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Divine Mercy National Shrine prepare for the Feast of Mercy

It has been 19 years since St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina and established “the first Sunday after Easter as a universal feast” for Divine Mercy in the Church.

According to St. Faustina, Jesus requested her to promote Divine Mercy Sunday. On this special day, He grants forgiveness for all sins and from punishment for those who go to confession and receive Holy Communion on that day. 

Every year thousands of people gather at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, to celebrate this Feast of Mercy. 


Rector, National Shrine of Divine Mercy

“This is what the Lenten season is about. It is about drawing closer to God through the passion and death and resurrection of Jesus. This culminates in the Easter season with Divine Mercy Sunday. It is experiencing God's love and mercy.”

According to Fr. Anthony Gramlich, the rector of the National shrine, many people from across the world visit this place to experience mercy. This is experience through the sacraments of confession and Holy communion; and through works of mercy. 

The construction of the shrine was started in 1950 and completed in 1960. This was because many lay people were receiving miracles after devotion to the Divine Mercy message. 

It is run by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception who have been promoting the message of Divine Mercy since 1941. 


Marians of the Immaculate Conception

“God's mercy is so important. Our image of God is very important for today's world, which is so secularized. People are losing the awareness of God and His presence, especially they are losing the image of God, one who loves and has mercy upon us.” 

One way a Marian member has witnessed Divine Mercy at work is during spiritual retreat for post-abortive men and women called Rachel's Vineyard. For Fr. Anthony Gramlich, he saw the transformation it had on people. 


Rector, National Shrine of Divine Mercy

“They have been away from the Church, sometimes for 20, 30, 40 years. They feel abandoned and lost.” FLASH “On that retreat they experience God's mercy, especially in the sacrament of confession, especially with the body of Christ, the Church. Many times they come back. They come back to Holy Communion. They come back reconciled with God, reconciled with the Church, reconciled with themselves. They are just new people.”

They hope many more people will join in this celebration of the Feast of Mercy, which even St. John Paul II saw as a special task for his pontificate. He even died on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005.