Two popes to become saints today, Divine Mercy Sunday | Inquirer Lifestyle

Two popes to become saints today, Divine Mercy Sunday

This Sunday, April 27, when the two past popular popes, John XXIII and John Paul Il, will be proclaimed as saints, Roman Catholics will observe the Feast of the Divine Mercy by doing works of mercy, going to confession and receiving Holy Communion to avail of the extraordinary promise by the lord of complete forgiveness for sins and punishment.


Due to inconveniences, Church authorities allowed the devotees to go to confession even during Holy Week, provided they did not commit a mortal sin.


Activities will be held at SM’s Ski Dome. The seven-foot Divine Mercy image painted by Silvia Amorsolo Lazo that was blessed by Pope John Paul Il during the International Youth Day in Manila last 1995 will be displayed there. Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales, former archbishop of Manila, will preside at the 3 p.m.  mass. Priests will be available from morning and afternoon.


Blessed John Paul, who, while still the Cardinal in Krakow, worked hard for the lifting of the ban on the devotion to the Divine Mercy, to facilitate the sainthood of Divine Mercy visionary St. Faustina Kowalska, whom he beatified and canonized in two Divine Mercy Sundays in Rome. He declared the Feast of Mercy as an official feast of the Catholic Church, and died after celebrating the anticipated mass of the Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005. He was beatified during a Divine Mercy Sunday and will be canonized on a Divine Mercy Sunday, too.


This feast, which originated in Poland in the early 1930s, began after the Lord Jesus Christ, who appeared to St. Faustina countless times in the 1930s, told her, “I want to grant a complete pardon to souls who will go to confession and receive Holy Communion during the Feast of Divine Mercy, to  be observed every first Sunday after Easter. The Lord demanded that His Church celebrate this with great solemnity, that it be declared an “official feast,” and that priests extol His mercy. This remained a popular private devotion since then, until it was declared an official feast of the Roman Catholic church in 2000 by the late Pope John Paul II (who beatified and canonized St. Faustina). Even while this was still a private devotion, the late Jaime Cardinal Sin, a devotee of the Divine Mercy, referred to this as “the feast of all feasts” in 1989.


The Vatican grants plenary indulgences during Divine Mercy Sunday and the Feast of Mercy, since falling on the octave after Easter, it sums up the whole Pascal mystery of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ, celebrating God’s mercy.