My Dear Devotees of St. Philomena,
I’m sure you will gain inspiration from this presentation of Divine Mercy Sunday written by Lisa Bowen (see below).
I have to tell all of you how much I thank God for providing Lisa and Reverend Jason V. Kulczynski in the United States to help the world understand the miraculous work of our Little Saint. Their devotion to her and their skill in expressing it in words has given Philomena’s devotees a priceless view of the way Philomena continues to change hearts all over the world.
With my deepest affection and appreciation, wishing you a blessed Divine Mercy Sunday, this day when we celebrate with great excitement two new saints in the Church.
Msgr. Giovanni Braschi
Rector of the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena
Custodian of her Sacred Body
P.S. - I have extended our online shop Spring Clearance sale for
a full week. shopphilomena.com
THE FEAST OF DIVINE MERCY & CANONIZATION OF
BLESSED JOHN PAUL II & BLESSED JOHN XXII
SUNDAY APRIL 27, 2014
Sunday, April 27th marks the 14th Anniversary of one of the most important devotions of the Catholic Church, Divine Mercy Sunday. This year however, we will also celebrate the Canonization of Popes John Paul II and John XXIII. Both popes exhibited virtues of God’s Mercy & love throughout their pontificates. However, it was Bl. Pope John Paul II who brought this great devotion to light. During his pontificate he became known as “the Mercy Pope”.
It is with great excitement that we remember two of the most influential saints of our time.
Pope John XXIII was born in Italy and became Pope on October 28th, 1958 at the age of 76. He served as Pope for only five years, but he made some of the most sweeping liturgical reforms in the Church through the Second Vatican Council. He also became known as “the Good Pope” for he was one of the first to make pastoral visits to hospitalized children, frequented those in prisons and was known to walk the streets of Rome at night. He was one of the first to travel outside of Rome and on one of these visits he went to Assisi. Given his humble approach to his Papacy, one might conclude he had had a great devotion to St. Francis.
Blessed Pope John Paul II was born May 18, 1920 in Poland and became Pope on October 16, 1978. He has since been referred to as “Pope John Paul the Great”. He was one of the most traveled Popes and did much to bring about healing with the Jewish, Muslim, Anglican and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Due to the fact that he lived through the Nazi occupation of Poland in WWII, he had much compassion for the suffering of others and had a gift of bringing hope to others in the midst of seemingly hopeless circumstances. He fostered both a love of God and forgiveness in others and for others. He challenged the people around him to rise above himself and take on a “Christ-like” persona. His love and respect for human dignity was ever present throughout his life and Papacy. For example, his writings on the importance of the dignity of life can be seen in his encyclical, Humanae Vitae.
He escaped death many times throughout his life - including a most public assassination attempt in Vatican Square on the Feast of Fatima. He always believed that it was Our Lady, for whom he had a great devotion, who saved his life. He even showed God’s Mercy toward his aggressor. He encouraged others to always have a love of Our Lady through the Rosary. He also realized the importance Our Lady had in the conversion and salvation of mankind.
Blessed John Paul II, is also considered to be one of the great mystics of the Church. He had a strong understanding of the role private revelation had in the lives of the faithful. Prior to his pontificate, he became aware of the private revelations of a Polish nun, Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska. He understood the relevancy of these messages of Mercy for the entire world, not just the Catholic faithful.
In 1980 he wrote Dives in Misericordia, his encyclical on Divine Mercy. In one letter he wrote about “Christ as the Redeemer”, the one who “reveals the dignity of man who comes from Himself”, and the “Church (who) is the means and link to Christ.” In his second letter, Pope John Paul II writes about a Father who is “Rich in Mercy” and who is “revealed to us in Christ Jesus, Mercy Incarnate—the only hope and peace for this world.” His third letter talks about the “Lord, the giver of Life, the Holy Spirit who brings us to repentance in order to receive His love and mercy and inherit eternal life.” He believed God’s mercy belonged to everyone and is what unites us all. (John Paul II, The Great Mercy Pope, p. 36)
Pope John Paul II was very clear that this devotion to The Divine Mercy is “deeply rooted in Scripture and Tradition and clearly indicated in theology and the magisterium. The writings of St. Faustina are a confirmation of the public revelation which has been entrusted to the Church, not its source.” (John Paul II – The Great Mercy Pope, p. 16) This is a very important distinction, as he is saying this devotion is not defined by her revelations, but rather supports the timeless message of Mercy from Christ, as seen in Scripture time and time again. This devotion is just that, a means to obtain that which Christ Himself has revealed to us before. He has most graciously given us a day whereby we can return to him, unstained as we were on our day of Baptism.
The messages of Jesus revealed to Sister Faustina for the world are compiled in what has come to be known as the Diary of St. Faustina. In one of the messages Jesus asks her to make known the image imprinted on her soul. This image depicts Jesus standing with rays of white and red light emanating from his Sacred Heart. “The two rays denote Blood & Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes the souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of my tender mercy when my agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross… Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him.” (Diary 299) It is a visual reminder of all that Jesus did for us through his Passion, Death & Resurrection, and a reminder too, of what He asks of us in return - to trust in Him & to be merciful to others.
John Paul’s belief that the youth were the future also resonated throughout his Papacy. Being a teacher, he knew youth were eager and willing to learn about life and about faith. This desire to teach was realized through his establishment of World Youth Day, where all the youth, the future of the world, gather in prayer, song and worship. He understood that in order to help others come to know God’s Mercy, he first needed apostles of this Mercy.
He called for a “New Evangelization”, for the people of the Church to be witnesses of God’s Love & Mercy, to become “witnesses to hope”. This was not a new concept, yet it is one that resonates throughout all the Gospels calling us to proclaim the good news of Christ!
John Paul fulfilled the direct message of Jesus to Saint Faustina, by “entrusting” the world to Divine Mercy. On that day he said, “ I wish to solemnly entrust the world to Divine Mercy… that the message of God’s merciful love… may be made known to all peoples of the earth and fill their hearts with hope.” This proclamation, this confession of trust in the all-powerful love of God, is especially needed in our own time, when mankind is experiencing bewilderment in the face of many manifestations of evil. The invocation of God’s Mercy needs to rise up from the depths of hearts filled with suffering, apprehension, and uncertainty, and at the same time yearning for an infallible source of hope.” (Entrusting the World to Divine Mercy pamphlet by the Association of Marian Helpers-thedivinemercy.org) “Before I come as a just Judge, I first open wide the door of My Mercy.” (Diary 1146)
Jesus continued, “I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is the image with the signature, Jesus I Trust in You.” (Diary 327) “… My Mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity.” (Diary 699) He asked for people to “pray unceasingly the chaplet…. Sinners will receive great graces at the hour of their death. If (they) were to recite only once, they would receive great grace from My infinite Mercy.” (Diary 687)
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On Divine Mercy Sunday Jesus has called on us all to recognize His Mercy is greater than our sins, so that we call upon Him with trust, receive His Mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. “If a soul does not exercise mercy, it will not obtain My mercy on that day of judgment.” (Diary 1317) We must “forgive those who trespass against us”. Jesus gave “… three ways of exercising mercy to (our) neighbor, (through) deed, word & prayer.” (Diary 742)
To fittingly celebrate this Feast we should:
- Celebrate the Feast on the Sunday (or vigil of the feast) after Easter
- Sincerely repent our sins and go to Confession up to seven days before or after (preferably before) the Feast
- Place our TRUST in Jesus
- Receive Holy Communion on the Feast
- Recite Devotional Prayers*
- Venerate the Image of the Divine Mercy
- Be merciful to others, through actions (acts of mercy), words & prayer
- Preferably recite the Novena of the Chaplet of Mercy (beginning Good Friday through Divine Mercy Sunday)
- Prayers for the Holy Father
It is encouraged and demanded by Jesus that all Priests and parishes celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday. All persons should have access to confession and Christ’s Forgiveness.
You expired Jesus, but the source of life, gushed forth for souls and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world.
O fount of life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
O blood & water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in thee. (say 3 times)
How to Recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades. At the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts the Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing prayer.
Optional Opening Prayers
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
Begin with the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Apostle's Creed:
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
The Apostle's Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Then, on the large bead before each decade:
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
On the ten small beads of each decade, say:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Conclude with (Say 3 Times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Optional Closing Prayer
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.
Our Lord said to Saint Faustina:
Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you ... Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death ... When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between my Father and the dying person, not as the Just Judge but as the Merciful Savior ... Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from my infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy ... Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy as a Novena
The Chaplet can be said anytime, but the Lord specifically asked that it be recited as a novena. He promised, "By this Novena (of Chaplets), I will grant every possible grace to souls."
For each of the nine days, our Lord gave Saint Faustina a different intention: all mankind, especially sinners; the souls of priests and religious; all devout and faithful souls; those who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know Jesus; the souls who have separated themselves from the Church; the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children; the souls who especially venerate and glorify His mercy; the souls detained in purgatory; and souls who have become lukewarm.
"I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom strength and refreshment and whatever grace they have need of in the hardships of life, and especially at the hour of death."
We, too, can make a novena of prayer for these intentions and others, especially by praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.
Intentions for Each Day of the Novena
First Day Today bring to Me ALL MANKIND, ESPECIALLY ALL SINNERS
Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.
Second Day Today bring to Me THE SOULS OF PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS
Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service, that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard–upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.
Third Day Today bring to Me ALL DEVOUT AND FAITHFUL SOULS
Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from it. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Fourth Day Today bring to Me THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD AND THOSE WHO DO NOT YET KNOW ME
Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Fifth Day Today bring to Me THE SOULS OF THOSE WHO HAVE SEPARATED THEMSELVES FROM MY CHURC
Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Sixth Day Today bring to Me THE MEEK AND HUMBLE SOULS AND THE SOULS OF LITTLE CHILDREN
Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Seventh Day Today bring to Me THE SOULS WHO ESPECIALLY VENERATE AND GLORIFY MY MERCY
Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.
Eighth Day Today bring to Me THE SOULS WHO ARE DETAINED IN PURGATORY
Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.
Ninth Day Today bring to Me SOULS WHO HAVE BECOME LUKEWARM
Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.
We wish you all a Blessed Divine Mercy Sunday and may the grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ bless and keep you and those you love, now and forever.
Support the Sanctuary of Saint Philomena
The Sanctuary of Saint Philomena is not a parish Church. We do not have parishioners who support this place of worship on a weekly basis. We are completely dependent on the love and generosity of you, the world-wide devotees, to keep the doors of the earthly home of Saint Philomena open.
We pray at the Sanctuary for the devotees of Saint Philomena to recognize and provide the means to pay our monthly utilities of gas and electricity. We also pray for the means to install a lift at the Sanctuary to enable physically challenged pilgrims to experience the entire home of their beloved Saint.
We trust that our Provident God, through the intercession of his beloved daughter, Saint Philomena, will inspire benefactors to provide the Sanctuary with flowers in this Holy Season of Lent to commemorate and thank Jesus for his sacrificial death and memorialize Christ's rising from the dead on Easter Sunday morning with the living symbols of resurrection.
In order to ensure the Sanctuary is able to keep our doors open to you and to continue to offer God continual praise and to be the focal point through which our prayers are received by Saint Philomena and interceded for before God at the Sanctuary, you may donate in the following ways:
- Direct to the Sanctuary:
- By personal check payable to the "Sanctuary of Saint Philomena." For security reasons, please send your donation through registered or express mail to the Sanctuary's address at the bottom of this newsletter.
- Online - Go to our Support Page, Click Here
- By bank transfer to the Sanctuary's Bank account: BANCA UNICREDIT MUGNANO DEL CARDINALE(30525) BANK ACCOUNT:N° 000400102946 SWIFT CODE:UNCRITM1E94 IBAN:IT18D0200875790000400102946
- U.S.A. Tax-Deductible Donations may be sent to the new non-profit set up in the United States:
- Online - Go to our Support Page, Click Here
- Postal mail donations can be made to: Saint Philomena Sanctuary Support Fund, Inc. P.O. Box 4114 Bergheim, Texas 78004, U.S.A.