Orlando will recognize this blessed day by scheduling special devotions and prayer services. The following parishes, listed by county, have provided event information to the Florida Catholic for publication:
- Holy Spirit Parish, Mims – Sacrament of Penance, 1:45 p.m.; Mass, 2:30 p.m.
- Our Lady of Grace Parish, Palm Bay – Veneration of the image of Divine Mercy, Adoration, 1:30 p.m.; Sacrament of Penance, 1:45 p.m.
- Blessed Sacrament Parish, Clermont – Praying the Chaplet, Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction, 2 p.m.
- St. Faustina, Clermont – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, 11 a.m.; blessing of the image of Divine Mercy, readings from St. Faustina’s diary, 2:30 p.m.; praying the Chaplet, Benediction, litany and veneration of the image of Divine Mercy, 3 p.m.
- St. Mary of the Lakes Parish, Eustis – Mass, 3 p.m.
- St. Paul Parish, Leesburg – Adoration, meditation, singing Chaplet, 3 p.m.
- St. John the Baptist Parish, Dunnellon – exposition, 1 p.m.; singing of Chaplet, 3 p.m.
- Queen of Peace Parish, Ocala – Liturgy of the Word, homily, praying the Chaplet, Benediction, 3 p.m.
- St. Charles Borromeo Parish, Orlando – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, prayer and meditation, 2:30 p.m.; praying the Chaplet, Benediction, 3 p.m.
- St. James Cathedral, Orlando – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, blessing of the image of the Divine Mercy, Proclamation of the Gospel, singing of Chaplet, Benediction, 3:30 p.m.
- St. Margaret Mary Parish, Winter Park – Benediction and prayer, 3 p.m.
- Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Winter Park – praying the Chaplet and Adoration, 3 p.m.
- Resurrection Parish, Lakeland – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Benediction, and praying the Chaplet, 3 p.m.
- St. Anthony Parish, Lakeland – praying the Chaplet, Adoration, Benediction, 3 p.m.
- St. John Neumann Parish, Lakeland – Adoration, 2 p.m.; praying the Chaplet and Benediction, 3 p.m.
- All Souls Parish, Sanford – Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Sacrament of Penance, veneration before the image of the Divine Mercy, rosary, and Benediction, 1 p.m.
- Annunciation Parish, Altamonte Springs – Praying the Chaplet, venerating the image of the Divine Mercy, Sacrament of Penance, 2 p.m.
- Our Lady of the Lakes Parish, Deltona – Adoration and meditation, 3 p.m.
- St. Clare Parish, Deltona – Sacrament of Penance, 2 p.m.; praying the Chaplet, 3 p.m.
- St. Peter Parish, Deland – Praying the Chaplet, meditation, homily and Benediction, 3 p.m.
Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet
- Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
- Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
- On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
- Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.