Category Archives: Jubilee Year of Mercy

Mary, the Mother of Mercy

Year-of-Mercy-English-CLEARHave you ever found it difficult to forgive? If so, turn to Mary, the Mother of Mercy. She is the Mother of God whose “mercy endures forever” (Ps 118:1), the Mother of Jesus who prayed, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34). She is our surest help when we struggle with feelings of resentment or the desire to “get even.” For did not she, of all people, have reason to feel resentment, to desire revenge, to despise those who betrayed and abandoned her Son? Did not she have reason to wish for revenge against the hypocrisy of religious leaders who twisted the truth of His words and the goodness of His mighty deeds to justify his condemnation as a charlatan deserving death? And, did not she have reason to wish for vengeance against the cowardice of Pilate, the cruelty of his executioners, and the mockery of the bystanders who scornfully laughed at her beloved Son stripped naked dying helplessly on the cross? Indeed, she had every reason to cry out to God asking for vengeance against the perpetrators of such barbarous cruelty! But, no, she did not. She forgave. She witnessed Jesus asking His Father to forgive.

So let us pray the “Hail, Holy Queen” every day during this Holy Year of Mercy, asking Mary, the Mother of Mercy, to help us be merciful when we feel the desire for revenge or for “getting even.” May Mary, the Mother of Mercy be “our life, our sweetness, and our hope” as we learn how “blessed are the merciful for they shall receive mercy.” (Mt 5:7).

–Sr. Annette Pelletier, IHM, Prof. of Theology, Immaculata University

How to Live It

Read the story of Immaculee Ilibagiza. In her book, Left To Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust, she recounts how she survived the Rwandan genocide and was brought to forgive those who murdered her family through the prayer of the Rosary, especially the Sorrowful Mysteries. Then, consider taking up the Rosary and asking Our Lady to help you forgive those who have injured you.

Quote from Catholic Tradition

“Seek refuge in Mary because she is the city of refuge. We know that Moses set up three cities of refuge for anyone who inadvertently killed his neighbor. Now the Lord has established a refuge of mercy, Mary, even for those who deliberately commit evil. Mary provides shelter and strength for the sinner.” ‐Saint Anthony of Padua “Even while living in the world, the heart of Mary was so filled with motherly tenderness and compassion for men that no‐one ever suffered so much for their own pains, as Mary suffered for the pains of her children.” ‐Saint Jerome, Father and Doctor of the Church

Jubilee Year of Mercy ‐ The Holy Spirit, Fountain of Mercy

Year-of-Mercy-English-CLEARMercy lies at the heart of the Christian faith. Catholics believe in a God of Mercy. He manifested His Mercy, first and foremost, in the Incarnation of His Word in the Person of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross for our sins. When He walked this earth, Jesus lived for others and greeted everyone He met with mercy and compassion. Mercy was the reason He entered this world. Mercy was why He forgave sins. Mercy was why He cured people of their physical ailments. Mercy was why He cast out demons. Mercy was why He suffered and died for us. Mercy for others was what He asked of his Father from the cross. Mercy was what flowed from His pierced side in the form of blood and water. Mercy was why He sent his Spirit to dwell in the hearts of the members of His body, the Church. Mercy was the reason for the sending of His Spirit at Pentecost.

The Holy Spirit is the Fountain of Mercy. He is the soul of the Church, the sacrament of Christ. He is invoked at the celebration of every sacrament. He is the source of Mercy, because He is the Bond of Love shared by the Father and the Son. From that Bond everything else flows: Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist, Reconciliation, Orders, Matrimony, Anointing. These sacraments give honor and glory to the Father. They are actions of Christ. They are the works of the Spirit. Through them we receive His manifold gifts and fruits. Holy Spirit, Fountain of Mercy, pray for us.

-Rev. Dennis J. Billy, C.Ss.R., Krol Chair of Moral Theology, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

How to Live It

During the Holy Year of Mercy, begin the practice of invoking the Holy Spirit as soon as you wake up in the morning. Use the Veni, Sancte Spiritus or similar prayer to the Holy Spirit. Take note of the special daily mercies that result from this simple act of dependence on the Third Person of the Trinity.

Quote from Catholic Tradition

“Come, Holy Spirit. Spirit of truth, you are the reward of the saints, the comforter of souls, light in the darkness, riches to the poor, treasure to lovers, food for the hungry, comfort to those who are wandering; to sum up, you are the one in whom all treasures are contained. Come! As you descended upon Mary that the Word might become flesh, work in us through grace as you worked in her through nature and grace. Come! Food of every chaste thought, fountain of all mercy, sum of all purity. Come! Consume in us whatever prevents us from being consumed in you.” ‐St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi

Jubilee Year of Mercy – Divine Mercy Sunday: Feast of Mercy

Year-of-Mercy-English-CLEARIn the Gospel reading every year on the Second Sunday of Easter, Jesus enters the upper room where the disciples are and tells them, “Peace be with you.” That peace lies at the heart of Divine Mercy. It is the peace which Jesus won for all men and women on the cross. His resurrection is the Father’s public validation of Jesus’ victory over sin and death. That is why Pope Saint John Paul II gave the Second Sunday of Easter the name “Divine Mercy Sunday.”

Saint Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun, experienced visions of the Lord Jesus during the 1930s. As a result of these visions, she produced a now-famous image of Jesus with red and white beams of light coming from his side with the words, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

Catholics who go to Confession, receive Communion, and offer prayers for the Pope while also participating in Divine Mercy devotions in a spirit of complete detachment from sin can receive full remission of temporal punishment due to sin (Plenary Indulgence) on this day.

Pope Francis has made mercy one of the hallmarks of his pontificate. He proclaimed the Year of Mercy so that in receiving God’s mercy in our own lives, we can extend it to others. All of us can do this in concrete ways such as forgiving our spouse or siblings. Perhaps there are relationships in our lives that require healing. The poor, the vulnerable, and sinners especially need us to be instruments of God’s mercy. Through Divine Mercy, the great gift of Jesus’ cross and resurrection, we can hear Jesus once again say to us, “Peace be with you.”
-Eric Banecker, Seminarian, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

How to Live It
This year’s Divine Mercy Sunday falls on April 3, 2016.  During this special Jubilee year, consider making a effort to receive the Plenary Indulgence available on this Feast of Mercy.  To learn more about our Archdiocesan celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, visit archphila.org/mercy or contact the parish at [parish contact info here].

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Quote from Catholic Tradition:

“I have opened my Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. Sinners will attain justification, and the just will be confirmed in good. Whoever places his trust in My mercy will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death.” -Jesus to St. Faustina, Diary of St. Faustina, 1520

To continue reflecting on this theme, consider one of these resources!

 Recommended Book for the Month:  Consoling the Heart of Jesus, Fr. Michael Gaitley, MIC

Lighthouse Catholic Media CD: The Saving Power of Divine Mercy by Fr. Jason Brooks

Jubilee Year of Mercy – February 2016: Confession, Sacrament of Mercy

Year-of-Mercy-English-CLEAR“Through the ministry of the Church, may God give you pardon and peace…”

Each time the Sacrament of Reconciliation and Penance is celebrated, the priest begins the formula of absolution with these words. They express the profound reality that is taking place. First, there is the recognition that the Church mediates God’s loving activity of forgiveness of sins. Jesus intentionally created the Church to extend his victory over sin. Second, this Sacrament, like all the others, begins with God’s initiative. Long before we recognize our need for God’s mercy, he is already calling us to him, extending his offer of grace.

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Divine Mercy Chaplet

Divine Mercy ImageThe recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy is held in Church every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:15am and on Sunday at 10:45am unless otherwise noted.  This prayer uses traditional rosary beads to meditate upon and ask for the infinite mercy of God that was poured out upon the world through the passion of Jesus Christ.

The prayers of the Chaplet were given by Jesus to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) with  the promise of many powerful graces as a fruit of this prayer.

To learn more about the Chaplet and our Archdiocesan celebration of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, click here.

Jubilee Year of Mercy – Jesus Christ, Mercy Incarnate

Year-of-Mercy-English-CLEARWhat is mercy? It is “heartfelt sympathy for another’s distress.” Mercy is a generous readiness to help others even if they have brought their troubles on themselves. Even more, mercy is loving compassion that is willing to forgive insults and injury.

God is just, but we have the courage to ask him to help us in our misery and forgive us our trespasses because we know that he is “slow to anger and abounding in mercy” (Psalm 103:8). God does not treat us as our sins deserve, but invites us to repent and assures us of his willingness to forgive.

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Jubilee Year of Mercy

Year-of-Mercy-English-CLEARCelebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy: December 8, 2015 – November 20, 2016.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia invites everyone to celebrate the Jubilee Year of Mercy through a special commitment to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy each day of the Holy Year.

Along with praying for your personal, family and parish intentions, please consider including in your prayer the following intentions:

  • For a renewal of the regular reception of the Sacrament of Confession for all Catholics of the Archdiocese.
  • For an increase in vocations to the priesthood and the sanctity of all priests.
  • For the conversion of those who do not yet know the love of Jesus Christ.