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Mother of Mercy Messengers

Divine Mercy for Young Hearts — A Shining Jewel in your Film Collection

Above the title of the new Divine Mercy for Young Hearts video, there is a caption that reads, "A Captivating Lesson in the Catholic Faith."  A more accurate description could hardly be imagined, as this slender one-hour presentation at St. Adalbert Catholic School in Enfield, Connecticut, succeeds not only in introducing the message of Divine Mercy but also serves as a rich lesson in Scripture and the Catechism.

Divine Mercy for Young Hearts is the latest in a series of multimedia products created by the Mother of Mercy Messengers (MOMM), a lay outreach ministry of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception. One of MOMM's primary goals is to "bring Divine Mercy home" to the whole family. While the adults have enjoyed such stirring productions as Tell All Souls About My Mercy and St. Faustina's Way of the Cross, the children are now being rewarded for their patience with a unique product tailored to their feelings and interests. This is not to say that Divine Mercy for Young Hearts is designed strictly for children. On the contrary, "Young Hearts" implies anyone who is new to Divine Mercy or who is simply willing to be awed, as a child is awed, by the many wondrous gifts of the Catholic Faith.

In the lovely St. Adalbert Church, Joan Maroney, co-director of MOMM, introduces herself to 200 elementary-school students. After praying together, Joan begins to talk about a nun named Sister Faustina, who was chosen to be "God's Secretary of Mercy," and who experienced His mercy in a very special way throughout her life. Details of the piety and love that Sister Faustina exhibited in her childhood are used to encourage the children in the audience to embrace these characteristics in their own lives. Joan tells the students to, "make a little place for Jesus in your heart," as Saint Faustina had done since her earliest days.

The Maroneys are accompanied throughout the video by a moving musical soundtrack that subtly heightens the impact of their message. The viewer is also treated to many images, including photographs from St. Faustina's life, a tableau of beautiful stained-glass windows, a reproduction of the Shroud of Turin, and finally a meditative tour through the Stations of the Cross during recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

Perhaps most important is the image of Divine Mercy itself, which is discussed at a profound and yet easily graspable level. Joan points out to the children how Jesus is the source of light against the dark background of the image, just as He is the source of light in a life otherwise tempted to darkness. She asks the children what they think would happen if they tried to leave the church with the lights off. Would they trip over other people and accidentally hurt them? Could they be hurt themselves? The children nod in agreement, and their awestruck expressions show that they have easily understood this metaphor of a life unguided by God's light.

Many of the children, eager to demonstrate their knowledge, raise their hands high when Joan asks them what it was that poured from Jesus' heart when it was pierced by the soldier's lance. "That's right," says Joan, "blood and water." Again pointing to the Divine Mercy image, she explains how the pale rays are like the waters of baptism, cleansing the soul of its sin. Throughout one's life, the Sacrament of Reconciliation offers this same purifying grace, and the children are encouraged to go often to speak to Jesus in the confessional. Joan warns the children not to treat Him as a dead object, but instead to pray often, confess often, and live in the light of His constant presence. The red rays of the image are subsequently described as "blood for our souls." The children are reminded to reflect on the Passion, and on His blood that was spilt for the love and redemption of all mankind. Joan pleads with the children not to forget this physical element, which is united with the spiritual to form the Real Presence, and which can be received through that greatest of Sacraments, Holy Communion. Of course, the children already know that in order to receive Communion, they need to go to Mass.

Throughout the program, the children learn how they can apply the teachings of mercy to their own lives. For instance, if their grandmother is sick, they can cook her a meal or clean her house. If she is in the hospital, they can visit her or send a card. If she is passing from this world, they can pray in a powerful way for her with the Chaplet for the Sick and Dying. This ability to commit acts of mercy stems from an underlying trust in God, which is the very flame of faith. With all this in mind and spirit, the children are then led through a recitation of the beautiful Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

In just one hour, the Mother of Mercy Messengers deliver a visually stunning, spiritually uplifting, and highly educational product that is truly without equal. The DVD of Divine Mercy for Young Hearts also includes the added features of a statement by Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, and an interview with Joan and Dave Maroney in which they explain how they got started in ministry work and how you too can let the light of Divine Mercy into your heart and home.