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Parishes mark Divine Mercy Sunday with prayer, song

DIocese joins Catholics around the world in observance April 16, 2023

Published: April 13, 2023   
Public domain, Wikimedia Commons

Parishes in the Diocese of Little Rock will join Catholics around the world to observe Divine Mercy Sunday, April 16.

St. John Paul II put the devotion on the Church’s universal calendar for the Sunday after Easter.

St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who promoted the Divine Mercy devotion, was canonized by St. John Paul II in 2000. The devotion began in the late 1930s by St. Faustina, who had a vision of Jesus where he asked for devotions to divine mercy.

Pope Francis marked the 90th anniversary of the apparition of Jesus to St. Faustina in 2021. He wrote a letter to Catholics in Poland expressing his hope that Christ's message of divine mercy would remain "alive in the hearts of the faithful."

According to a statement released by the Polish bishops' conference Feb. 22, 2021, the anniversary of the apparition, the pope said he was united in prayer with those commemorating the anniversary at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow and encouraged them to ask Jesus "for the gift of mercy."

In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that she had witnessed a vision of Jesus on Feb. 22, 1931, while she was living at a convent in Plock, Poland. Christ, she wrote, had one hand raised in benediction and the other resting on his breast, from which emanated two rays of light. She said Christ demanded to have this image painted — along with the words "Jesus, I trust in you" — and venerated.

Recalling St. John Paul II's devotion to St. Faustina and Christ's message of divine mercy, the pope said his predecessor was "the apostle of mercy" who "wanted the message of God's merciful love to reach all inhabitants of earth."

Eighteen parishes will host holy hours for Divine Mercy Sunday, which could include praying the Divine Mercy chaplet, adoration, confession, music and Benediction.

  • Bella Vista: St. Bernard, 3 p.m.
  • Berryville: St. Anne, 8:30 a.m.
  • Clarksville: Holy Redeemer, 3 p.m.
  • Fairfield Bay: St. Francis of Assisi, 3 p.m.
  • Harrison: Mary Mother of God, 3 p.m.
  • Heber Springs: St. Albert, 3 p.m.
  • Hot Springs: St. Mary, 2:30 p.m.
  • Hot Springs Village: Sacred Heart of Jesus, 3 p.m.
  • Jacksonville: St. Jude, 3 p.m.
  • Jonesboro: Blessed Sacrament, 3 p.m.
  • Lake Village: Our Lady of the Lake, 8:30 a.m.
  • Little Rock: Cathedral of St. Andrew, 3 p.m.; Mass, 3:30 p.m.
  • Monticello: St. Mark, 10 a.m.
  • North Little Rock: Immaculate Conception, 3 p.m.; St. Augustine, 10 a.m.
  • Pine Bluff: St. Joseph, 3 p.m.
  • Rogers: St. Vincent de Paul, 2 p.m. (bilingual)
  • Wynne: St. Peter, 3 p.m.

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