Archbishop Dermot Farrell of Dublin celebrated the final Mass at the 2023 Divine Mercy National Conference which took place yesterday in the Main Hall of the RDS in Ballsbridge, Dublin.
Divine Mercy points to the wounds of Jesus’ Passion, especially the wound in His heart, the source of a great wave of mercy and love poured out on humanity. The theme for this year’s gathering is ‘Act justly, Love mercifully and walk humbly with your God’ Micah 6:8, a call to listen to God and to do justice from hearts of mercy and compassion, marked by the humility of Christ.
The inspiration for the Divine Mercy Devotion comes from the experiences of Saint Faustina. On February 22, 1931, Jesus appeared to the Polish nun Sr Faustina Kowalska, who recorded in her diary: ‘In the evening, when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening of the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently at the Lord; my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me: “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You”’.
The Devotion to the Divine Mercy was actively promoted by Pope John Paul II, who canonised Sr Kowalska on 30 April in the Jubilee Year of 2000, and designated the Second Sunday of Easter as the Sunday of the Divine Mercy in the General Roman Calendar. Pope John Paul II, now a saint, said that during his lifetime, in the Eucharist, he was uniting his own sufferings with those of Christ.
The dates for this year’s national conference were 17, 18 and 19 of February, and speakers will include Fr Hayden Williams, Fr James Blount SOLT, Fr Eunan McDonnell SDB, Fr Chris Alar MIC, Fr Billy Swan, Fr Eamonn McCarthy, and Sr Mary Clare Kernneally.