In a circular letter addressed to the parish priests and chaplains of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan, Msgr. Renato P. Mayugba, DD, the Auxiliary Bishop, issued an invitation to the devotees of the Divine Mercy to the 2nd Archdiocesan Congress on The Divine Mercy. In his letter, the bishop, to show the significance of the octave of Easter, wrote that “on the octave of Easter, Christ appeared again to the eleven and, calling the attention of Thomas, showed his wounds that wrought our redemption”.
The 2nd Archdiocesan Congress is to be held at the St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Mangaldan, Pangasinan on 4 April 2009, Saturday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. The First Archdiocesan Congress on The Divine Mercy was celebrated last year at the Parish of St. Fabian, Pope and Martyr.
The program will have three major talks on the Divine Mercy. The first talk on "Divine Mercy in Scriptures" will be given by Fr. Oliver E. Mendoza. "Pastoral Implications of the Divine Mercy Devotion" will be shared to the participants by Most Rev. Jesus A. Cabrera, DD. The third talk on "Celebration of God's Mercy " will be given by Most Rev. Renato P. Mayugba, DD who will also celebrate the Mass on that day at the Parish Church of St. Thomas Aquinas.
The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in bedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.
St. Faustina, the Secretary of Mercy
St. Faustina has been called the “Secretary of The Divine Mercy”. On October 5, 1938, Sister Faustina (Helen Kowalska) died in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Cracow, Poland. She came from a very poor family that had struggled hard on their little farm during the terrible years of WWI. Sister had had only three years of very simple education. Hers were the humblest of tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or the vegetable garden, or as a porter.
On February 22, 1931, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ appeared to this simple nun, bringing with Him a wonderful message of Mercy for all mankind. Saint Faustina tells us in her diary under this date:
"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.'"
Some time later, Our Lord again spoke to her:
"The pale ray stands for the Water which makes 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 most tender Mercy at that time when My agonizing Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross....Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him."
The Second Archdiocesan Congress on The Divine Mercy
The theme of the 2nd Archdiocesan Congress is “The Flames of Mercy are burning!” It is a proclamation of the unfathomable mercy of Jesus on the whole world, and the need for us to propagate the message and devotion of the Divine Mercy. It also will help the devotees in the proper celebration in the parishes of the Divine Mercy Sunday which will be celebrated this year on 19 April 2009, the First Sunday after Easter.