While still rejoicing in Christ’s resurrection, the following Sunday Mass continues the theme of redemption when Divine Mercy is celebrated. 

The day is originally based on St. Faustina Kowalska’s devotion to the Divine Mercy. It was reported that part of her encounter with Jesus included special promises from Christ and indulgences issued by the church. 

The Divine Mercy message is that God loves us all, and that he wants us to understand there exists no sins greater than his mercy. He encourages all to call upon him with trust, receive his mercy and let that mercy flow through to others, enabling everyone to share in his joy. 

Perhaps most challenging of the Divine Mercy message is trusting in God and yielding one’s will to him. But God says the graces of mercy are dependant on trust and that the greater the trust the greater the mercy. 

At the request of her spiritual director, St. Faustina, an uneducated Polish nun, wrote a diary of approximately 600 pages revealing the revelations she received from Christ. One of the revelations she wrote was a repeated request from Jesus that a feast day be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. 

That particular Sunday was devoted to the sacrament of penance. 

St. John Paul II granted the feast day to the universal church on April 30, 2000, the day St. Faustina was canonized, although the feast was already being celebrated in Poland. In a decree dated May 23, 2000, the congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments declared the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. 

The decree noted the day is an invitation to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials mankind will experience. 

According to St. Faustina, Jesus said whoever approached the Fountain of Life on that day will be granted forgiveness of sins and punishment. Additionally, deeds of mercy must be performed on Divine Mercy Sunday. 

To encourage the celebration of Divine Mercy, St. John Paul II declared a plenary indulgence would be granted to the faithful who take part in the prayers and devotions on that day. Additionally, the indulgence would be granted to those who in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament pray the Our Father and the Creed, along with a devout prayer to the Lord. 

Although St. Faustina died in 1938, the devotion to the Divine Mercy had been becoming increasingly popular.