Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Divine Mercy and the Papacy

Divine Mercy and Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II canonized Saint Maria Faustina Kowalaska on April 30, 2000. At that time he also recognized Divine Mercy Sunday as revealed to Saint Faustina.
It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter, which from now on throughout the Church, will be called "Divine Mercy Sunday".


From that Heart, Sr. Faustina Kowalska, the blessed whom from now on we will call a saint, will see two rays of light shining from that Heart and illuminating the world: ‘The two rays,' Jesus Himself explained to her one day, ‘represent blood and water' (Diary, 299).

Blood and water! We immediately think of the testimony given by the Evangelist John, who, when a soldier on Calvary pierced Christ's side with his spear, sees blood and water flowing from it (see Jn 19:34). Moreover, if the blood recalls the sacrifice of the cross and the gift of the Eucharist, the water, in Johannine symbolism, represents not only Baptism but also the gift of the Holy Spirit (see Jn 3:5; 4:14; 7:37-39).

Divine Mercy and Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI makes reference to Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy in two separate statements in his new book, "Light of the World".
SEEWALD: About eighty years ago, Faustina Kowalska, the Polish nun canonized by John Paul II, heard Jesus say in a vision, "You will prepare the world for my definitive return." Are we obliged to believe that?

THE POPE: If one took this statement in a chronological sense, as an injunction to get ready, as it were, immediately for the Second Coming, it would be false. But it is correct if one understands it in the spiritual sense that was just explained, as meaning that the Lord is always the One who comes and that we are always preparing ourselves for His definitive coming, precisely when we go out to meet His mercy and allow ourselves to be formed by Him. By letting ourselves be formed by God's gift of mercy as a force to counteract the mercilessness of the world, then we prepare, as it were, for His own coming in person and for His mercy.


THE POPE: If you look at the history of the Church, women — from Mary to Monica and all the way down to Mother Teresa — have so eminent a significance that in many respects they shape the image of the Church more than men do. Just think of major feast days such as Corpus Christ or Mercy Sunday, which originated with women. In Rome, for example, there is even a church where not a single man can be seen in any of the altarpieces.
The popes can declare and announce and pronounce, but it is up to the Church as a whole to accept and to celebrate and commemorate. It is the role of the bishops and the priests and the laity to fulfill these declarations and to make them become a real physical and spiritual force in the world.

For more information on Saint Faustina and Divine Mercy please visit the site of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception devoted to spreading the news of this wonderful revelation:

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