For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Divine Mercy Sunday (Feast Of Divine Mercy)

From the Association of Marian Helpers:

On February 22, 1931, Our Lord Jesus appeared to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, who recorded the event in her spiritual Diary:

In the evening when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand [was] raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at his breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me, Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world (Diary 47).

I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory (Diary 48).

The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water that makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls...

These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross.

These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him (Diary 299).

The image of Jesus depicted here was painted by Eugene Kazimirowski in Vilnius (presently, Lithuania) in 1934 under the direction of St. Faustina Kowalska. It was venerated publicly for the first time on April 26, 1935, during the closing celebration of the Jubilee of Redemption at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Dawn Gate.

In 1937 the image was placed in St. Michael's Church, and it remained there until 1948 when the church was closed by the Communist government. A journey of hiding then took place until 1956, when it was enshrined in the Church in Nova Ruda (Belarus). There it remained until 1986 in spite of the fact that the church was closed in 1970 and provided a very poor physical environment for the painting. In 1986 the image was secretly removed again and brought to the Holy Spirit Church in Vilnius, Lithuania. In 1991, on account of damages sustained, the painting was retouched by a local artist, but the face lost its original appearance in the process. Under the guidance of Cardinal Backis the image was professionally restored in May, 2003, and for the time being it will continue to be venerated in Holy Spirit Church, Vilnius.

To print a copy of the Divine Mercy Novena, click HERE. For the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, click HERE. For the Decree of Indulgence, click HERE. The mercy of Jesus Christ is an endless stream for those who detest all sin. Take advantage of it!

For more background on St. Faustina, click HERE. And to see the face of the painting of Jesus above compared to the image on the Shroud Of Turin by superimposing it, click HERE!