Among all the great events of the Jubilee of Mercy wanted by Pope Francis and inaugurated on December 8 – such as prayers, catechesis, conferences, and testimonies -, it seems that the program of the Jubilee of those who adhere to the spirituality of Divine Mercy will be particularly intense. Those who will gather in Rome from April 1 to 3, the days when the Church will celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy, belong to associations, movements, and religious institutions from all over the world.
“The Church has the mission of announcing God’s mercy, the beating heart of the Gospel. Through the Church, mercy has to reach the heart and mind of every person,” the Pope writes in Misericordiae Vultus, the Bull of Indiction of the Holy Year. The days under the sign of Divine Mercy will begin on Friday, April 1, with the “Night of Reconciliation” planned in the church of Santo Spirito in Sassia and in the three jubilee churches of Rome (San Salvatore in Lauro, San Giovanni Battista dei Fiorentini and Santa Maria in Vallicella). From 8 p.m. to midnight there are going to be moments of prayer with Eucharistic adoration, possibility to confess, and individual lectio divina. Same program in the same places, from 9.00 a.m. to 2 p.m. are planned also the day after, Saturday April 2, the 11th anniversary of the death of St. John Paul II.
In the afternoon, the Jubilee will continue with a pilgrimage to the Holy Door of the Vatican Basilica. At 6 p.m. will begin the Vigil with the Pope who will celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Square the day after – which is the feast of Divine Mercy – at 10 a.m. and it will be the conclusion of these three intense days. This year, the anniversary of the death of St. John Paul II coincides with the eve of the feast of Divine Mercy, which he instituted for the whole Church in 2000, a week after Easter, on the “Sunday in Albis.”
In the visions of Sister Faustina Kowalska, the Polish religious canonized by John Paul II in 2000, Jesus himself indicated the need of such a feast. About Saint Faustina, an apostle of Divine Mercy, Pope Francis wrote: “May she who was called to enter into the depths of divine mercy intercede for us and help us always live and walk in God’s forgiveness, and in unshakable faith in His love”.
Simultaneously, from March 30 to April 4, will be held the European Apostolic Congress on Mercy. It was organized by Wacom (Word Apostolic Congress of Mercy) and chaired by the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn. Two days of reflection and study accompanied by speeches and lectures delivered by high-level speakers are planned during the Congress. The night of April 1, its program will merge with that of the people who will be celebrating the Jubilee of spirituality of Divine Mercy.