News

John Paul II and Divine Mercy, the devotion that guided his pontificate

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
18 Apr 2011

John Paul II will be beatified on May 1, during the Sunday of Divine Mercy, it's the same liturgical feast that was celebrated the day the pope passed away.

It's a celebration closely linked to Poland and John Paul's pontificate and the devotion he held for St. Faustina Kowlaska, who began spreading devotion to Divine Mercy.

Fr. Giuseppe Bart
Sanctuary of Divine Mercy (Rome)
"John Paul II grew up with the spirituality of St. Faustina Kowalska. Throughout his pontificate he explained the need to invoke the Divine Mercy. John Paul II said the Divine Mercy was the key to his pontificate."

In fact, John Paul II officially established the devotion to Divine Mercy for the whole Church during the canonization of Sister Faustina Kowalska.

Fr. Giuseppe Bart
Sanctuary of Divine Mercy (Rome)
"In 2000, John Paul II canonized Sister Faustina, which is the first saint of the Jubilee. During her canonization he stated that 'from now on this Sunday will be called Divine Mercy' and from then on the devotion began to spread in a surprising way, especially among the laity."

Just down the road from the Vatican, in the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia, is the sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Rome. There, faithful and different travelers gather every day of the year to pray the Litany of Divine Mercy. It's a prayer that is recited at three in the afternoon to ask God for the world's salvation by appealing to the Divine Mercy.

Fr. Giuseppe Bart
Sanctuary of Divine Mercy (Rome)
"Three in the afternoon is the hour that Jesus died. This comes from one of the apparitions that Sister Faustina saw, the Lord asked her to meditate everyday at that time of his Passion, which is the aim of this worship."

To prepare for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, Benedict XVI wanted the Litany of the Divine Mercy to be prayed in St. Peter's Square before the ceremony began. In a demonstration of the importance of this devotion in the life of the Blessed John Paul II.