here for an August 2002 press release
It is fashionable lately to believe there is no such thing as sin, that we don’t sin, and that there is no punishment for sin. It is also fashionable to say after someone dies that “I know they are in heaven”. Unfortunately, these beliefs are wrong. The bible, our catechism, and a great preponderance of approved private revelation through the saints tell us so. It is important to grasp this now because you can get a “Get of Jail Free” card for yourself. You might want to argue with one or all of the points above but please just read the rest of this. It will cost you little and possibly reap great benefits.
An interesting combination of three people and their messages
that Divine Mercy Sunday is of critical importance:
St. Faustina, the Pope, and a Phillippino man named Stanley who is associated with many, many miraculous events and healings.
The first person is St. Faustina. Maria Faustina Kowalska was a polish nun who purportedly received messages from Jesus in the 1930’s. Her superiors instructed Sr.Faustina to write these messages into a diary which she did out of obedience. The messages from the diary summarize Jesus’s desire and request to: remind the world of His mercy and to spread this devotion through the messages, to have an image of himself as Divine Mercy painted, to pray a chaplet (a series of prayers) asking for his mercy, and to have a special feast day dedicated to Divine Mercy.
The Divine Mercy devotion spread like wildfire throughout Blessed Faustina's homeland of Poland after her death in 1938. It became a strong spiritual elixir amid the horrors the Polish people endured in World War II. After some time the Vatican received erroneous and confusing translations of the Diary. An uneasy political climate made it impossible to verify the original's authenticity. Consequently, the Holy See silenced Sister Faustina's writings.
That brings us to the second person. In the late 1930’s, in the front lines of those enamored of God's Mercy and the revelations Jesus gave to Blessed Sister Faustina stood a young Polish priest Karol Josef Wojtyla. Fr. Wojtyla took up the cause of correcting the misinterpretations. Twenty years later, following the selfless theological efforts of Wojtyla (now a bishop), Pope Paul VI lifted the Vatican's ban. It is an understatement to say Wojtyla’s persistent influence singularly effected the approval of Christ's revelations in his countrywoman's holy journal. Six months after the ban was lifted Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II.
Pope John Paul II's tireless mission to spread devotion to Divine Mercy came to fruition on April 18, 1993, the second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday) when his Holiness beatified Sister Faustina in St. Peter's Square before thousands of faithful devotees. Pope John Paul II then recently canonised St. Faustina on April 30, 2000, on the Second Sunday of Easter and officially declared, “From now on, the Second Sunday of Easter will be called Divine Mercy Sunday."
The canonization of Faustina and the proclamation of the
feast day, as Christ commanded His Church to make
in the Diary, fulfilled the last 2 prophecies that can humanly be done by the Pope concerning the Divine Mercy. St. Faustina, who was given a vision of her canonization and the proclamation of the worldwide feast day, said that Christ told her that when both of these were done, "I will open up an ocean of Mercy for the world on that day and following."
Christ said to Faustina in the diary, "Before I come in glory, I will throw open the doors of My mercy. And all those who pass through the doors of My mercy I will protect as My own at the hour of death. Those who refuse the opportunity to pass through the doors of my mercy must pass through the doors of My justice.”
This brings us to the third person, Stanley Villavicencio, a
man who revived after 3 days of a deathlike state. His story and
is sweeping corners of the Christian world, with audiences
almost breathlessly on his every word.
Stanley had an extraordinary brush with death.
In 1993 he was married, he was 39 years old and he had 8 children at the time. He was in perfect health. He woke up from bed one morning and was about to go to work. As he got out of bed he began to bleed profusely out of his nose, his eyes, his ears and his mouth. He had projectile bleeding from the mouth with every heartbeat. The blood was squirting across the room. His wife who was a nurse called an ambulance in a state of panic. The ambulance took him to the hospital. The whole time he was profusely bleeding. He lost quarts and quarts of blood; “buckets” of blood. The doctors gave him maximum doses of Valium to try and slow down the bleeding and Stanley slipped into a coma. As a result of the coma Stanley “died”.
On a First Friday, Stanley laid alone while his family prepared his funeral. At the end of 3 days his blood had pooled in his legs and in the bottom of his feet. His body had turned blue and had begun rigor mortis. Then, three days to the hour (8 o'clock in the morning) after he was admitted to the hospital, “Stanley woke up”. He took off his dextrose and the endotracheal tube stuck into his nose and sat up. He felt absolutely well. An orderly who found him and 2 nurses ran down the hall screaming. His wife passed out. Upon examination, as the doctors switched stethoscopes in disbelief, Stanley was found to be in perfect health.
While he laid “dead” for 3 days Stanley claims he spoke with Jesus. He said as he died the first image he saw was the image of Christ as the Divine Mercy. Stanley reviewed his life as Jesus watched, the good things he had done and all the sins, three times. After 3 days, Christ asked him if he was willing to go back to His people and preach the message of Divine Mercy to a world in dire need of mercy and spend his whole life doing it. Stanley agreed immediately and he said this request was the most joyous occasion that he had ever experienced in his life. Christ told Stanley that when He needed to tell Stanley something he would come to him in a dream.
Before we get into the message via Stanley here are several other
to lend credence:
-Stanley is approved by 22 bishops and 2 cardinals in the Phillipines.
-Over 20 saints have risen from the dead like Lazarus.
Acts 26:8 Why is it thought incredible by any of you that God raises the dead?
-the local hospital record still shows that he is dead
-the attending physician found the experience so extraordinary that he immediately quit his job and joined a Jesuit seminary. (This year, 2000, this priest has asked for a sabbatical to travel with Stanley through the United States, spreading the message.)
-Stanley awoke with an infused knowledge of the Divine Mercy devotion, Faustina, and her diary. Before this experience he never heard of Sr. Faustina or her diary and knew very little about Divine Mercy. After he awoke he amazed theologians who have dedicated themselves to this devotion for over 15 years. This is called infused knowledge: given to him. Stanley could virtually quote the thick diary chapter and verse.
-Stanley was assigned a spiritual director, unbeknownst to him a theologian, who studied Stanley and his messages for 2 years. After this time this spiritual director decided that although he could find nothing contradictory to church teachings in the Stanley’s messages he still was going to conclude there was no proof that the messages were from Jesus. Jesus then gave a message to this spiritual director telling him he should believe and that in the future when Stanley would receive a message, so would he. The spiritual director kept this secret for the next two years. During that time every time Stanley received a message, the spiritual director did also, simultaneously, although separated sometimes geographically.
-Stanley has spoken nearly 3000 times around the world (and is just now, late 2000, visiting the US for the first time.)
-He was to speak to a Phillipine crowd of 5000 that spoke a different dialect than Stanley. Jesus told Stanley not to worry and just do his best. The 5000 heard Stanley in their own dialect, understanding him perfectly.
-Stanley travels with a 3’X3’ image of the Divine Mercy. He was told by his bishop that he was not permitted to lay hands on people. Jesus told Stanley to be obedient and that He, Jesus, would do the healing. There have been hundreds of healings of blindness, paraplegics/cripples, cancer, etc.
-It is reported that many times people see Jesus disappear out of the 3 x 3 foot picture of Divine Mercy during the service, while there are healings. While Jesus is healing the picture goes blank! This has happened over 100 times according to Stanley.
-The spiritual director, himself, was healed from a stroke and brain tumor.
-Stanley met personally with the Pope and with Sr. Lucia of Fatima during Oct. 2000.
-Stanley has caused huge changes in the Philippines among both Catholic and Protestant churches, with TV and radio stations reporting the message of mercy and even non-Catholic denominations now ringing their bells at 3 p.m. (the hour when prayers are said to God for mercy).
-In Asia, 200 Buddhists were instantly converted to Christianity by Stanley's message,
Stanley says, "Jesus keeps appearing to me in dreams, and I can see Him, hear Him, and even touch Him and embrace Him," Stanley’s main mission now is to spread the devotion of Divine Mercy (and Divine Mercy Sunday) given to us through St. Faustina, canonized by Pope John Paul II.
Remember that Stanley travels with this image of Jesus of Divine Mercy. Jesus promised St. Faustina that he would be present supernaturally in the Divine Mercy image wherever it is honored. This seems to be confirmed by the supernatural profound healings associated with Stanley’s 3’X3’ Divine Mercy painting. In this image Jesus is standing before some doors signifying the doors of mercy that Jesus will open wide upon the designation of the Divine Mercy feastday and sainthood of Faustina.
Again, Jesus told Faustina "Before I come in glory, I will throw open the doors of My mercy. And all those who pass through the doors of My mercy I will protect as My own at the hour of death. Those who refuse the opportunity to pass through the doors of my mercy must pass through the doors of My justice.”
Stanley emphasizes that great graces are available to Catholics this
Divine Mercy Sunday, with this special indulgence, if they go to
and (within 8 days) to Mass and Communion and in the same day perform
act of charity or mercy.
"There is total erasure of all punishment for sins already forgiven through the indulgence.” This is found in St. Faustina's diary:
"On that day, the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour
out a whole ocean of Graces upon souls who approach the fount of My
Mercy. The soul that will go to confession (within a reasonable time
before the Feast) and receive Holy Communion on this day, shall obtain
complete forgiveness of sins and punishment." (Diary of St. Faustina, entry 300)
The sacraments of Penance and Eucharist are special fountains of mercy which should be received frequently with great trust and love. (Diary, 914, 1602)
He said Christ had asked him to speak with cardinals, bishops, and priests emphasizing for them to begin to let people know, because most people are unaware of the significance of this feast day. “It's my reason for going to the United States. (Divine Mercy Sunday) is a feast of mercy."
We are talking about the canonization of a saint and the proclamation of the worldwide feast day of Divine Mercy by a man who has crusaded for this cause most of his life and while doing so has become Pope. Thus this Pope has fulfilled those two prophecies of this saint and also must be the point of light from Poland spoken of by St. Faustina that would promulgate this devotion, opening up oceans of mercy for the world. And we are talking about an approved visionary, risen from the dead, traveling the world miraculously curing the blind and lame through an image of Jesus as the Divine Mercy.
Pope John Paul II said, “There is nothing that man needs more than
Mercy -- that love which is benevolent, which is compassionate, which
man above his weakness to the infinite heights of the holiness of God.
…(this) Message of Divine Mercy that Christ himself chose to pass on to our generation through Blessed Faustina. And it is a message that is clear and understandable for everyone. Anyone can come here, look at this image of the merciful Jesus, His Heart radiating grace, and hear in the depths of his own soul what Blessed Faustina heard:
‘Fear nothing. I am with you always’(Diary, 586).
And if this person responds with a sincere heart: "Jesus, I trust in you" (from the diary) he will find comfort in all his anxieties and fears. In this dialogue of abandonment, there is established between man and Christ a special bond that sets love free. And ‘there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear’ (1 Jn 4:18).” (When I pray from my heart "Jesus, I trust in You" three times I always feel an increase in peace, a drop in blood pressure.)
The Divine Mercy Sunday indulgence is for Catholics and requires a
confession and receiving the holy eucharist . The indulgence is a
"remission of the temporal punishment, so far accumulated, (Purgatorial
cleansing) for sins already forgiven. This plenary Indulgence may
be gained for oneself only.
Although the plenerary indulgence is for Catholics, from St. Faustina's diary it is obvious that Jesus desires to pour out His mercy on ANYONE who asks for it:
"Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet", Diary 699 and "Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul." Diary 1777
Here are the:
Requirements for Divine Mercy Sunday Plenary Indulgence:
1. Attend the holy sacrifice of the mass on the Sunday after Easter or its Saturday vigil
2. Have completed a sacramental confession (within a reasonable amount of time, specified as 8 days for the regular plenary indulgence)
3. Receive Eucharistic Communion (of course, in the state of grace, no mortal sin)
4. Ask for Divine Mercy
The special indulgence is earned when they meet the
basic requirements and then, "with a soul totally
detached from affection to any sin, even venial,
participate in the pious practices undertaken in
honour of divine mercy, or at least recite in the
presence of the Blessed Sacrament, the Our Father,
the Creed and a pious invocation to the merciful Lord
Jesus," such as "Merciful Jesus, I trust in you"
Jesus asks us that we be merciful so it is desireable but not necessary that the person perform an act of mercy on this Sunday, such as visiting those in need or difficulty, such as the sick, elderly, lonely, handicapped or imprisoned, praying for the needy,
or penance as an act of mercy.
If someone is physically unable to attend mass and receive communion on that day through no fault of their own they can make a spiritual communion and that will suffice.
Approved Prayer for Spiritual Communion
"Oh Jesus I believe you are in the Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things and I long for you in my soul. Since I can not now receive you Sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though You had already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen."
To return to the home page of a Doubting Thomas' look at Signs & Prophets of God click here Home
To see a transcript of a radio program on Stanley click here