Jul 20, 2009, 7:46 AM
The feast of the Divine Mercy was celebrated on the 2nd Sunday of Easter with a procession starting from the Caritas grounds at the Saint Therese's Church grounds taking the road by the mini stadium through the streets to the Serrekunda-Bambo highway down to the Serrekunda-Brikama Highway.
The procession went past the Methodist Church in Serrekunda through to Cooperative Junction and into Saint Therese's Catholic Church.
The event ended with Adoration and a big Thank You to the Divine Mercy for all the good things done for Christians. Panorama looks at the origins of the Feast of the Divine Mercy.
On October 5, 1938 a young pious woman called Sister Faustina (Helen Kowalska) died in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Cracow, Poland. She came from a very poor family that had struggled hard on their little farm, during the terrible years of World War 1. She had had only three years of simple education. Hers were the humblest of tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or the vegetable garden or as a porter.
On February 22, 1931 our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ appeared to this simple nun, bringing with Him a wonderful message of Mercy for all mankind.
Saint Faustina tells us in her diary under this date:
"In the evening, when I was in my cell. I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening of the garment, at the breast, there came two large rays, one red and the other pale."
In silence I gazed intently at the Lord. My soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me, "paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You."
Some time later, Our Lord again spoke to her (Sr. Faustina): "The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous; the red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My most tender Mercy at that time when My agonising Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross... Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of Him."
During the course of Jesus' revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy, he asked on numerous occasions that there be a feast on the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concerning the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy.
This feast, which had already been granted to Poland since that was where Sister Faustina cames from, and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope Paul 11 on the occasion of the canonisation of Sr. Faustina on 30th April 2000.
In a decree dated 23rd May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that "throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to Christ's invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come."
This papal act of infallibility proclaims the certain sanctity of the mystic and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to St. Faustina.
Sr. Faustina said she heard on one occasion the Lord saying, "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.
My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in relation to Me will I contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity.
The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter.
Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. The feast of mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.
Saint Therese' Catholic Church vibrantly celebrated the feast spearheaded by the Liturgy Committee of that Church.
During the benediction at the Church, Fr. John said they were celebrating the day because God has constant love for mankind. Jesus shows His mercy to everybody.
Fr. John cited a lot of examples from the Bible. "Many people believe that Jesus is the Way the Truth and Life. Try to respond to the needs of the other persons because He is providing for you. Pray that you are transformed today," he said.