Divine Mercy Sunday celebrates fullness of Christ’s mercy

Years ago, Donna Cori Gibson came across the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska and placed it in her collection of Catholic books. She didn't pick it up until a few years later, when she hit a low point in her life.

What struck her the most from the diary — which details Christ's private revelations to the Polish nun in the 1930s — was how He stressed the value of suffering and how powerful it is when we are able to unite our own sufferings with His.

"It's almost that He needs our suffering," she said. "He's looking for souls who are willing to join Him on the cross for the salvation of sinners. He wants co-redeemers to make their offerings with Him. This is the time of mercy."

In the midst of her career as a Catholic recording artist, Gibson was moved to record a CD featuring the Divine Mercy chaplet and prayers.

"The prayers for the chaplet are a continuation of the consecration," she said. "By praying the chaplet we are continuing the consecration. So it's intimately tied to the Mass. It's an extimulation of the sacrifice of Calvary and ... I explain our participation is in uniting our sufferings, our joys, sorrows everything to that one sacrifice."

Celebration of Mercy

The feast of Divine Mercy, or Divine Mercy Sunday, is observed on the octave of Easter and celebrates the fullness of Christ's Resurrection. This year, the feast will be celebrated April 8.

St. Faustina's diary details Christ revelations, largely focusing on a message of mercy. She wrote that she first saw a vision of Jesus on Feb. 22, 1931. He had rays of mercy streaming from His heart. Christ told her to have an image painted to represent the vision and to write below it, "Jesus, I trust in you!" St. Faustina died of tuberculosis in 1938 at age 33. St. John Paul II canonized her in 2000 and declared Divine Mercy Sunday a worldwide feast day. Two years later, he instituted a plenary indulgence for those who participate in the devotion. St. John Paul II was canonized on the feast of Divine Mercy in 2014.

To receive the graces of the plenary indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday, along with the usual conditions (sacramental confession, holy Communion, and prayers for the intentions of the pope), the faithful, while in a state of grace and detached from venial sin, are asked to take part in the prayers and devotions the Second Sunday of Easter held in honor of Divine Mercy in any church or chapel, or else they should recite the Our Father and Creed before the Blessed Sacrament adding a devotional prayer to the merciful Lord.

People also are encouraged to pray the novena of Divine Mercy, which begins Good Friday and ends the Saturday before Divine Mercy Sunday; to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet; and to be merciful toward others through words, actions and prayers. (To learn how to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet and novena, visit www.thedivinemercy.org.)

Celebrations including Mass

ASSUMPTION — 403 N. Main St. in O'Fallon; confessions begin at 3:30 p.m., with eucharistic adoration, Rosary, and Divine Mercy chaplet; Mass at 5:30 p.m.

CATHEDRAL BASILICA OF ST. LOUIS — Lindell Boulevard and Newstead Avenue in the Central West End; Mass at noon celebrated by Msgr. Joseph Simon; following Mass, eucharistic adoration, confessions from 1-3 p.m., 3 p.m. Divine Mercy chaplet, ending with Benediction. Divine Mercy image will be in the sanctuary.

GOOD SHEPHERD — 703 No. Third St. in Hillsboro; 2 p.m. exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, veneration of Divine Mercy image and confessions, 3 p.m. Divine Mercy chaplet, followed by Mass, celebrated by Father Christopher Holtmann.

HOLY INFANT — 627 Dennison Drive in Ballwin; 1:30-3 p.m. confessions, 2:15 p.m. exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary, novena and litany of the Sacred Heart, 3 p.m. Divine Mercy chaplet and Benediction; 3:30 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father Thomas Vordtriede.

IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY — 4092 Blow St. in south St. Louis; 2 p.m. eucharistic adoration, confessions, Rosary; 3 p.m. Divine Mercy chaplet and prayers, ending with Benediction; 3:30 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father Kristian Teater.

INCARNATE WORD — 13416 Olive Blvd. in Chesterfield; 12:15 p.m. Mass, 1:30-3 p.m. exposition of Blessed Sacrament, confessions, blessing and veneration of Divine Mercy image, Divine Mercy chaplet and litany, ending with Benediction.

OUR LADY QUEEN OF PEACE — 4696 Notre Dame Lane in House Springs; blessing of Divine Mercy image at all Sunday Masses (5 p.m. Saturday and 7:30, 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. Sunday); following all Masses, Divine Mercy chaplet, prayers for the plenary indulgence and Divine Mercy litany, including veneration of image and first-class relic of St. Faustina.

SACRED HEART — 555 Bailey Road in Crystal City; 11 a.m. Mass celebrated by Father Warren Drinkwater, CSSR, followed by Apostolate for Family Consecration Divine Mercy video, Rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet; confessions will be available.

ST. ANDREW — 309 Hoffmeister Ave. in Lemay; Divine Mercy image will be present at weekend Masses (4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday); Divine Mercy chaplet and prayers for the plenary indulgence will be prayed after both Masses.

ST. GEORGE (WITH ST. DOMINIC SAVIO) — 4980 Heege Road in Affton; 2-3 p.m. exposition of Blessed Sacrament, confessions, Rosary, Divine Mercy chaplet, ending with Benediction; 3 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father Paul Rothschild.

ST. FERDINAND — 1765 Charbonier Road in Florissant; confessions beginning at 1:30 p.m., exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Divine Mercy chaplet, and ending with Benediction; 3 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father Paul Hoesing.

ST. FRANCIS DE SALES ORATORY — 2653 Ohio Ave. in south St. Louis; 10 a.m. High Mass, followed by Divine Mercy chaplet; confessions will be heard all morning.

ST. JOSEPH — 6020 Old Antonia Road in Imperial; 2-4:30 p.m. confessions, 2:45 p.m. exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, 3 p.m. Divine Mercy chaplet, followed by Rosary, 4:15 p.m. Benediction and 4:30 p.m. Mass.

ST. MARY MAGDALEN — 2618 Brentwood Blvd. in Brentwood; 12:30 p.m. confessions, 1 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father Jack Siefert; 2 p.m. eucharistic adoration, confessions, Rosary, 3 p.m. Divine Mercy chaplet, ending with Benediction at 3:20 p.m.

ST. ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE — 1210 Paddock Drive in Florissant; Divine Mercy image will be blessed after all Sunday Masses and prayers for plenary indulgence will be offered; 2 p.m. Mass celebrated by Father Robert Brockland, CM; after Mass, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Divine Mercy chaplet, ending with Benediction.

Celebrations without Mass

ASSUMPTION — 603 Miller St. in New Haven; 2 p.m. exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, confessions and Rosary; 3 p.m. sung Divine Mercy chaplet, ending with Benediction.

HOLY REDEEMER — 17 Joy Ave. in Webster Groves; 3 p.m. Divine Mercy chaplet and a personal reflection on the power of Divine Mercy.

MARY, MOTHER OF THE CHURCH — 5901 Kerth Road in south St. Louis County; 3-4 p.m. eucharistic Holy Hour with Divine Mercy chaplet, ending with Benediction.

QUEEN OF ALL SAINTS — 6603 Christopher Drive in Oakville; 2:30 p.m. confessions, eucharistic adoration prayer service, including sung Divine Mercy chaplet and ending with Benediction; veneration of Divine Mercy image and Rosary.

ST. DAVID — 2334 Tenbrook Road in Arnold; 1:30 p.m. confessions, 2 p.m. Holy Hour with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Divine Mercy devotions, and chanting the Divine Mercy chaplet.

ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI — 4556 Telegraph Road in Oakville; 3 p.m. Divine Mercy Holy Hour with confessions, eucharistic adoration, readings, prayer and reflection, ending with Benediction.

ST. FRANCIS BORGIA — 115 Cedar St. in Washington; 2 p.m. exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, confessions, Rosary, sung Divine Mercy chaplet, including veneration of first-class relic of St. Faustina, and ending with Benediction.

STE. GENEVIEVE — 49 DuBourg Place in Ste. Genevieve; 3-4 p.m. exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Divine Mercy chaplet and Benediction; confessions will be available.

ST. GERARD MAJELLA — 1969 Dougherty Ferry Road in Kirkwood; 2:30-4 p.m. eucharistic adoration with chanting of Divine Mercy chaplet, Divine Mercy litany, and ending with Benediction; 2:30 p.m. confessions until all are heard.

ST. MARGARET MARY ALACOQUE — 4900 Ringer Road in Oakville; 2:30-3:30 p.m. Holy Hour, including exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Divine Mercy devotions, confessions, including veneration of first-class relic of St. Faustina, and ending with Benediction.

ST. MARTIN OF TOURS — 610 W. Ripa Ave. in Lemay; 2 p.m. Holy Hour with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Divine Mercy devotions, chanting the Divine Mercy chaplet, prayer of the act of consecration of the United States to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, ending with Benediction.

ST. PAUL — 15 Forest Knoll in Fenton; 3-4 p.m. Divine Mercy Holy Hour, Divine Mercy image present, and Divine Mercy chaplet.

ST. VINCENT DE PAUL CHURCH — 1000 Rosati Ct. in Perryville; 4 p.m. Divine Mercy chaplet and viewing of Divine Mercy image. 

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