Divine Mercy Sunday always occurs on the second Sunday of Easter. On April 30th, 2000, Pope John Paul II declared this Sunday as Divine Mercy Sunday throughout the Catholic Church, universally. Jesus Christ had certain revelation with Sr. Faustina in which he he expressed a desire to have a day dedicated for the celebration of the Divine Mercy. In her diary, Jesus Christ clearly states "On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will I contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy."
A 9-day novena is usually said prior to this special feast day which begins on Good Friday. Plenary Indulgences are said to be granted on this day, according to Pope John Paul II, if Catholics recite specific prayers on that day. The priests are also called on this day to lead special devotions and hear confessions.
The Divine Mercy image is one of the most known elements of this day. This image was revealed to St. Faustina on February 22nd, 1931 from Jesus himself in which he asked her to "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 throughout the world." (Diary 47). Since then, this image has been venerated all across the world as Jesus requested.
Jesus explains that the image in these words: " The two rays denote Blood and Water. the pale ray stands for the Water which 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 dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him." (Diary 299).
May the Mercy of God sustain us in our lives so that we will live righteous lives. Glory to God. Jesus, I Trust in you! Jesus, have mercy on me.