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Divine Mercy devotion has powerful impact Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Mar. 26, 2009 -- 12:00 AM
  Divine Mercy Sunday
 Women pray before the picture of the Divine Mercy image at a previous Divine Mercy Sunday observance in Madison.

MADISON —  Jesus told St. Faustina that the Feast of Divine Mercy would be a very special day when “all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened.” Jesus promised her that “the soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain the complete forgiveness of sins and punishments.”

Increasing numbers of Catholics are taking advantage of this promise and the possibility of receiving a plenary indulgence on the Sunday after Easter, declared Divine Mercy Sunday in the year 2000.

Miracles happen

People in the Diocese of Madison have witnessed the power of devotion on Divine Mercy Sunday. “Miracles happen,” said Martha Bindl, a member of Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Parish in Monona.

She has witnessed the impact of the Divine Mercy image and is keeping a journal of these experiences. “I remember one lady who came to the Divine Mercy Sunday Mass out of curiosity,” said Bindl. “When she looked into Jesus’ eyes, she felt such compassion. She went to Confession for the first time in 30 years.”

Pat Fettig saw one young lady kneeling in front of the picture. “She was sobbing. She was a UW student from Poland and said the picture brought back so many memories. She was just overcome.”

Bindl and Fettig belong to the IHM Prayer Cenacle, started in 1990. The prayer group became aware of what Jesus had told the Polish nun, Sr. Faustina Kowalska (canonized as St. Faustina by Pope John Paul II in 2000). Our Lord asked St. Faustina to have an image of Himself blessed and venerated on the Sunday after Easter.

Plenary indulgence

A Decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued on May 5, 2000, added the title “Divine Mercy Sunday” to the Second Sunday of Easter. In his Regina Caeli address on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2001, Pope John Paul II thanked God that he was able to “proclaim the Second Sunday of Easter as the feast of Divine Mercy for the entire Church.”
In a decree dated  August 3, 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Catholic Church announced that in order “to ensure that the faithful would observe this day (Divine Mercy Sunday) with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence.”
The plenary indulgence is granted under the usual conditions: sacramental confession (up to about 20 days before or after Divine Mercy Sunday), Communion, and prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father. The faithful should also take part on Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy or in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the “Our Father” and the “Creed,” adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus.
The faithful are encouraged to participate in a Novena of Chaplets to the Divine Mercy starting on Good Friday. For more information on the novena, the plenary indulgence, and other aspects of Divine Mercy Sunday, go to the Web site: www.divinemercysunday.com

 
  
Seeking Divine Mercy image

Bindl looked for a large image of the Divine Mercy but was unsuccessful. Then in 1996, Roxie and Bob Weiner of St. Joseph Parish, Waterloo, also members of the IHM prayer group, travelled to St. Faustina’s convent in Poland. They obtained a large picture of the Divine Mercy image. A Sister at the convent laid the picture on St. Faustina’s tomb and it was blessed by a priest there.

That painting is now used at all diocesan Divine Mercy Sunday Masses, which began at St. Maria Goretti Church in Madison in 1996 before the picture was brought to Madison.  The diocesan Mass has been held at various churches, including three times at St. Raphael Cathedral before the 2005 fire.

Diocesan Mass on April 19

This year, the diocesan Mass will be celebrated on Sunday, April 19, at 2 p.m. at the Bishop O’Connor Center in Madison with Msgr. Daniel Ganshert, vicar general, presiding. Confessions will be available from 1 to 2 p.m. Benediction and recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, along with prayers for the Jubilee Year of St. Paul, will follow the Mass.

Plenary indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday

A Decree of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued on May 5, 2000, added the title “Divine Mercy Sunday” to the Second Sunday of Easter. In his Regina Caeli address on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2001, Pope John Paul II thanked God that he was able to “proclaim the Second Sunday of Easter as the feast of Divine Mercy for the entire Church.”

In a decree dated  August 3, 2002, the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Catholic Church announced that in order “to ensure that the faithful would observe this day (Divine Mercy Sunday) with intense devotion, the Supreme Pontiff himself established that this Sunday be enriched by a plenary indulgence.”

The plenary indulgence is granted under the usual conditions: sacramental confession (up to about 20 days before or after Divine Mercy Sunday), Communion, and prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father. The faithful should also take part on Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in prayers and devotions held in honor of Divine Mercy or in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the “Our Father” and the “Creed,” adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus.

The faithful are encouraged to participate in a Novena of Chaplets to the Divine Mercy starting on Good Friday. For more information on the novena, the plenary indulgence, and other aspects of Divine Mercy Sunday, go to the Web site: www.divinemercysunday.com

 
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