Divine Mercy Sunday in 2017 is April 23rd.
Jesus said, "Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior." (Diary,1075)
In October of 2009 we travelled to The Shrine of the Divine Mercy to celebrate the 5Th anniversary of the blessing of our marriage on St. Faustina's Feast Day. We became volunteers of the Faustinum Association of the Divine Mercy. One of the suggested Readings for volunteers and members of the Association is a little book called "She made an Ordinary Life Extraordinary."
In this book under the title...The Greatness of the Feast is manifested in the promises we read:
“Whoever comes to the fount of life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment,” Jesus said. (Diary, 300)
Thus there is a special, exceptional grace attached to Holy Communion received in a state of grace on that day: it is the grace of “complete remission of sins and punishment.” (Diary, 300)
It is a grace which, as Father Rozycki explains, is much more than just a plenary indulgence. A plenary indulgence entails merely the remission of temporal punishment of sins committed...This grace is basically also greater than the grace of the six sacraments other than baptism, since the remission of sins and punishment is a sacramental grace only of Holy Baptism. In these promises, Jesus has attributed the power to remit sins and punishment to Holy Communion received on the Feast of Mercy, thereby elevating it to the rank of a second baptism. Obviously Holy Communion must be received on this day not only in a state of grace, but all the other basic conditions of the devotion to the Divine Mercy must be observed. While Holy Communion must be received on the day of the Feast of Mercy, confession may take place earlier, even several days before, according to Father Rozycki; the important thing is not to have any attachment to sin. Jesus did not restrict his generosity to this one, albeit unique grace. He said that He would "pour out a whole ocean of graces" upon those souls who come to the fount of His mercy, for "on that day are open all the divine floodgates through which graces flow; let no soul fear to come to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet" (Diary, 699). Father Rozycki writes that the incomparable greatness of the graces attached to this Feast is manifested in three ways:
1. All people, including those who previously did not practise the devotion to the Divine Mercy, and even sinners who are converted on this day may partake of the graces Jesus has prepared for this Feast;
2. Jesus wishes to endow us-that is particular individuals and entire communities-on this day not only with the redemptive graces, but also with temporal benefits;
3. All the graces and benefits shall be accessible to all people whatsoever, providing they ask for them in a spirit of great trust.
None of the other forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy has had such a large resource of graces and benefits attached to it by Jesus.
Our Blessed Lord gave St. Faustina (for herself only initially) a Novena to His Mercy. She was to start it on Good Friday, that wonderful day when Christ first revealed how merciful and loving He was, by dying for us.
St. Faustina wrote in her diary that she began the Novena for the conversion of the whole world that all may recognize God's Mercy and that all souls may speak of His Goodness.
She received instructions on how to make this Divine Mercy Novena "I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fount of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom strength and refreshment and whatever graces they need in the hardships of life and, especially, at the hour of death." (Diary, 1209)
This Novena can be made at any time, but Our Lord especially wished that it be made beginning Good Friday in preparation for the Feast of His Mercy, which should be celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. He told her that "The souls that will go to confession, in preparation, and communion on this day will obtain a complete remission of all sin and all punishment...On each day You will bring to My Heart a different group of souls and You will immerse them in this ocean of My Mercy, and I will bring all these souls into the House of My Father...On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My Bitter Passion, for graces for these souls." (Diary, 1209)
Chaplet of The Divine Mercy & Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © the 1987 Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. Used with permission