Join Us Virtually for Divine Mercy Sunday

As you may know, for decades on Divine Mercy Sunday the Marian Fathers have welcomed thousands of pilgrims from around the world to the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy here in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. One day, the Marians hope to continue this wonderful tradition. For now, though, circumstances continue to force the Marians to cancel in-person events and turn to virtual celebrations.

On April 11, Divine Mercy Sunday, please join us virtually on our website, TheDivineMercy.org, or on EWTN for our pre-show at noon (EST), followed by Holy Mass at 1:30 p.m., ending with the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 p.m. Topics for the pre-show include the Year of St. Joseph and the life and legacy of Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC.  

"We apologize we cannot have a formal celebration with pilgrims," said the Very Rev. Kaz Chwalek, MIC, the Marian Fathers' provincial superior. "We encourage everyone to go to their parishes to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday and to also make time to watch our livestream."

Because of social distancing protocols and the inability to provide basic sanitary services, the Marian Fathers would be unable to accommodate the 18,000 or so pilgrims that typically attend Divine Mercy Sunday Weekend celebrations at the Shrine.

"We hope this will be the last year that we're unable to welcome everyone for this incredible feast day," Fr. Kaz said.

The Marian Fathers urge people to not get discouraged that our Divine Mercy Sunday celebrations are once again virtual. Trust that the Lord has a plan even amidst these turbulent times. 

Though the pandemic has taken away many things we once held dear, it can never take away our Lord’s promises to us. One of the most powerful promises He ever made was told to St. Faustina, who recorded it in her Diary:

The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion [on Divine Mercy Sunday or on the Saturday evening Mass before Divine Mercy Sunday] 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. (699)

Our souls are stained by sin and punishment due to our sin. Going to Confession cleanses our souls of sin. But by receiving Holy Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday in a state of grace, we receive an even greater spiritual gift: complete forgiveness of not only all our sins, but also all punishment due to sin. All we have to do is go to Confession (either in the days preceding Divine Mercy Sunday or on Divine Mercy Sunday), receive Holy Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday in the state of grace, and ask the Lord for the graces He promised. 

Unfortunately, there are still many souls who do not have access to the Sacraments. Can these souls receive the graces the Lord promised? The answer is yes.

Those who do not have access to the Sacraments can examine their consciences and make an Act of Contrition, with the resolution to “have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1452). Those who cannot receive Holy Communion just need to make an act of spiritual Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday. In other words, take a few moments during our livestream to receive our Lord into your soul as if you had received Holy Communion in person. 

Whether you have received Holy Communion spiritually or physically present at Mass, ask the Lord for the graces He promised, as St. Faustina recorded in her Diary:

I am giving them the last hope of salvation, that is, the Feast of My Mercy. (965)

In other words, we are to have recourse in trust to the Lord's mercy and obtain the extraordinary fruit of His promises regarding this special feast.

So, on Divine Mercy Sunday, receive Communion in whatever way you can in a state of grace. It may be one of the most important things you’ll ever do in your life. 

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