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Pope Benedict XVI's remarks were broadcast on a wide screen in Rome on Divine Mercy Sunday.

Pope Benedict: Mercy is 'the Name of God Himself'

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"Mercy is in reality the core of the Gospel message; it is the name of God Himself, the face with which He reveals Himself in the Old Testament and fully in Jesus Christ, the Incarnation of creative and redemptive love."

Thus, spoke Pope Benedict XVI on Divine Mercy Sunday from the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo.

Pope Benedict spoke about the significance of Divine Mercy Sunday. He also announced that he will preside over Mass in memory of John Paul II, who died three years ago on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday. The Mass this Wednesday will open the first-ever World Apostolic Congress on Mercy in Rome.

Pope Benedict XVI recalled that John Paul II designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday, and did so on the day the Polish nun, St. Faustina Kowalska, was canonized in 2000. Saint Faustina, who died in 1938, is known as the messenger of God's Mercy, since it was through her Diary that the message of mercy came to be known to the world, even before it was approved by the Holy See.

Speaking to thousands of pilgrims at Castel Gondolfo and in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict said:

This love of mercy also illuminates the face of the Church, and is manifested through the sacraments, in particular that of reconciliation, as well as in works of charity, both of community and individuals.

Everything that the Church says and does, shows that God has mercy for man. When the Church must call attention to an unrecognized truth, or a good betrayed, it is always driven by merciful love that all people might have life and have it abundantly (cf. Jn 10.10). From Divine Mercy comes hearts that are pacified, and then comes true peace in the world, peace between peoples, cultures and religions.

Like Sister Faustina, Pope John Paul II was in his time an apostle of Divine Mercy. Many noticed the remarkable coincidence that when he closed his eyes to this world on the evening of Saturday, April 2, 2005, it was on the eve of the second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday, and also at the same time as the Marian devotion of the first Saturday of the month. In fact, this was at the core of his long and multifaceted pontificate; his entire mission in the service of God and man and peace in the world was summarized in the announcement he made in Krakow in 2002.

Pope Benedict recalled the ceremony in Krakow, Poland, where John Paul II inaugurated the great Shrine of Divine Mercy and said: "'Outside the mercy of God there is no other source of hope for human beings.' His message, like St. Faustina's, leads back to the face of Christ, the supreme revelation of God's mercy. Constantly contemplating that face: This is the legacy that he has left us, which we welcome with joy and make our own," the Holy Father said.

At the end of his reflection, Pope Benedict urged the faithful to "place the congress under the heavenly protection of most holy Mary, Mother of Mercy. We entrust to her the great cause of peace in the world so that the mercy of God achieves what is impossible with human strength alone, and instills the courage for dialogue and reconciliation."

This story was drawn reports by Catholic News Agency, Zenit, and asianews.it.

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Stanley - Jul 13, 2008

God's mercy is my greatest source of strength especially in the midst of adversity.

yoli - Apr 29, 2008

The Divine Mercy Chaplet is the most powerful and miraculous prayer that I have encounter. I have seen this prayer work miracles for the sick. Doctors giving up on the sick, and this chaplet just gives them life.

Jim - Apr 22, 2008

In order for us to grasp the unconditional love that God has for us, we must know that it is given to us through the Divine Mercy of God in Christ Jesus. In my own sinfulness I see the complete love of God in His great mercy and I am moved to repentance and a burning desire to stay within the safety of His love. But, then I am also compelled by the mercy through love shown to me to show that same mercy in love to others.

What a wonderful God!

Rosemary - Apr 9, 2008

After living in sin and selfishness for 50+ yrs, I came face to face with my mortality In june '02. I was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor (the deadliest of the brain tumors). the median life expectancy for persons with this type of tumor in 6 mos to a.yr. It is by the Grace of HIS DIVINE MERCY that 5 yrs later I am here writing this comment. 3 yrs ago I was blessed with a relic of St Faustina's and truly believe that her intercession was my salvation. My Lord blessed my doctors with the knowledge and dedication to treat my illness. My spirituality was strengthened by my illness. I trust in HIS Will and the power of prayer.
How sad it is to see that the world denies God's Mercy and love.

April 9, 2008 - Apr 9, 2008

When I reflect in my life I understand now that all of it has been under the Divine Mercy protection. The divine Mercy did not let me dye when I had a car accident. The car was destroyed but not my life. I was in sin. Nobody could understand how I was still alive. Thank you my Lord and my God of Mercy.....I will love you forever

Christie - Apr 3, 2008

I have the deepest gratitude to St. Faustina for passing on Jesus' words to us. Her trusting devotion and courage to say "yes" is inspirational.

Robert - Mar 31, 2008

Divine Mercy is the greatest gift from God. I will treasure it for eternity.

Thank you St. Faustina and Pope Paul II for helping this wonderful gift to be bestowed by God to the world, when we need it most.

Jeannie - Mar 31, 2008

The Message of Divine Mercy burns in my heart.....and I know that I MUST tell others of this important message...it is vital ...for our salvation and that of the world! We must pay attention ....and heed the message!

Robert R. Allard, Dir., Apostles of Divine Mercy - Mar 31, 2008

There is nothing more important than Divine Mercy and Divine Mercy Sunday.

May God richly bless the World Congress on Mercy. The Feast of Mercy is the last hope of salvation for all mankind.