The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Divine Mercy Sunday to be celebrated with prayer, song

Nineteen parishes across state will hold Divine Mercy Sunday services Sunday, April 7

Published: April 3, 2024   
Sister St. Faustina Kowalska is depicted with an image of Jesus Christ the Divine Mercy. St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina in 2000 and declared the second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

Parishes in the Diocese of Little Rock will join Catholics around the world to observe Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7.

The Divine Mercy devotion began in the late 1930s by St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, who had a vision of Jesus where he asked for devotions to divine mercy. St. Faustina was canonized by St. John Paul II in 2000, and he put the devotion on the Church’s universal calendar for the Sunday after Easter.

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."

St. John Paul granted a plenary indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday to faithful who take part in Divine Mercy devotions in a spirit of complete detachment from affection for sin, even venial. They must receive sacramental confession and holy Communion and pray for the pope's intentions.

Divine Mercy Sunday opens the "floodgates of mercy" for all through the sacraments of confession and holy Communion, Father Chris Alar, provincial superior of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, told OSV News in 2023. 

"A soul that's been to confession and receives holy Communion (on that day) will receive this extraordinary promise that Jesus gave us … which is not only the complete forgiveness of all sin, but the remission of all punishment," he said. 

Immaculate Conception Church in Fort Smith will host a Divine Mercy Sunday talk with Father Cassian Elkins, OSB, at 6:30 p.m., Friday, April 5 in the youth building. 

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

  • Bella Vista: St. Bernard, 3 p.m.
  • Charleston: Sacred Heart, 3 p.m.
  • Decatur: Blessed Stanley Rother, 6:30 p.m. Saturday (Spanish)
  • El Dorado: Holy Redeemer, 3:30 p.m.
  • Fayetteville: St. Joseph, 3 p.m.
  • Hot Springs: St. John, 2 p.m.
  • Hot Springs Village: Sacred Heart of Jesus, 3 p.m.
  • Jonesboro: Blessed Sacrament, 3 p.m.
  • Little Rock: Christ the King, 3 p.m.; St. Edward, 3 p.m.
  • Morrilton: Sacred Heart, 9 a.m.
  • North Little Rock: Immaculate Conception, 3 p.m.; St. Augustine, 10 a.m.
  • Rogers: St. Vincent de Paul, 2 p.m. (bilingual)
  • Saint Vincent: St. Mary, 3 p.m.
  • Stuttgart: Holy Rosary, 4 p.m. April 10
  • Texarkana: St. Edward, after weekend Masses
  • Tontitown: St. Joseph, 3 p.m.
  • Van Buren: St. Michael, 3 p.m.

Bishop Taylor wants you to know more about your faith and the Church: Read Arkansas Catholic's free digital edition.

Please read our Comments Policy before posting.

Article comments powered by Disqus