The Holy Father Has 'Prescribed' Mercy

On Sunday afternoon after lunch, Sr. Margherita, one of the Sisters of St. Joseph who works for us here in our Roman house, came into the dining room to show us what she had received in St. Peter's Square during the Holy Father's weekly Angelus message.

It was a small, flat box similar to one that you would buy containing cold or allergy medicine. There was a picture of the Sacred Heart on the cover, and it was labeled as a spiritual medicine called Misericordina ("mercy"). Inside the box was a rosary, a Divine Mercy holy card, and an instruction leaflet. At the end of the Angelus message, Pope Francis held up one of the boxes and said the following:

"I would also now like to prescribe a medicine to all of you. But someone might think, 'The Pope is now a pharmacist?' It is a special medicine to concretize the fruits of the Year of Faith, which is drawing to a close. It is a medicine of 59 intertwined beads. It is a 'spiritual medicine' called Misericordina. A little box with 59 intertwined beads. This little box contains the medicine, and some volunteers are distributing it to you as you leave the Square. Take it! There is a rosary, with which one can also pray the Chaplet of Mercy, spiritual help for our souls and to spread love, forgiveness, and brotherhood everywhere. Don't forget to take it because it does good! It is good for the heart, for the soul, and for our whole lives!"

Apparently this initiative was begun by a group in Cracow, Poland, and was brought to Rome with the backing of Archbishop Konrad Krajewski who is in charge of the Papal Charities. Thousands of boxes were produced in Italian, Spanish, English, and Polish. The people in the Square were delighted to receive this spiritual medicine.

The instruction leaflet states "the medicine brings mercy to the soul, felt as widespread tranquility in the heart. Its efficacy is guaranteed by the words of Jesus. It should be applied when one desires the conversion of sinners, when one feels the need of help, when one lacks the strength to fight temptations, when one is not able to forgive someone, when one desires mercy for a dying person, and when one wants to adore God for all of the graces that one has received. It can be applied, both by children and also by adults as many times as one feels the need. The foreseen dosage is the recitation of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy promoted by Saint Faustina Kowalska. Unintended side effects or contraindications have not been found. The Holy Sacraments are conducive to the effectiveness of the medicine."

It says that one should read the instructions well before taking the medicine and to conserve the instructions in case of a relapse. It also says that one should visit a priest or a religious for further advice and information. The leaflet also contains quotations from the Diary of St. Faustina.

Sister Margherita's joy at having received the gift echoed the sentiments of the people in the Square. I think it is a wonderful and creative example of the new evangelization!

Father Joseph Roesch, MIC, serves in Rome, Italy, as the vicar general of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.

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