by Bob Reddy, Florida Catholic
VENICE â€“Â The Second Sunday of Easter, or Divine Mercy Sunday, completes the Octave of Easter, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the blessing of His continuing presence in our midst.
Divine Mercy Sunday has become a tradition in a few short years as parishes throughout the Diocese of Venice and the world celebrate the mercy of Jesus as taught us by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a religious sister who lived a humble life to whom Jesus appeared. St. Faustina was born inKrakow,Polandand lived from 1905-1938 being canonized by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 2000 who at that time declared the Second Sunday of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday.
The image of the Divine Mercy was created by St. Faustina who was told to paint the image of Jesus as she saw Him. The painting has the saying at the bottom: â€śJesus, I trust in You.â€ť The rays emanating from Jesus represent water – which makes souls righteous — and blood — which is the life of souls, Jesus told St. Faustina.
Bishop Frank J. Dewane celebrated the Divine Mercy Sunday Mass at Epiphany Cathedral. The Mass merged the English and Polish communities of the Cathedral for this special day and included a reading and two hymns in Polish. A copy of the Divine Mercy image was placed at the edge of the altar at Cathedral.
After Mass, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy was prayed, led by Father Peter Zugaj. This was followed by the veneration of two first-class relics of St. Faustina.
â€śGod gave the world a saint who served others to help the faithful realize His mercy,â€ť Bishop Dewane said. â€śThrough her example of deep spirituality, St. Faustina delivered a message of a merciful God. Look around at the blessings we receive from the Lord and let that unite us. All of us are called to live a good life; when one fails, they are blessed because they can ask for Godâ€™s mercy.â€ť
The Divine Mercy Sunday included a reception led by the Polish members of the Epiphany community in the Parish Hall where traditional Polish food and desserts were provided. A portrait of St. Faustina and Blessed Pope John Paul II was on display near the entrance.