WEST VALLEY CITY — The Knights of Columbus led a procession following an image of Jesus with his rays of mercy at Saint Francis Xavier Parish April 15. The congregation sang "The Angels were singing and praising the Lord" in Spanish as they followed the image around the parking lot and into the chapel where they prayed the chaplet of Divine Mercy in English and Spanish.
This was the first time St. Francis Xavier Parish has observed Divine Mercy Sunday and many came to receive God’s mercy.
"Liturgically this is an important day and the parishioners really wanted this procession and devotion, especially our Hispanic people," said Deacon Doug Biediger. "This is a day of great grace; a day witnessed to by Saint Faustina Kowalska. According to her diary, Jesus told her that he would pour out his mercy on those who attended Mass, prayed the chaplet and received the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The chaplet is prayed at the hour of our Lord’s Great Mercy at 3 p.m., although it can be prayed at any time."
The celebration for parishioner Armando Virgen was "wonderful," he said. "God showered his mercy on us."
Parishioner Luc Gonzalez could feel God’s mercy in her heart, she said. "I’m so glad they had this celebration today."
Parishioner Margarito Arellano had a wonderful experience and was still shaking after the celebration. "It was my first time and all the promises are really nice," he said. "It was a wonderful experience."
It was also a new experience for parishioner Tim Briggs. "This was the first time I have prayed the Divine Mercy chaplet," he said. "I read in the brochure that the National Shrine is about 20 miles north of my hometown in Massachusetts. This experience left me with a real good feeling."
"Be Apostles of the Divine Mercy" is the national Divine Mercy Sunday theme established by the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass. The message is to deepen our faith and go out and be apostles.
"God’s mercy reaches out to the saint and the sinner and all in between," said the Most Rev. Timothy McDonnell, Bishop of Springfield, Mass., during the Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy according to the website.
In 1935, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska of Poland received a vision of the Lord Jesus, who told her to paint the image she saw – Jesus with red and white rays of mercy extending from his heart. Later that same year she received another vision and began to pray for mercy, but her prayers were powerless. The next day as she entered the chapel of Our Lady of Mercy where she was a nun, she heard an interior voice instructing her how to recite the prayer that our Lord later called the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Saint Faustina, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. According to her diary, the message of Divine Mercy is that God loves us and he wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others; thus all will come to share His joy.