La Fiesta de la Misericordia

La Fiesta  

THEOLOGY OF THE FEAST OF THE DIVINE MERCY

 

La Fiesta

Decreto sobre Indulgencias    


Durante el transcurso de las revelaciones de Jesús a la hermana Faustina sobre la Divina Misericordia Él le pidió en diversas ocasiones que se dedicara una fiesta a la Divina Misericordia y que esta fiesta fuera celebrada el domingo después de la Pascua. Los textos litúrgicos de ese día, el segundo domingo de Pascua, son concernientes a la institución del Sacramento de Penitencia, el Tribunal de la Divina Misericordia, de manera que van perfectamente con las peticiones de nuestro Señor. Esta fiesta ya ha sido otorgada a la nación de Polonia, al igual que es celebrada en la Ciudad del Vaticano. La canonización de la hermana Faustina el 30 de abril 2000 representa el respaldo más grande que la Iglesia le puede dar a una revelación privada, un acto de infalibilidad Papal proclamando la segura santidad de la mística.

De hecho el día de la canonización de Sor Faustina esta fiesta se extendió a lo largo de la Iglesia universal. Sobre esta fiesta dijo Jesús:

"Quien se acerque ese día a la Fuente de Vida, recibirá el perdón total de las culpas y de las penas." (Diario 300).

"Quiero que la imagen sea bendecida solemnemente el primer domingo después de Pascua y que se le venere públicamente para que cada alma pueda saber de ella. " (Diario 341)

"Esta fiesta ha salido de las entrañas de Mi misericordia y está confirmada en el abismo de Mis gracias." (Diario 420)

"Una vez, oí estas palabras: Hija Mía, habla al mundo entero de la inconcebible misericordia Mía. Deseo que la Fiesta de la Misericordia sea refugio y amparo para todas las almas y, especialmente, para los pobres pecadores. Ese día están abiertas las entrañas de Mi misericordia. Derramo todo un mar de gracias sobre las almas que se acercan al manantial de Mí misericordia. El alma que se confiese y reciba la Santa Comunión obtendrá el perdón total de las culpas y de las penas. En ese día están abiertas todas las compuertas divinas a través de las cuales fluyen las gracias. Que ningún alma tema acercarse a Mí, aunque sus pecados sean como escarlata. Mi misericordia es tan grande que en toda la eternidad no la penetrará ningún intelecto humano ni angélico. Todo lo que existe ha salido de las entrañas de Mi misericordia. Cada alma respecto a mí, por toda la eternidad meditará Mi amor y Mi misericordia. La Fiesta de la Misericordia ha salido de Mis entrañas, deseo que se celebre solamente el primer domingo después de la Pascua. La humanidad no conocerá paz hasta que se dirija a la Fuente de Mi misericordia." (Diario 699)

"Sí, el primer domingo después de la Pascua es la Fiesta de la Misericordia, pero también debe estar presente la acción y pido se rinda culto a Mi Misericordia con la solemne celebración de esta Fiesta y con el culto a la imagen que ha sido pintada." (Diario 742)

"Deseo conceder el perdón total a las almas que se acerquen a la confesión y reciban la Santa Comunión el día de la Fiesta de Mi Misericordia." (Diario 1109)

Podemos apreciar de estos extractos que Nuestro Señor desea que durante la celebración de esta fiesta se incluye la veneración solemne y pública de la imagen de la Divina Misericordia por parte de la Iglesia, como así desea además la veneración individual de cada uno de nosotros. La gran promesa para cada alma es que un acto devocional de penitencia sacramental y comunión obtendrán para esa alma la plenitud de la Divina Misericordia en la fiesta.

El Cardenal de Cracovia, Cardenal Macharski cuya diócesis es el centro donde se esparció la devoción y fue el patrocinador de la Causa de Sor Faustina, escribió que debemos utilizar la cuaresma como una preparación para la fiesta y confesarnos aún antes de la Semana Santa!. De modo que está claro que los requisitos de confesión no tienen que cumplirse el mismo día de la fiesta. Esto sería una carga imposible para el clero. Los requisitos de la comunión pueden ser cumplidos fácilmente en ese mismo día ya que es día de obligación siendo un Domingo. Solamente necesitaríamos confesarnos otra vez, si este sacramento se recibió temprano en la cuaresma o en la Pascua, o si estamos en pecado mortal en el día de la fiesta.

 

 

THEOLOGY OF
THE FEAST OF THE DIVINE MERCY


The establishment of the Feast of The Divine Mercy on the octave day of Easter fulfilled the purpose of the restoration of the liturgical year, allowing "the faithful through their faith, hope and love to share more deeply in the whole mystery of Christ as it unfolds throughout the year" (Moto Proprio of Pope Paul VI, 1969, on the Liturgical Year and Roman Calendar, quoting Vatican II on the Liturgy, 102). It ensures even greater prominence to the paschal mystery of Christ, so that the faithful more effectively "lays hold of the mysteries of Christ and are filled with His saving grace" (Ibid).

How does it achieve these purposes? In a number of ways: The Feast of Mercy has its roots deeply planted in the Old and New Testament and in the early Church Tradition. It is a feast with three distinct dimensions, each emphasizing an aspect of the paschal mystery that needs to be brought out more clearly and appropriated by the faithful: merciful love, atonement, and covenant.

The Feast of Mercy is a Celebration and a Summation of God's Merciful Love

The Triduum of Holy Week, along with the entire Easter season, focuses on various aspects of the paschal mystery. Holy Thursday celebrates the Mass of the Chrism and the evening Mass of the Mandatum - the washing of the feet of the disciples, ordination to the priesthood, the institution of the Eucharist, and the last discourse of Our Lord promising the sending of the Holy Spirit. Good Friday commemorates the passion and death of Jesus on the cross. The Easter vigil, the pinnacle of the paschal mystery, celebrates the fulfillment of the prophecies of the Redeemer who is our light and salvation, bringing us new life by water and the Holy Spirit. The Easter season continues this celebration, leading to the Ascension of the Lord and to Pentecost - the fulfillment of the promise to send the Holy Spirit.

The Feast of Mercy focuses on God's mercy as an event! It focuses on God's continuing action of mercy throughout salvation history as we see it recorded in the letter to the Romans, chapters 9, 10,11, culminating in His loving plan to have mercy on all! (See Rom 11:32.) This Feast is a summation of the event to His mercy active in our lives now. It is because of His mercy that we have forgiveness of sin and new life as children of God. This needs to be celebrated!

The Feast of Mercy is a Day of Atonement

The Feast of Mercy is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Day of Atonement (see Lv 16, Lv 23:26-32 and Sir 50). It is a day of forgiveness of sins for those who approach the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Reconciliation. It is an annual celebration like the Day of Atonement - all sins and punishment are washed away in His infinite mercy. The focus of this paschal event is on God's mercy for us sinners and His free gift to those who turn to Him with trust.

Interestingly enough, the texts of the liturgy for that Sunday (Second Sunday of Easter) already focus on the forgiveness of sins and mercy. The gospel is of Jesus appearing in the upper room and bestowing the authority to forgive sins (see Jn 20:19-5 1), and the other readings are about the blood and water and the  proclamation of mercy (there was no need to change the texts)!

Our Easter liturgy had fulfilled the major feasts of the Old Testament - Passover and Pentecost - and was only missing the Day of Atonement. This Feast of Mercy now completes the needed fulfillment of Old Testament feasts.

The Feast of Mercy is the Covenant of Mercy

The octave day has its roots in the Old Testament and New Testament as the Day of Covenant. On the eighth day after His birth, a male child was circumcised as a sign of the covenant and given His name (Gen 17:12-14; see also Lk 2:21 for the circumcision of Jesus).

In the early church the newly baptized, newly born in Christ, wore white robes until the Sunday in White (Dominica in Albis) the octave day of Easter, symbolizing their innocence. The Feast of Mercy once again celebrates the white innocence we receive by the Covenant of Mercy.

St. Augustine calls these days "days of mercy and pardon" (# 156, Dominica in Albis) and the Sunday "the compendium of the days of mercy." And then, referring to the setting aside of the white robes, he warns, "Let not our interior purity be lessened as we set aside its exterior symbols." (#156, Dominica in Albis)

Like the covenant of Sinai we, too, prepare for the Feast by purification from our sins and by the sprinkling of blood and proclaiming of the law (Ex 19:14-15; Ex 24:6-8) - but this time we are cleansed by the precious blood of the Lord and the Proclamation of His mercy.

On the octave day of Easter we, too, ratify the Covenant of Mercy, reaffirming not only our Baptism, already renewed at the Easter vigil, but also the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Confirmation and Eucharist.

Interestingly enough, all the elements of creation are structured in units of eight (as seen in the periodic table), and musical chords resonate with the octave.

The Feast of Mercy is the octave day of the Resurrection, which strikes the resonant chord of Easter, developing the meaning and richness of the paschal mystery and applying it in a new and deeper way. It resonates with all of nature, sounding anew the grace of the resurrection, alleluia!

The Feast of Mercy - the Desire of the Lord

As we have seen, the reasons for establishing the Feast of Mercy are strong and clear in themselves. The Feast is rooted in the Old Testament, and an earlier form of the Feast was celebrated from the fourth century as Dominica in Albis. But, in our times, there is an additional reason that makes the need for the Feast of Mercy ever more urgent, and that strengthens the meaning and effectiveness of such a feast for the faithful. In a series of reported revelations to Saint Faustina Kowalska, Our Lord specifically and repeatedly asked that the Feast of Mercy be established on the octave day of Easter.

One day, as Saint Faustina was offering all her prayers and sufferings so that this feast would be established, as Our Lord desired, she said to Him: "They tell me that there is already such a feast and so why should I talk about it?" Jesus answered: "And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should be proclaiming My mercy and teaching people about it often do not know about it themselves. That is why I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the First Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it." (Diary 341)

The idea of this special celebration of God's mercy on the Sunday after Easter is not a new or radical idea stemming simply from private revelation. Our Lord, through Saint Faustina, is simply reemphasizing what was strongly urged by Saint Thomas the Apostle in the earliest liturgical document in existence, the "Apostolic Constitutions." There we read: "After eight days (following the feast of Easter) let there be another feast observed with honor, the eighth day itself on which He gave me, Thomas, who was hard of belief, full assurance, by showing me the print of the nails, and the wound made in His side by the spear."
This feast had been celebrated in the early Church.

One of the greatest Doctors of the Church, St. Gregory of Nazianzen, also supports this Feast, declaring that the Octave day of Easter is even a greater Feast than Easter though it takes nothing whatever away from the greatness of the Day of the Resurrection itself. Easter Sunday is the boundary between death and life (a creation). But its eighth day, the Octave, is the fulfillment of what Easter is all about - perfect life in eternity (a second creation, more admirable and more sublime than the first).

Easter Sunday represents our creation in the life of Grace through faith in the Risen Savior. The Octave Sunday of Easter represents the fulfillment of that "creation in grace." Thus it is, as St. Augustine says, "The most privileged octave-day" and certainly merits the title "Feast of The Divine Mercy."

The "most privileged octave-day" did not even appear under that title in the revised Roman Missal - It was called that only in the "Ordo" - the book that regulates the celebration of the liturgy. Our Lord surely knew what He was saying to Saint Faustina: "And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should he proclaiming My mercy and teaching people about it often do not know about it themselves." (Diary 341)

We now have the key to understanding the Image of The Divine Mercy with its rays signifying the Blood and Water that flowed from Christ's pierced side with the inscription (Jesus, I Trust In You), and to Our Lord's insistence that this image be specially venerated on the first Sunday after Easter, which is to be celebrated as the FEAST OF MERCY (Divine Mercy Sunday). 

We can also see these rays as simultaneously symbolizing the Holy Spirit, whom Christ breathed into the Disciples during the same Octave-day appearance. On the strength of that Holy Breath, all sins are forgiven and "at-ONE-ment" with the Father is accomplished. Here, God in Christ is reconciling the world to Himself (see 2 Cor 5:18). And here the Church, the newly-born Body of Christ, is commissioned to be the instrument of reconciliation down through the ages.

This is Christ's GREAT PROMISE of complete pardon of sin and punishment on the Feast of Mercy through the reception of the Sacraments (which is a participation of Christ's death to sin and rising to divine life).

All the elements of the message and devotion to The Divine Mercy focus on the Feast of Mercy

In preparing for the Feast of Mercy we are to make a novena of Chaplets to the Divine Mercy (beginning on Good Friday), and to be purified by the sacrament of Reconciliation. Priests are to proclaim the mercy of God. The Image of Jesus, the Merciful Savior, is to be blessed and venerated as a reminder to trust in Jesus and do works of mercy. And we are to renew, ratify and seal the covenant of mercy by receiving Holy Communion.

The day of the Feast is celebrated by using the normal liturgy for that day (Second Sunday of Easter), as per decree dated May 5, 2000 for Divine Mercy Sunday, which are all focused on mercy, and a homily on God's mercy. Our Lord is asking for a Feast of His mercy to bring attention to the outpouring of the ocean of graces, and to His promise of the complete forgiveness of sins and punishment, to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion.

The desired fulfillment: a deeper sharing

Those who have been celebrating the octave of Easter in this way, as the Feast of Mercy, have experienced the desired effect of the Second Vatican Council for the liturgical year renewal - a deeper share in the mystery of Christ.

Robert R. Allard, Director Apostles of Divine Mercy

Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987 Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263. All Rights Reserved.

 

Beginning
Santa Faustina Kowalska. ..... . Antecedentes . . . .. . La Imagen a la Divina Misericordia ................................... . . .. ................................. La Fiesta del la Divina Misericordia . ......................Novena a la Divina Misericordia . . .. . . La Coronilla de la Divina Misericordia . . ........... Indulgencias .............................................................. . The Promisses of Jesus. . . .. . . . La Hora de la Misericordia . . ............................... Los Últimos Tiempos . . ......... Audio&Video . . . . . . . . . .............. . . ... Leggi il Diario on-line (In Italien only)