In the evening of the 2nd April 2005 we watched the TV, where all cameras were pointed to that little lighted window where Pope John Paul II was taking his last breaths. It was a Saturday dedicated the the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and as the sun set the end of one day and the beginning of the next began so that the Pope died on the cusp or overlap of the say of the Immaculate Heart and of the Divine Mercy.
In our house we were putting the final touches to a cake and packing food and other stuff ready for Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday when my daughter Avila would be baptised.
Today Pope John Paull II will be breatified and become Blessed Pope John Paul II. He has been a part of our family Litany of saints for a while, so it is a special day for us to see him beatified.
Pope John Paul II understood the desperate need in the world for the Divine Mercy. His prayer and work (ora et labora) brought about the collapse in unbloody hope of Communism in Russia and the wall of Berlin. He supported the work of those seeking true freedom in his homeland of Poland, and so it was not so surprising that he showed such devotion of the life of a fellow Pole, St Faustina.
One of the things Jesus said to St. Faustina, “Out of Poland will come the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming.” Most people believe this prophecy was fulfilled in the pontificate of Blessed Pope John Paul II.
This pope was also inextricably linked with the Immaculate Heart of Mary who asked for repentence and penance at Fatima. She promised that the war that persently raged (WW 1) would end, but that if people did not amend their lives that Russia would spread her errors and there would be another war.
Sadly people ignored the call to repentence and Russia did spread her errors, murdering millions upon millions of Catholics, Orthodox and other Christians. the Second World War arrived just as fortold.
It was in the midst of this time of darkness that Jesus and His Blessed Mother came to Sr. Faustina in her convent in Poland and asked that His Divine Mercy message be told to the world. We are invited, Christ begs us in fact, to turn to His Divine Mercy and be washed in the living streams of Blood and Water that flow from His Sacred Heart. He warns that those who refuse to receive Mercy, will receive justice.
There is nothing new, in the call to God’s Mercy, of course. It is clearly there in Scripture and in Christ and His Mother’s words to so many great saints, including my own beloved St Bridget of Sweden, over the centries.
We all need mercy. It is a terrible thing to refuse it.
DIVINE MERCY IN MY SOUL English translation (opens pdf)