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Divine Mercy
Knights of Columbus ^ | 04.25.03

Posted on 04/24/2003 10:32:48 PM PDT by Coleus

MID RUMORS THAT HE WOULD announce his retirement due to failing health, Pope John Paul II traveled to Poland last summer and proclaimed a message far different to the expectant world. During a dedication Mass in the shrine of Divine Mercy in Krakow Aug. 17, the pope announced: “Today, therefore, in this shrine, I wish solemnly to entrust the world to Divine Mercy.” The Divine Mercy devotion, though humble in origin, offers nothing less than the promise of salvation and peace to all mankind. Efforts on many different fronts are furthering the hope that Catholics everywhere will soon know of the extraordinary graces promised by Our Lord to those who follow his simple call to mercy and trust.

(Above) A potrait of Sister Faustina Kowalska and the Divine Mercy image of Christ hangs from St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome during her canonization in 2000. (Right) Fourth Degree Knights at 2002 Mercy Sunday observances in Stockbridge, Mass.


Helena Kowalska was born in Glogowiec, Poland, on Aug. 25, 1905. The third of 10 children born to poor, devout parents, she exhibited an early love of prayer, work, obedience and sensitivity to the poor. At age 7, she felt the first stirrings of a vocation in her heart, and before turning 20 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, where she received her religious name Sister Maria Faustina. Sister Faustina’s religious life seemed unremarkable to most observers. She spent her days attending to kitchen and garden tasks, or acting as the doorkeeper in various convents. But she experienced an extraordinary interior communion with God, the extent of which was known only to her superiors. Her supernatural gifts included revelations, visions, hidden stigmata, bilocation, prophecy and the reading of souls.

In 1934, at the urging of her spiritual director and, later, of Jesus himself, Sister Faustina began keeping a diary of her revelations from Jesus and mystical experiences. The result is the 600-page spiritual classic, Diary of St. Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul, which continues to astound scholars with its depth of spiritual and theological insight. She recorded this diary over the span of four years, ending it shortly before her death from tuberculosis in 1938.

DIVINE MERCY: THE MESSAGE “Encourage souls to place great trust in My fathomless mercy. Let the weak, sinful soul have no fear to approach Me, for even if it had more sins than there are grains of sand in the world, all will be drowned in the immeasurable depths of My mercy” (Diary, 1059).

Jesus’ message of mercy to St. Faustina was not a new revelation, but a reminder of those timeless truths of our faith about God’s merciful love for all mankind and his desire for us to turn to him with trust. What was new were the forms of devotion that Jesus requested, and the powerful promises attached to them. There are generally considered to be four basic elements of the Divine Mercy devotion: the image, the feast, the chaplet and the Hour of Mercy.

“I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening in the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one red, and the other pale. … After a while Jesus said to me: paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: ‘Jesus, I trust in You’” (Diary, 47).

This image of the risen Christ reminds us of all Jesus did for us through his passion, death and resurrection. The two rays represent the blood and water that flowed from his heart when it was pierced by a lance. The hand raised in blessing recalls the scene of Easter Sunday eve and the institution of the sacrament of penance. St. Faustina further noted two promises given by Our Lord: “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).

Jesus specifically requested that the Sunday after Easter be designated as the feast of Mercy. In all, he made 14 requests for the feast in revelations to St. Faustina and attached a promise of mercy to those who observe it devoutly.

“Whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment. ... On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet” (Diary, 300 and 699).

Pope John Paul II prays in the God’s Mercy Basilica in Krakow during his August 2002 visit to Poland. The pope consecrated the basilica at a shrine where he used to pray on his way to forced labor in a salt quarry under the Nazis.

To observe the feast of Mercy properly, and to receive the great gift of forgiveness and remission of all temporal punishment — a new beginning such as conferred at baptism — we should sincerely repent of all our sins, place our trust in Jesus, go to confession within a reasonable time before the feast, receive holy Communion, venerate an image of Divine Mercy and practice acts of mercy. THE CHAPLET
Dictated to St. Faustina by Our Lord himself, the chaplet is to be prayed on ordinary rosary beads. Jesus instructed her to pray it “unceasingly,” and promised to souls who recited it devoutly great graces throughout life and particularly at the hour of death. To pray the chaplet, begin by saying the Our Father, Hail Mary and the Apostles’ Creed. Then on the large beads, pray:

Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

On the small beads, pray:

For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

In conclusion, pray three times:

Holy God, holy Mighty One, holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Father Frank Gluhosky blesses a copy of the image of Divine Mercy surrounded by members of Father Michael J. McGivney Assembly in Stuart, Fla. Robert Allard, a member of the assembly, promotes devotion to Divine Mercy through various programs, including one expressly for Knights.

In a revelation to St. Faustina in October 1937, Jesus requested daily prayer at 3 p.m. to honor the hour of his death and to implore mercy for sinners.

“If only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. … In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion” (Diary, 1320).

Jesus said that praying the Stations of the Cross at this hour would be beneficial, or, if that couldn’t be done, he asked for a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in adoration of the merciful heart of Jesus.

Preparing the world for Our Lord’s return by spreading the message of Divine Mercy is a task that many in the Church have taken on. The Congregation of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception administer a National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass., and sponsor the John Paul II Institute of Divine Mercy, which trains clergy, religious and laity in living and spreading the message. The Eucharistic Apostles of the Divine Mercy, a lay organization associated with the religious congregation, starts prayer cenacles in parishes that promote eucharistic adoration and perform works of mercy.

Knight Robert Allard, a member of Father McGivney Assembly in Stuart, Fla., is a prominent member of the organization.

Father Seraphim S. Michalenko, of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception and director emeritus of the Institute of Divine Mercy, says the popularity of the devotion is growing. “It’s individual lay people who are doing the most.

All of this is by word of mouth, people telling others about the graces they’ve received and then inviting them to the services, like to a chaplet that is said before Mass.”

Plowing the way for these seeds of evangelization is the world’s foremost champion of Divine Mercy, Pope John Paul II.

Dedicated to spreading the message since his days as a young priest, he has played what can only be described as a providential role in this mission.

In 1965, as archbishop of Krakow, he initiated the process by which, 35 years later as pope, he would declare Sister Faustina the first saint of the Jubilee Year 2000. At the canonization ceremony, on April 30, 2000, John Paul also announced that the Second Sunday of Easter would be henceforth known as Divine Mercy Sunday.

He marked his pontificate early with the theme of mercy by issuing in 1980 the encyclical Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy), and more recently, on Aug. 4, 2002, authorized a plenary indulgence for Catholics who observe the precepts on Divine Mercy Sunday. Given John Paul’s historic actions, the life and mission of St. Faustina, and the vitality and faith of the Polish people who have spread the message of mercy beyond their homeland, one is struck by Our Lord’s prophetic words to St. Faustina: “I bear a special love for Poland. ... From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming” (Diary, 1732).

Melaine Ryther is a freelance writer whose work appears regularly in Catholic periodicals. She writes from Kennewick, Wash., where she is a wife and a mother.

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This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday.
1 posted on 04/24/2003 10:32:48 PM PDT by Coleus
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To: *Catholic_list; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; ..
2 posted on 04/24/2003 10:35:37 PM PDT by Coleus (RU-486 Kills Babies)
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To: Coleus
Thank you for the ping. I pray the Divine Mercy prayers every day, along with the rosary...

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us, and on the whole world..."

3 posted on 04/24/2003 10:41:23 PM PDT by Judith Anne
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To: Coleus
Outstanding post Coleus.

I saw on EWTN that St. Faustina, St. Maximilian Kolbe, and Karol Wojtyla all lived within a couple hours of each other during WWII.

Yesterday, I saw a new Divine Mercy prayer to end abortion.

St. Faustina, pray for us.

4 posted on 04/24/2003 11:07:13 PM PDT by (“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6)
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To: Coleus; Arthur McGowan
...and the Divine Mercy devotion has been promoted in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, DESPITE the whining of various Diocesan priests that "it is inappropriate for the season of Easter." Man, Abp. Dolan has a lot of work to do...

Arthur, the literature regarding DMSunday is unclear and has caused a bit of a debate around my home. It was always my understanding that under the usual conditions, etc., etc., one can obtain a partial or plenary indulgence, BUT that such indulgence is applied through God's mercy to whatever soul (in Purgatory) He designates.

OTOH, the literature can be read to indicate that the DM plenary can be applied to oneself or to one's designee.

How do you read this??
5 posted on 04/25/2003 6:15:12 AM PDT by ninenot
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To: Coleus
A message of Mercy and Trust (Actress Portrays Diary of Divine Mercy Through One Woman Show)

The Message of Divine Mercy Divine Mercy

Chaplet of Divine Mercy

(Divine) Mercy Blossoms in Asia: American leaders are amazed by growth of Divine Mercy in Far East

Miracle Cure Brings Sainthood to Polish Nun (Divine Mercy)

Movement (Divine Mercy) once banned becomes guiding force in Pope's life

Text of John Paul II's Homily at the Dedication Mass of the Shrine of the Divine Mercy

Pope Consecrates Basilica of Divine Mercy

6 posted on 04/25/2003 6:46:38 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: ninenot

The faithful can gain indulgences for themselves or apply them to the dead.
7 posted on 04/25/2003 9:12:48 AM PDT by Coleus (RU-486 Kills Babies)
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To: Coleus
AHA! I'll look up the CCC section when I return to the house. Thanks.
8 posted on 04/25/2003 9:31:17 AM PDT by ninenot
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To: ninenot

9 posted on 04/25/2003 2:02:31 PM PDT by Coleus (RU-486 Kills Babies)
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To: All

Knights of Mercy Program

A call to all Knights of Columbus

Councils and Assemblies




This is designed especially for the Knights of Columbus councils and assemblies so that they may assist our Holy Father John Paul II and our Church to celebrate our new feast called Divine Mercy Sunday.  One of the necessary parts of the solemn celebration of this feast is the veneration of the Image of Divine Mercy in the Church and this will be the main focus of the “Knights of Mercy Program”.

This new feast was made official by decree on May 5th 2000 by the Vatican at the request of Pope John Paul II.  Pope John Paul II indicated the he had fulfilled the will of Christ by instituting this new Feast of Divine Mercy.  Jesus through St. Faustina requested a Feast of Mercy on the Sunday after Easter.  Our Pope has been hoping that everyone takes full advantage of the special graces available on this feast day.


What special graces, you might ask?  It is the promise that Jesus made for a total pardon of sins and punishment for anyone that would go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on this Feast of Mercy (Divine Mercy Sunday).   Our Lord said “Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.” (From the diary of St. Faustina, entry 300)

To further put the Church’s stamp of approval on Our Lord’s promise, the Vatican just issued a Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday on June 29th, 2002.  The decree states that priests should inform the faithful about the plenary indulgence and to lead the prayers required after all the masses.  It also calls for priests to be very generous in hearing confessions and to encourage everyone to do acts of mercy.


Because the Knights have a special calling to assist the Church in its endeavors, and because we are in solidarity with the mission of the Pope, we must do our best to assist every parish to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday.  It is very clear, from the words of Jesus that this feast is to be a refuge and shelter for all souls, especially for poor sinners.  As Knights we are called to do acts of charity and there could be no greater act of charity than to participate in the salvation of the poor lost or alienated souls.

We have many Catholics that have fallen away from the Church.  Many only go to mass once a year, probably on Easter.  Many more have not gone to Confession in a long time and these poor souls could also be damned for eternity.  What better acts of charity could we do than to assist our Church in celebrating this great feast which can provide for them the total forgiveness of their sins and punishment? 

Our Lord said On that day all the Divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened.  Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet.   Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion.  I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy…Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice is near.” (Diary, 699, 965)


Pope John Paul II stated in his greetings in August 2002 “The theme for the 120th Supreme Convention – (“Now Is the Time for the Great Catch”)- is a summons to ever trust in the Lord’s command to 'put out into the deep' ( Lk 5:4) in obedience to His word."  Our Lord is calling out to His Vicar, Pope John Paul II, as He did to Peter “to cast our nets out once more” using Divine Mercy Sunday to obtain that Great Catch.  We must help our Holy Father to let down these nets.  The results, as we remember from Luke’s Gospel, was an incredible catch of fish.  In the same way, by trusting in the promise of Our Lord, we can bring home many lost souls on this new Feast of Mercy (Divine Mercy Sunday).

Our Lord said How very much I desire the salvation of souls!... if only they were willing to accept My grace.  The greatest sinners would achieve great sanctity, if only they would trust in My mercy.” (Diary, 1784)  The graces on Divine Mercy Sunday are fully capable of totally restoring a terrible lost sinner to complete sanctity and in turn, that new found soul in Christ will radiate that merciful love to all others.


Jesus said,Do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My mercy.  I will make up for what you lack.  Tell aching mankind to snuggle close to My merciful Heart, and I will fill it with peace.” (Diary, 1074)  And His promise: “Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior.” (Diary, 1075)

It is clear that we must do everything that we possibly can to spread the message of Divine Mercy.  What follows is a simple plan to ensure that every parish will be prepared to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday.  This will bring about a great renewal in the Church and bring home that “Great Catch” of many inactive, poor lost souls.


1.   Contact your parish:  Ask if your parish has an Image of Divine Mercy suitable for veneration and large enough for everyone to see on Divine Mercy Sunday.  If they need an image, the Knights could offer to purchase one for the parish.  They are available on this website in the on-line catalog in different sizes, laminated and ready to be framed, already framed, or as a ready to hang tapestry.  Our goal is to have the image venerated in every single parish.

2.   Approach your pastor: Ask your pastor if he has a copy of the Decree for the Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday.  In case your pastor does not have a copy, print one out for him by clicking on the words above underlined in red that will access the official plenary indulgence from the Vatican website. Be sure to approach your pastor with much humility and respect.

3.   Offer to have a procession: Approach your pastor again and make him an offer to process with the Image of Divine Mercy using the Honor Guards (if possible) on Divine Mercy Sunday.  Remember that Our Lord asked that the image be solemnly blessed and venerated on the Feast of Mercy.  If the Honor Guards are not available then Sir Knights can process in their Tuxedos or with other Brother Knights.

4.   Show your pastor the images:  Before purchasing an image, check with your pastor to see which one he would like to use.  Show him the different kinds available on this website by printing out the Online Catalog or view it with him on the parishes’ office computer.  Some of the pastors will want to permanently install the images in their churches or other facilities.  You might also consider purchasing one for your council or assembly.  Our Lord has made great promises regarding the veneration of the images.

5.   Provide information about the feast:  Also available on this website are many different articles about Divine Mercy Sunday that could be used for local and diocesan newspapers and also for the parish bulletin.  You should focus on reaching those that have been away from the Church and those that have not been to Confession in a long time and are in need of receiving mercy.

6.   Encourage your pastor:  Try to encourage your pastor to announce the feast on Palm Sunday and especially on Easter Sunday when there are many people in attendance that do not attend mass weekly.  Kindly ask him to encourage everyone to come back to the regular practice of Sunday mass, starting with Divine Mercy Sunday and encourage them to go to Confession if needed.

7.   Prepare your fellow members:  Explain to fellow members the graces that are available on Divine Mercy Sunday.  Provide information so that they may tell others about Divine Mercy Sunday.  Many have fallen away from going to Confession on a regular basis.  Our Holy Father has called us all to resume the practice of frequent Confessions.

8.   Ask for extra Confession time:  Ask your pastor if he could make extra time for Confessions for those that did not go before Easter.  According to a Vatican document issued during the Jubilee Year 2000 called "The Gift of the Indulgence" it is allowed for someone to go to Confession within about 20 days before or after the feast.

View the Online Image Catalog

| Home  | Message for Catholics | Vision | Feast After Easter? | How to Celebrate |
| Divine Mercy Image | Theology | Chaplet | NovenaNews Flash |
| Presentation | Homily Starter | Pope's Homily | News Stories |
| Join Us | Knights of Mercy Program | Image Catalog | Order Form | Links |

©Copyright 2003, Apostles of Divine Mercy

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Taken from the website's "Knights of Mercy Program".

Call Robert R. Allard, Director, A.D.M for more information at 1-888-732-0722

10 posted on 04/25/2003 8:17:45 PM PDT by Coleus (RU-486 Kills Babies)
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Divine Mercy Program Expands

1/26 - 10/16/2004
Pope John Paul II blesses the Divine Mercy painting.
Pope John Paul II blesses the Divine Mercy painting.


Since 1980, the Knights of Columbus has sponsored 12 yearlong Hour of Prayer programs.  Framed icons – usually of the Blessed Mother – travel from council to council during the year as the focal point of prayer services.  Over the years, these programs have been attended by more than 12 million participants in some 88,000 prayer services.

This year, the Hour of Prayer program takes Divine Mercy as its theme.  In a special way, Divine Mercy was selected to honor Pope John Paul II, to whom the devotion is so important.  And, as we honor the Holy Father, we also pray for him as he continues to lead the Church from the Chair of Peter.

Council Program

Each jurisdiction in the Order has been supplied with several framed icons of the Divine Mercy image in order to conduct the Hour of Prayer program.  For schedule information about these prayer services, please contact your state council.

Divine Mercy Hour of Prayer in Philadelphia's cathedral.
Divine Mercy Hour of Prayer in Philadelphia's cathedral.

Cathedral Program

In addition to the prayer services at local councils, the Supreme Council is bringing a life-size painting of the Divine Mercy, which was blessed by the Holy Father, to the cathedrals of several archdioceses throughout the United States for a weekend of veneration. 


January 25, 2004 - Archdiocese of Philadelphia
March 7, 2004 - Archdiocese of Milwaukee
March 14, 2004 - Archdiocese of Detroit
March 28, 2004 - Archdiocese of Los Angeles
April 18, 2004 - Archdiocese of Boston
May 16, 2004 - Archdiocese of Baltimore
May 23, 2004 - Archdiocese of Washington
September 5, 2004 - Archdiocese of Chicago

Related Documents

Dives in Misericordia  (Papal Encyclical: Rich in Mercy )
Jesus, I trust in You: the Divine Mercy MessageColumbia, April 2003
Divine Mercy Hour of Prayer booklet  (.pdf)

11 posted on 04/21/2004 5:22:20 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: fedupjohn; jmaroneps37; farmfriend; Captain Culpepper; al_c; P.O.E.; AuH2ORepublican; Titanites; ...
12 posted on 04/21/2004 5:25:10 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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April 18, 2004

Second Sunday of Easter, Divine Mercy Sunday

"I shall sing forever the Lord's mercy." (Ps 89 [88]) This Sunday is popularly known as Mercy of God Sunday. Between 1930 and 1938 Christ appeared to Sister Faustina, a Sister of Mercy in Poland who initiated the Divine Mercy devotion. She was canonized on April 30, 2000, the Sunday after Easter, the Feast of Divine Mercy. On Good Friday, 1937, Jesus requested that Blessed Faustina make a special novena before the Feast of Mercy, from Good Friday through the following Saturday. Jesus also asked that a picture be painted according to the vision of Himself as the fountain of mercy. He gave her a chaplet to be recited and said that it was appropriate to pray the chaplet at three o'clock each afternoon (the Hour of Great Mercy).

At Rome, the Station is in the basilica of St. Pancras, on the Aurelian Way. Ancient writers have not mentioned the reason of this Church being chosen for today's assembly of the faithful. It may, perhaps, have been because the saint was only fourteen years old when put to death: a circumstance which gave the young martyr a sort of right to have the neophytes around him, now that they were returning to their everyday life.


Sunday Readings
The first reading is taken from the Acts of the Apostles, 5:12-16. In this third summary (cf. 2:42-47 and 4:32-37) of the lifestyle of the first community St Luke refers particularly to the Apostles' power to work miracles. These miracles confirm to the people that the Kingdom of God has in fact come among them. Grace abounds and it shows its presence by spiritual conversions and physical cures. These "signs and wonders" are not done to amaze people or provoke curiosity but to awaken faith.

Miracles always accompany God's Revelation to men; they are part of that Revelation. They are not simply a bending of the laws of nature: they are a kind of advance sign of the glorious transformation which the world will undergo at the end of time. Thus, just as a sinner, when he repents, obeys God without ceasing to be free, so matter can be changed if its Creator so ordains, without undermining or destroying its own laws. — The Navarre Bible - Acts of the Apostles

The second reading is from the book of the Apocalypse, 1:9-13, 17-19. The vision of St. John is meant for the benefit of the whole Church, as can be seen from the fact that he is told to write down what he sees; it is connected with contemporary events and with the future. The immediate context of the vision is the salvation of the churches mentioned and the glory of Christ who is caring for them; the future has to do with the afflictions the Church must undergo and the full establishment of Christ's kingdom: his second coming will mean definitive victory over the powers of evil. — The Navarre Bible - Revelation

The Gospel is from John, 20:19-31. In company with the ten apostles we today relive the episode in the Upper Room on the night following Jesus' resurrection. "How could Christ's body be other than a true body since He visibly carried the scars of His wounds, showed them to His disciples and even permitted others to touch them? These scars He did not wish to remove; for our sake He would take them along to heaven in order to confirm our faith and to ennoble our spirit of devotion. And He would present them to God, His FAther, as the ransom money for our redemption. And His FAther placed Him at His right hand because the trophies of our liberation were found in His very body. This glorification of Christ's wounds is ample proof that the martyrs will receive a similar reward in eternity." — St. Ambrose

Things to Do:
God of mercy, you wash away our sins in water, you give us new birth in the Spirit, and redeem us in the blood of Christ. As we celebrate Christ's resurrection increase our awareness of these blessings, and renew your gift of life within us. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


· Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday
· The Feast of Mercy
· The Image of the Divine Mercy
· The Three O'Clock Hour


· Prayers for the Easter Season
· The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
· Divine Mercy Novena


13 posted on 04/21/2004 5:29:53 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: Coleus
I always enjoy reading the articles you post. Could you explain what these two gifts are?

Her supernatural gifts included ....bilocation, ....the reading of souls.


14 posted on 04/22/2004 9:41:27 AM PDT by reflecting
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  April 2004


What The World Needs Now


by Ludmila Grygiel

The message of Divine Mercy transmitted by St. Faustina Kowalska and being furthered by the Knights is a very contemporary one

In this article:

Spiritual and Material Gains

Meditation On Christ's Passion

A Daily Act of Mercy

Convince the World


Icon of St. Faustina Kowalska written by Marek Czarnecki of Seraphic Restorations in Avon, Conn.

Icon of St. Faustina Kowalska written by Marek Czarnecki of Seraphic Restorations in Avon, Conn.

Through the mediation of St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-38), Jesus has given us a teaching on God's mercy, and a new form of devotion known as the Divine Mercy. The devotion centers on veneration of the image of the merciful Jesus. The image was described by the Lord to Sister Faustina, a Polish nun, and then painted by her. The Divine Mercy devotion includes recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, celebration of the feast of Divine Mercy the first Sunday after Easter, and keeping holy the hour of Christ’s death.

On Sept. 13, 1935, in Vilnius (now the capital of Lithuania), Jesus "dictated" the words of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy to Sister Faustina. It is important to note that this took place after a vision of an angel, "the executor of Divine wrath," during which the mystic nun, terrified, began to "implore God for the world with words heard interiorly." This was recorded in her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul (I, 196-197) [Stockbridge, Mass.: Marians of the Immaculate Conception, 2001; subsequent quotes are also from this source]. The next day Christ taught Sister Faustina to pray the chaplet, which she called "the prayer that serves to appease the wrath of God" (I, 197).


Spiritual and Material Gains

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The chaplet is by design a prayer to be offered in community by a group. Its purpose is to implore mercy not only for the one who is reciting it but those for whom it is being recited; to implore mercy not only for us but for the whole world. It is an act of love toward all sinners who are in need; it is an act of mercy.

On one occasion, when Sister Faustina was confiding to Jesus her ardent desire that all mankind turn with trust and confidence to Divine Mercy, the Lord said to her: "By saying the Chaplet, you bring all of humanity closer to me" (II, 281). These words reflect the dynamic reality of the action of Divine Mercy and the motivation behind Christ's request. The prayer that is lifted up to God the Father is in a certain sense a "reminder" to him of his Son’s painful passion. It is because of Christ’s suffering and death that man can ask and, by right, have confidence that God will hear him. One who prays the Chaplet of Divine Mercy uses one of the strongest means possible for presenting his petition to God. As with any prayer or devotion, the efficacy of the chaplet is dependent upon the confidence, the perseverance and the conformity to the will of God with which it is prayed.

Christ often suggested the chaplet as a prayer to obtain the grace of a holy death; those who are dying can obtain that grace both when they themselves pray and when someone else prays for them. Sister Faustina herself experienced often the efficacy of this prayer, particularly during her last hospitalization. Jesus assured her more than once that through perseverance and trust, one could obtain all things in prayer: both spiritual benefits, such as conversion and salvation, and prosperity in temporal matters, such as the end of a drought or storm. The only condition was that what was asked must conform to the divine will (VI, 93).


Meditation On Christ's Passion

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Christ's passion referenced in the Chaplet of Divine Mercy constitutes the essence of another related devotion, namely meditation on his death at 3 p.m., "the hour of great mercy for the whole world." Christ instructed Sister Faustina: "At 3 o’clock in the afternoon implore my mercy, especially for sinners and, for just a brief moment, immerse yourself in my passion, particularly in my abandonment at my death" (IV, 59). It should be noted that, according to Christ's explanation, the meditation on his passion must not be a meditation only on his physical suffering, but also on his spiritual torments, "mortal sadness," and agonizing experience of having been abandoned by God the Father.

For the Church, the high point of veneration of the Divine Mercy is the feast day, celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. This year’s celebration will be April 18. Preparation for the feast begins on Good Friday, with a novena (nine days of prayer) consisting of praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily. The choice of the first Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday highlights the interconnectedness of the work of mercy and that of Christ's redemption, the most powerful act of his mercy. The image of Christ as the Divine Mercy is the image of the resurrected Jesus, and it constitutes a particular illustration of the Gospel reading that Sunday on Jesus' appearance to his disciples.

Divine Mercy Sunday is a joyous feast for Catholics who hope to rise and live eternally with the resurrected Christ. The celebration of the feast includes almost all forms of devotion, including public veneration of the image of Divine Mercy, recitation of the chaplet and homilies on the theme of mercy. At the same time, these devotions are part of the Church’s sacramental life.

The importance of trust, the indispensable condition for proper and effective prayer, cannot be overemphasized. An attitude of trust must be the primary characteristic of those devoted to Divine Mercy.


A Daily Act of Mercy

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That having been said, however, the cult of Divine Mercy has one overriding characteristic: the attitude of the faithful as practitioners of mercy. The devotional practices are of less importance than the constant, daily practice of mercy. Through action, words and prayer, we must become people filled with mercy. Jesus reiterated the evangelical warning: "If a soul does not, in some way, practice mercy, it will not receive my mercy on the day of judgment" (IV, 57).

One who is truly devoted to Divine Mercy "must fulfill at least one act of mercy a day" (III, 430). This can be simply saying a prayer for someone in need of God's mercy. The devotion does not require a particular kind of charitable activity. More than an exterior action, it calls for spiritual maturity, a trusting abandonment to God rather than a program of good works. Devotion to Divine Mercy is a powerful instrument for the formation of Christians. That is why we strive to bring the message of Divine Mercy and devotion to Christ as Divine Mercy to the whole world.

The message of Divine Mercy transmitted by St. Faustina Kowalska and being furthered by the Knights of Columbus during its prayer program is a very contemporary message. It represents, one might say, a "To be or not to be" decision for the believer and nonbeliever alike. The world today needs witnesses of the Divine Mercy and evangelizers of its message.

The Divine Mercy message shows a new relationship between justice and mercy, a relationship that emerges directly from the scandal of Christ's crucifixion. Christ does not negate the concept of justice; rather, he changes it. He said to his disciples, "If your justice does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:20).


Convince the World

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On the cross, mercy prevailed over justice. On the cross, Jesus broke the vicious cycle of sin and punishment that kept the sinner from hoping for salvation and finding his way to happiness in eternity. From Christ’s death on the cross to the end of time, "mercy triumphs over justice" (Jas 2:13). From this point on, man has the right to ask for God’s forgiveness and be confident that God will always forgive him. In fact, God continues to assure us, "I did not allot only a certain number of pardons" (V, 90).

Man's evil deeds will never be able to diminish God's willingness to forgive him. There is one condition, though: We must be truly penitent, moved by trust in God’s mercy and not by fear of being punished by him. The man who learns mercy from God changes both himself and the world in which he lives. This is the challenge for us Christians in a world where evil seemingly surpasses all limits. For this very reason, we must never despair or allow ourselves to be passive observers of the chaos around us. Instead, what we see must convince us of the world’s desperate need for Divine Mercy.

In the 1930s, Christ spoke to Sister Faustina words that are just as true now at the start of the 21st century: "Tell suffering humanity to snuggle close to my merciful heart and I will fill it with peace" (III, 20). It would not be incorrect then, that while we work for justice and peace we must work above all for mercy.

Ludmila Grygiel writes from Rome. She is the author of a spiritual biography of St. Faustina in Polish.






A Father Rich In Mercy

by Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson

A famous painting holds a lesson for us on the Father's Divine Mercy.


After his death in 1669, officials found in the studio of the Dutch artist Rembrandt a painting they considered unfinished. Titled "The Return of the Prodigal Son," it remains one of his greatest masterpieces.

The painting depicts the moment recounted in Luke's Gospel (cf. 15:11-31) when the son returns, kneels before his father and embraces him. His father returns the embrace, his hands on his son’s shoulders, drawing him still closer to himself.

The father's eyes are closed, but it is obvious that he now sees his son in a way that transcends what is merely visible. The father's face is bathed in light, a sign of the grace that has brought him and his son to this moment. There is no smile on his face. His own suffering and that which he now sees in his son’s condition is too profound. The prodigal son had insisted upon his inheritance early and embarked on a way of life that could only be seen as a total repudiation of his family's values. His isolation from them is complete when, by his own recklessness, he is driven into poverty.

Rembrandt depicts the father wearing a red mantle, traditionally a symbol of the Lord's glory. This image reminds us what the Church Fathers taught: The glory of the Lord is man redeemed. The son is redeemed by his return. The father too finds redemption in his willingness to accept the son’s return. Thus is the grace of God the Father sufficient to reconcile both father and son and to heal the family.

The Parable of the Prodigal Son places one telling petition of the Lord's Prayer within the context of the family: "Our Father…forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." Rembrandt has painted the prodigal son in such a way that he represents Everyman kneeling repentant before the Father.

Pope John Paul II has observed that at the heart of the struggle between the Culture of Life and the Culture of Death there exists an "eclipse of the sense of God." A society that no longer believes in God abandons those values which protect the sanctity of life. We have seen this happen with abortion, euthanasia and other grave evils. But the Father stands ready to lavish upon his children love, mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation. By embracing these values we can truly build a Culture of Life, a civilization of love.

The Holy Father often reminds us that in the Christian family we find present the mystery of the Holy Trinity. As the Parable of the Prodigal Son teaches, we also see in the family the occasion for Divine Mercy and reconciliation.

The Knights of Columbus has many programs to strengthen family life. One of the most important is our current Divine Mercy Hour of Prayer. This devotion has a special place in the Holy Father's heart. It can have a special place as well in each of our families, councils and parishes. And it can — and will — strengthen the bond of brother Knights committed to the principles of Charity, Unity and Fraternity.

Vivat Jesus!

15 posted on 05/01/2004 9:32:55 PM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
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To: Coleus; Siobhan
Question from Corina Ernst on 07-01-2004:
I was wondering if you could shed some light on chaplets. There are many different kind of chaplets out there. Personally I love to pray them. I've been told by elders of the Catholic Church that they are not recognized or approved by the Church. I would appreciate it if you could give me an answer on if they are approved or recognized by the Catholic Church? Thank you very much. God Bless Corina Ernst
Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 08-02-2004:
I'm not sure what you mean by elders. This is not a term used by Catholics. The Greek word for elder, presbyter, is the word which indicates a priest.

As for chaplets, they are simply a kind of rosary (or the rosary is a kind of chaplet) developed to foster a particular devotion. They receive various approbations of the Church, most importantly the imprimatur attesting to the doctrinal correctness of the content. In the case of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, this was part of the private revelation to St. Faustina and is imprimatured in every language. Thus, there is no question that the Church approves of the use of chaplets, in general, as a legitimate form of private devotion. Those should be used which have some ecclesiastical recognition, either by imprimatur of a bishop or imprimi potest of a religious congregation's superior.

In the directory on piety from the Congregation for Divine Worship, chaplets are favorably mentioned several times:

178. The veneration of the Blood of Christ has passed from the Liturgy into popular piety where it has been widely diffused in numerous forms of devotional practices. Among these mention can be made of the following:
- the Chaplet of the Most Precious Blood, in which the seven "effusions of the Blood of Christ", implicitly or explicitly mentioned in the Gospels, are recalled in a series of biblical meditations and devotional prayers...

202. "In recommending the value and beauty of the Rosary to the faithful, care should be taken to avoid discrediting other forms of prayer, or of overlooking the existence of a diversity of other Marian chaplets which have also been approved by the Church"...

222. St. Joseph plays a prominent part in popular devotion: in numerous popular traditions; ... and in the recitation of the chaplet of St Joseph, recollecting the Seven agonies and seven joys of St. Joseph.

16 posted on 04/02/2005 9:03:36 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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With the passing of John Paul II the prophetic adrenaline is flowing as seldom before, and for good reason: the Pope not only changed history -- making himself the focus of prophecy -- but was himself wide open to supernatural manifestations.

Under John Paul II the great mystic Padre Pio was canonized, as was Sister Faustina of Poland, who received the Divine Mercy revelations. A statue exuding tears was approved in Italy, as were apparitions in such places as Kibeho, Rwanda, Cuapa, Nicaragua, and Betania, Venezuela. It was John Paul II, through Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who in 1986 stopped a local bishop from rejecting the apparitions at Medjugorje (in Bosnia-Hercegovina).

Meanwhile, and meaningfully, his passing comes quickly in the wake of the deaths of famed mystics Maria Esperanza and Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima -- speeding the prophetic pulse. There is also Terri Schiavo: even secular outlets are calling it an uncanny "coincidence" that the "culture of life" Pope, who lobbied hard for Terri's life, and who was reportedly deeply upset on hearing news of her death, died two days after she did -- the Pope passing in a disabled state but with the dignity he wanted for everyone.

The connection to Fatima remains the strongest mystical link. The Pope credited Our Lady of Fatima with saving his life in 1981 and is believed to be the "bishop in white" mentioned in the legendary "third secret" -- which he released in 2000.

He may also be connected to the revelation of St. Faustina Kowalska of Poland -- the Divine Mercy saint who had quoted Jesus as saying, "I bear a special love for Poland and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming" (Diary 1732).

Many have long believed that John Paul II was that "spark," and such speculation can only gain momentum by further "coincidences," especially the fact that John Paul II died Saturday -- at the end of a more than weeklong Divine Mercy novena -- and on the vigil of the Feast of Divine Mercy that he himself had instituted. The first Mass offered for him was a Mass of Divine Mercy. 

Thus, by that calculation, the death of the Pope is the harbinger of huge events. The death of this deeply Marian Pope also came on the First Saturday of the month, and was followed by suddenly fierce winds in Italy.

The Pope's passing also brings into play the prophecies of St. Malachy O'Morgair, an Irish monk who supposedly had a vision of the future popes while visiting Rome in 1139. The authenticity of the event is greatly disputed, and like all mysticism should be strictly discerned, but St. Malachy is said to have prophesied the list of popes through short, esoteric nicknames.

By this reckoning, if we accept it as a legitimate prophecy, John Paul II was De Labore Solis ("from the labor of the sun"), and would be followed by only two more popes -- the next being De Gloria Olivae ("from the glory of the olive") and then Petrus Romanus ("Peter the Roman").

The prophecies about the number of popes are many and often differ markedly from one another. At the popular and controversial site of Garabandal in Spain, a seer named Conchita Gonzalez once noted, "The Blessed Virgin said in 1962 that there will be only two more popes after Paul VI."

There was also St. John Bosco, who foresaw a time when a pontiff would stand at the helm of a noble ship in turbulent seas and guide it to safe passage between twin pillars that represent the Blessed Mother and the Eucharist. No Pope in history was more dedicated to the Virgin Mary than John Paul II, and he had declared the current year as the "Year of the Eucharist"!

"When this Pope will have completed the task which Jesus has entrusted to him and I will come down from Heaven to receive his sacrifice, all of you will be cloaked in a dense darkness of apostasy, which will then become general," asserted the locution of an Italian priest who is likewise as interesting as he is controversial. "There will remain faithful only that little remnant which, in these years, by accepting my motherly invitation, has let itself be enfolded in the secure refuge of my Immaculate Heart.  And it will be this little faithful remnant, prepared and formed by me, that will have the task of receiving Christ, who will return to you in glory, bringing about in this way the beginning of the new era which awaits you.” 

Such alleged claims have sparked fervid monitoring of the Pope and his potentially prophetic implications. Many are those who expected him to the proclaim a new dogma, believing that this declaration would lead to huge events.

Lesser and vastly more controversial prophecies claimed that John Paul II would end up in exile and die outside of Rome -- prophecies that, obviously, have turned out to be invalid. There are those who have predicted that the next Pope will be an "anti-Pope" or even the antichrist -- a drastic and dangerous prognostication.

But major events are on the horizon and matters that deal with the Church are said to be in the secrets of Medjugorje. There is now the searing question of what the next Pope will do when it comes to that apparition site: Will the next Pope reverse course and allow the bishop to now make a negative judgment?

John Paul reportedly read the monthly message from Medjugorje, often making statements that paralleled what Mary said there. Indeed, "Youth Day" followed messages on youth from Medjugorje.

Smiling when two pictures of the Pope were brought by a woman from Osijek in 1982, the Blessed Mother of Medjugorje reportedly said, "He is your father, my angels."

Concerning the Pope, who was briefed on the apparitions in an urgent letter from the pastor at St. James church in Medjugorje, the Blessed Mother also said, "Have him consider himself the father of all mankind and not only of Christians. Have him spread untiringly and with courage the message of peace and love among all mankind." According to a locutionist who was not part of the formal group of six seers, she also asked that he try to bring together Christians.

This John Paul II certainly did -- traveling the globe in subsequent years, as if he heard the same voice. At one apparition on April 2, visionary Ivan Dragicevic was recommending  intentions to Our Lady when, allegedly, the newly deceased Pope appeared on her left. (He was smiling, young and very happy, all in white with a long gold cape, claim e-mails that are flying about the internet. Our Lady supposedly said to Ivan: 'This is my son; he is with me.")

What are we to make of it all? Could we be ready for things to occur in quick succession? Haven't matters (Esperanza, Lucia, Schiavo, and now the Pope; hurricanes; tsunamis) been moving fast as it is? And how should the Church deal with mysticism?

At the same time that many bishops have hardened their stance against mystical claims, the Pope did the opposite, even receiving seers in a few instances. Ukrainian mystic Josyp Terelya -- who saw the Blessed Mother while imprisoned in a gulag -- met with the Pope both privately and in a formal session (right); and visionaries from Medjugorje (left), South America, the U.S., Asia, Europe, and other parts of the world presented him or his representatives with their messages -- many of them asserting, rightly or wrongly, that John Paul was a fellow seer.

When asked if she felt the same way, famous Venezuelan seer Maria Esperanza, who asserted that the Pope bilocated to her, and who on a visit to the Vatican once presented the Pope with a picture of the Virgin (as Mary, "Reconciler of Peoples and Nations"), only smiled at the question and said, "He will never say."

[resources: The Bridge to Heaven, Queen of the Cosmos, and Medjugorje and the Church]

17 posted on 04/04/2005 10:17:11 PM PDT by Coleus (God Bless our beloved Pope John Paul II, May he Rest in Peace)
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To: Coleus

BTTT on Good Friday, 2005!

18 posted on 04/14/2006 9:18:18 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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Divine Mercy Novena Begins on Good Friday

19 posted on 04/14/2006 6:08:41 PM PDT by Coleus (What were Ted Kennedy his son & nephew doing on Good Friday, 1991? Getting drunk and raping women)
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To: DixieOklahoma; reuben barruchstein; theprophetyellszambolamboromo; Alusch; house of cards; ...
Knights of Columbus: Celebrating 125 Years of Faith In Action

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be
added to or taken off  the Knights of Columbus ping list

20 posted on 03/20/2008 9:24:13 PM PDT by Coleus (Abortion and Physician-assisted Murder (aka-Euthanasia), Don't Democrats just kill ya?)
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