By Christina Hermoso
As Roman Catholics observe Divine Mercy Sunday, April 19, a Church leader said the commemoration cannot be more timely.
“With the corona virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the observance of Divine Mercy Sunday is very applicable to the situation of Filipinos today,” said Balanga Bishop Ruperto C. Santos.
“We say ‘May God’s mercy be with you,’ (Kaawaan ka ng Diyos) to stress that we have a merciful God. God will take care of us, will guide us, and will never abandon us. And with His mercy, we will surpass this pandemic. With God’s mercy comes healing. Let us entrust ourselves to God’s mercy.”
God’s mercy, the bishop added, is also a source of comfort.
“May awa ang Diyos. (God is merciful). Whatever besieges us, troubles us, or burdens us, in God’s mercy, there will be comfort and solution. With the suffering brought about by COVID-19, God in His mercy, will comfort us and give us the necessary healing.
“And ‘Sa awa ng Diyos’ (through God’s mercy), good things and better times will come to us. We will be victorious against this virus. We will triumph against this sickness. We will overcome this pandemic because of God’s mercy,” Santos stressed.
The Solemnity of the Divine Mercy serves as a reminder of Jesus’ promise for “the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment on this day that gives mankind a chance for salvation.”
Initiated by Saint John Paul II on April 30, 2000 during the canonization of Polish nun Saint Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of Divine Mercy, devotees habitually recite the Novena and Chaplet of the Divine Mercy every day at 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
The world’s tallest statue of the Divine Mercy at 100 feet may be found at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Marilao, Bulacan. It was blessed and dedicated during the 4th World Apostolic Congress on Mercy (WACOM) held in the country in 2017.
Divine Mercy Sunday focuses on the diary of St. Faustina, who wrote it in the 1930s for mankind to know about Jesus’ great mercy and His promise of complete forgiveness of sins on this day.
According to St. Faustina, ‘Jesus said that a person who avails of Sacramental Confession and receives Holy Communion on this day shall obtain the total forgiveness of all sins and punishment.’