On Location: Divine Mercy Sunday 2023!

Pope Francis' Angelus Message on Divine Mercy Sunday: "Exclude no one from God's mercy."

View this year's Divine Mercy Weekend program.

Read local and national news coverage:
National Catholic Register (1)
National Catholic Register (2)
Catholic News Agency
Berkshire Eagle
OSV News (1)
OSV News (2)
Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts (1)
Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts (2)
EWTN: What is the Meaning of Divine Mercy Sunday?

Questions about Divine Mercy Sunday? We have the answers!

Recap of Saturday, April 15 on Eden Hill.

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 7:15 a.m. 

Rain fell overnight, and a bit of fog this morning, but nothing will dampen our spirits for today's celebration! The weather forecast is terrific. And Novice Josh, one of our Marian seminarians, is ready to direct you to your parking space. Ample parking is available, and cars do not have to register today. Please join us!

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 8:30 a.m. 

"I'm reading the Diary of St. Faustina for the second time, this time with my husband," says Elizabeth Collins of Manchester, Connecticut. "Jesus is trying to touch every person, but we have to open our hearts. I'm so thankful for the Marian Fathers - through the internet, they have brought so many people back to the faith." 
Joe and Denise Bamond of Charleston, South Carolina, are volunteering for the second year. Joe credits Divine Mercy for saving his life: "I was pretty sick years ago, and they said I was going to die." Denise adds, "We prayed the Chaplet all the time. Our lives have truly changed. We are here to give thanks and give back."  
Larry and Mary Ann Luckow of Casper, Wyoming, are visiting the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy for the first time, as part of their 40th wedding anniversary celebration. "Divine Mercy means we can obtain the extraordinary graces for ourselves and the souls in Purgatory," Larry says. Mary Ann adds, "Divine Mercy means everything to us. 'Jesus, I trust in You' is all you need." They are long-time viewers of Divine Mercy Sunday on EWTN, and the Marian Fathers' Masses and talks on YouTube. "I love Fr. Chris Alar's Saturday talks and pass them on to different people and nationalities," Mary Ann adds. "He has a gift of speaking and making matters of faith very simple, clear, and understandable."

Saturday, April 16, 2023, 10:00 a.m. 

Pilgrims pause to pray at our Lourdes Grotto, a replica of the one in France where Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous in 1858. Did you know that today is also St. Bernadette's feast day, the day of her death in 1879? St. Bernadette, pray for us!  
 GET READY TO WATCH! The EWTN broadcast tent overlooking the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine is the location of our LIVE Pre-Show broadcast, beginning at 12 Noon EST. Watch here or on EWTN. The celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday Mass will follow at 1:00 p.m. 
A dynamic trio! This morning, Deacon Timothy Childers, MIC (who will be ordained to the priesthood this July), Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, and acclaimed Marian Press author Donna-Marie Cooper O'Boyle addressed the large crowd gathered at the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine.

“Today is a special day for us gathered here at the National Shrine, because it’s the first fully-open celebration of the Feast of Divine Mercy since 2019,” said Deacon Tim, who offered an engaging dive into the heart of the Divine Mercy message and devotion. He especially emphasized “the need, not only for us to trust in Jesus and to trust in His mercy that He wishes to pour out upon us, but also the need for us to be merciful to others. How many times in the Scriptures does Jesus tell His disciples (and tell us) that to the degree that you are merciful, you will be shown mercy?”

In this time of the Eucharistic Revival, Deacon Tim explored the importance of the graces that come to us through Holy Communion, a theme that influenced and guided the whole weekend.

“There’s a deep connection between St. Joseph and the Eucharist,” said the next speaker, Fr. Donald Calloway, author of the global bestseller Consecration to St. Joseph. He delved into the connections between St. Joseph, the foster father of our Lord, and the Joseph of the Old Testament, the patriarch who saved his brothers, the sons of Israel and fathers of the tribes of God’s Chosen People, by storing the grain of Egypt for seven years before a famine hit for seven years. He used those parallels to explain that St. Joseph was the protector of the Eucharist — it was through his fidelity to God’s call and to being a good father to the Son of God that we have the Eucharist today.

Next was Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, author of 52 Weeks with St. Faustina, who gave a summary of St. Faustina’s key lessons for us all. “To the world and to some sisters, St. Faustina seemed like a nobody, or a big problem, but Jesus raised her up to be an incredible mystic and saint, and I have no doubt that someday she may be declared a Doctor of the Church. She’s our true friend — get to know her. 

“What does Jesus want of us?” asked Donna-Marie, author of Divine Mercy in a Woman’s Life. “He wants us to turn to His mercy, but not just today on Divine Mercy Sunday. He wants us to turn to His mercy, and to be merciful people, because it’s not just for one day. Jesus gives us so many opportunities in the course of our daily lives to be merciful.”  

A beautful sight: so many pilgrims in line for Confession, to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on this special day, one of two conditions to receive the extraordinary graces Jesus promised on Divine Mercy Sunday. 

Saturday, April 16, 2023, 11:30 a.m. 

Time for lunch! Joy, Cely, and Lucita, originally from the Philippines and now based in New York, have a picnic before Mass. They have been coming to the National Shrine since the 1990s. “Divine Mercy is very powerful. We are thirsty to come here!” Cely said. 
Everyone is welcome on Eden Hill today, especially the young!  
Pilgrims wait patiently to enter the National Shrine for a moment to pray, before Divine Mercy Sunday Mass at the Mother of Mercy Outdoor Shrine. Watch here or on EWTN LIVE at 1:00 p.m. EST. 
A moment of prayer at the 13th Station of the Cross, Jesus is taken down from the Cross.
Ellen Miller (left), Planned Giving Manager, joined Nancy Lethbridge of Glendale, New York, and Dawn Bershon of Springfield, Massachusetts, outside the Shrine of the Holy Innocents. It’s Nancy’s first visit on Divine Mercy Sunday. “I was like a little kid before Christmas – I was so excited! I can’t believe I am here! I watch all the EWTN shows, and you feel like you know it so well already.”

Dawn relayed a miraculous moment while waiting for Confession. “I was on line, and every few minutes I smelled roses so strongly. The person next to me did, too. So I stuck my hand out and said, ‘Thank you, Mary for being here with us. You know I do pro-life outreach in Springfield. Can you come to the clinic and go inside and be with those Moms?' All of a sudden the two of us were overwhelmed with the smell of roses! And we both said, ‘Thank you, Mary!’”

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 12 Noon 

HAPPENING NOW! Father Chris Alar, MIC, and Fr. Joseph Roesch, MIC, host the Divine Mercy Pre-Show LIVE on EWTN!  Watch here or on EWTN.

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 1:00 p.m. 

The celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday Mass, LIVE from the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy! Our celebrant is the Most Rev. Bernard Shlesinger, III, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta. The magnificent choir is from Magdalen College in Warner, New Hampshire. Watch here or on EWTN LIVE. 

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 2:00 p.m. 

“Be confident that God’s mercy is stronger than any misery we may be experiencing at this time,” said Bishop Shlesinger in his homily. “We who hope for a fulfilling life and a bright future need only open the door of our hearts to God’s merciful grace in order to find interior peace and experience unending joy.” The Bishop spoke about how we find in the Book of Genesis the first game of "hide and seek," when Adam and Eve hid from God in the Garden of Eden, and how their shame got in the way of them receiving Divine Mercy. "No sin is greater than the mercy of God," Bishop Shlesinger reminded us. Shame holds us back from going to the Divine Mercy and being put right with God, of being made saints. 
At the conclusion of the Mass, Bishop Shlesinger said, "“I wanted to add my thanks to especially the Marians of the Immaculate Conception for your warm hospitality, for your vocation, and for helping lead in this great apostolic work of St. Faustina and of course of Our Lord, and for bringing the Divine Mercy to the world.”

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 3:00 p.m. 

This extraordinary celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday concluded with the Solemn Celebration of the Hour of Great Mercy: the Novena and Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and Exposition and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament, followed by the blessing of religious articles. 
Father Chris Alar visits with Mary and Janet from Ottawa, Canada, first-time visitors to the National Shrine. Mary is originally from Uganda, and Janet from Rwanda. "We watch EWTN and the talks on YouTube all the time, and we had to visit," Mary said. Janet added, "Divine Mercy means everything to us, especially today with all the graces." 
The Turpin Family drove 14 hours from Hammond, Indiana, for Divine Mercy Sunday, their first time at the National Shrine. "It was a spur-of-the-moment trip," Dad Danny says. "My wife Aurora called me at work and she said, 'God put it on my heart,' and she just booked the trip." Aurora added, "Divine Mercy means God pouring His blessings on us. Danny's going to have surgery coming up. I heard on my heart, 'You need to go there. You need the strength for what's coming.' It's just love of God, love of Jesus Christ, for all of us."   
Heading to their car is the multi-generational Huvahiv Family, Filipino-Americans from Queens, New York. Together they proclaimed, "Jesus is our rock!" 
 Maria del Rocio Cervantes and Ignacio Gomez from Stamford, Connecticut, married 35 years, paid their third visit to the National Shrine on Divine Mercy Sunday, bringing with them an Image which travels from parish-to-parish. "Divine Mercy is a miracle for me," Maria says. "God has made a lot of miracles in my family, including when my daughter was sick. We give thanks." Maria and Ignacio are originally from Puebla, Mexico. 

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 5:15 p.m. 

That's a wrap! Divine Mercy Sunday at the National Shrine is now one for the history books. Buses are ready to depart, and pilgrims head to their cars. Thank you to all who came, and safe journey home!


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