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What is the Origin of Divine Mercy Sunday?

Q. We didn’t observe Divine Mercy Sunday when I was a child. How did that celebration come about?

A. In the 1930s, Jesus repeatedly appeared and spoke to a Polish nun, Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. These private revelations, later approved by the Church, presented a series of messages focusing on the mercy of God. They were recorded in her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, which records fourteen instances when Jesus requested that an annual Feast of Mercy be observed by the Church.

Once the Polish bishop St. John Paul II became pope, he felt compelled to bring Sr. Faustina’s message to the world. In the year 2000, he canonized her and declared that the Second Sunday of Easter (the Sunday immediately following Easter Sunday) would be observed by the universal Church as Divine Mercy Sunday.

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