All Catholic churches in the country will pray for an end to the pandemic on Divine Mercy Sunday, which will be observed on April 11.
In a circular addressed to archbishops, bishops, and diocesan administrators, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Davao Archbishop Romulo G. Valles said prayers for an end to the pandemic must be included in the celebration of all Holy Masses on April 11, which is observed as Divine Mercy Sunday.
“On Palm Sunday, 28 March 2021, I sent you a short message with the suggestion that we pray more fervently for the end of this great suffering and misery that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to our people. A suggestion was given to me that we can highlight this urgent prayer and plea this coming Sunday, Feast of the Divine Mercy. Thus, I thought that the suggestion is worth-considering, and I am passing on to you such a possibility for your consideration in your dioceses and in the parishes under your jurisdiction,” Valles said.
“On this Divine Mercy Sunday, 11 April 2021, we include in our liturgy our plea to the Lord, the Lord of the Divine Mercy, to put an end to this pandemic that has brought us so much misery and sorrow. We can include this in the Introduction prepared for the Mass, in our Homilies, and in our Prayer of the Faithful. Needless to say, such a plea and urgent prayer fits well into the liturgy of this day, which focuses on the Lord Jesus as the Lord of mercy and compassion,” Valles said.
Divine Mercy Sunday is a feast that was established by Saint Pope John Paul II on April 30, 2000 during the canonization of Polish nun St. Faustina Kowalska, the Apostle of the Divine Mercy. The observance focuses on her diary, which Jesus requested her to write in the 1930s “for mankind to know about His great mercy and His promise of complete forgiveness of sins on Divine Mercy Sunday.”