Prayer To St. Michael The Archangel
St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen
Feast of the Presentation Blessing of the candles will take place during Mass on Tuesday, February 2nd at 6:45 AM Mass at Divine Mercy. Due to the pandemic, candles will only be available at the parish office. Candles are for home use. If you would like to purchase candles, we ask that you please call the parish office in advance and we will have them ready for you. All Blessed Candles $ 4.00 – two candles per box, 3 day candle $3.00 and 5 day candle $5.00.
Due to COVID-19, the rubrics for the Blessing of Throats allows for a general blessing in place of individual blessings for pastoral reasons. Mindful of social distancing requirements, a priest is asked this year to give the blessing by extending hands over all gathered while saying the prayer of blessing: “Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from every disease of the throat and from every other illness: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. A general blessing will be given on Wednesday, February 3rd at the 6:45 AM Mass only.
Note on Ash Wednesday
Distribution of Ashes in Time of Pandemic
The priest says the prayer for blessing the ashes. He sprinkles the ashes with holy water, without saying anything. Then he addresses all those present and only once says the formula as it appears in the Roman Misal, applying it to all in general: “Repent, and believe in the Gospel”, or “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return”. The Priest then cleanses his hands, puts on a face mask and distributes the ashes to those who come to him or, if appropriate, he goes to those who are standing in their places. The Priest takes the ashes and sprinkles them on the head of each one without saying anything.
We will resume Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Divine Mercy Church with Chaplet.
Monday 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Wednesday 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Friday 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Divine Mercy Parish Office Opened
Our office is now open.
No one can just walk into the office, the screen door will be locked.
Only one person in the office at a time.
Mask must be worn at all times while in the office.
We ask that you please have the right amount of money or check if possible (in order to lessen handling of money with person).
New office hours will be as follows:
Monday 9:30 AM to 3:00 PM
Wednesday 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM
Friday 8:30 to 1:00 PM
Bible Group will meet at the Fr. Ciszek Center
Group # 1 will meet on
Friday, February 12th at 9:30 AM
Group # 1 will meet on
Friday, February 19th at 9:30 AM
For more information, call Sr. Marietta 590-0435 or the parish office 462-1968.
Next Prayer Group will be held on Thursday, February 4th at 6:30 PM at Divine Mercy Church.
Franciscan Group will meet on Thursday, February 18th at 6:30 PM at the Father Ciszek Center.
*********************************************************************************************** ON – LINE GIVING — NOW AVAILABLE
My Dear Parishioners,
Divine Mercy Parish is now set up for on-line giving. It is very simple to use. All you have to do is go to our website: dmparish.com and click on the link for on-line giving. You can choose to make a onetime gift, recurring gift (weekly, monthly) or you can make a pledge and pay the pledge off in installments by credit card. Your credit card would get charged accordingly to the gift and time frame chosen. You are also able to give to a second collection.
Coronavirus is affecting more than just our physical health. For many, this is a very frightening and stressful experience. The financial impact on local workers, employers, and companies may be devastating. Sadly, with the need to suspend the public celebration of Mass, the same may be true for our parishes. In most cases, weekly collections are the only source of funds for parish operations. Very simply, parishes cannot exist without parishioner support.
Like you, I am saddened at the need to suspend the public celebration of Mass, but I ask that you join me in continuing to support your parish.
Rev. Msgr. Ronald C. Bocian
“The clergy and religious of the Diocese of Allentown continue to stand ready to provide steadfast support and prayers during this difficult time,” said Bishop Schlert. “Just as St. Joseph protected the Holy Family, we turn to St. Joseph to protect us at this time of uncertainty and pandemic.”
We invite all the faithful who are quarantined during this time and unable to receive Holy Communion, to offer their prayers for healing throughout the world. Pray the Holy Rosary, on www.EWTN.com/tv/chows/sunday-Mass-live.
Pray this prayer for spiritual communion and set aside time for prayer with the Sacred Scriptures of the day – go to www.wordamongus.org.
An Act of Spiritual Communion
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.
Why is our parish called “Divine Mercy”?
Divine Mercy Image
The Divine Mercy image is a depiction Jesus based on the devotion initiated by St. Faustina Kowalska.
“I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish,” Jesus told Faustina, according to her diary, which has been studied and authenticated by the Church over several decades. “I also promise victory over enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory.” (Diary of Faustina, 48).
Jesus is shown in most versions as raising his right hand in blessing and pointing with his left hand on his chest from which flow forth two rays: one red and one white. The depictions often contais the message “Jesus, I trust in You!” The rays streaming out have symbolic meaning: red for the blood of Jesus (which is the Life of Souls), and pale for the water (which justify souls) (from Diary – 299). The whole image is symbolic of charity, forgiveness and love of God, referred to as the “Fountain of Mercy.” According to the diary of St. Faustina, the image is based on her 1931 vision of Jesus.
A number of artistic renditions of the image have appeared since Faustina directed the painting of the first image in Vilnius, Lithuania. These are widely venerated worldwide, and are used in the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday, observed in Roman Catholic, as well as some Anglican churches.
The first Mass during which the Divine Mercy image was displayed was on April 28, 1935, the first Sunday after Easter (The Feast of Divine Mercy) and was attended by Sr. Faustina.
Faustina Kowalska was a Polish nun who joined the convent of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw 1925. In her diary, which was later published as the book Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul, Faustina wrote about a number of visions of Jesus and conversations with him. Her confessor was Michael Sopocko, a priest and a professor of theology.
In 1930, Faustina was assigned to the convent in Plock, Poland. Faustina stated that while she was in her cell on the night of Sunday, February 22, 1931, Jesus appeared to her as the ‘King of Divine Mercy”, robed in a white garment.
Faustina wrote that Jesus’ right hand was raised in a sign of blessing and the other was touching the garment near his breast, and that from beneath the garment slightly down, aside his breast, emanated two large rays, one red, the other white.
In her diary, she wrote that Jesus told her:
“Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: “Jesus, I trust in You”. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and then throughout the world. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish”.
Another nun, Sister Christine, later stated that rays of light from the window were visible that night and attracted the attention of people standing on the other side of the street, implying that this was a “physical” appearance rather than an interior vision.
Not knowing how to paint, Faustina approached some other nuns at her convent for help but received no assistance. She attempted to sketch the image with charcoal on canvas but had little success. In her diary, she wrote that Jesus told her that she would receive “visible help” with the task. In November 1932, Faustina left Plock and returned to Warsaw, and in May 1933, she was sent to the convent in Vilnius to work as the gardener.
In Vilnius, Faustina met Father Michael Sopocko, the newly appointed confessor to the nuns. Sopocko supported Faustina’s efforts and arranged for the first painting of the image by the artist Eugene Kazimierowski, which was the only rendition Faustina saw. After Faustina’s death, a number of other artists painted their own versions of the image, with the depiction by Adolf Hyla being among the most reproduced.
Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace.
— Words attributed to Jesus by Fatima in her diary.
After the canonization of Faustina in April 2000, devotion to the Divine Mercy and the image has increased. The devotional following of the image and Faustina’s message has been stronger among Catholics at large than among theologians. Author Benedict Groeschel considers a modest estimate of the following in 2010 to be over one hundred million Catholics.
Faustina’s diary relates the rays of light within the image to life and salvation, stating that she was told by Jesus:
“The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red stands for the Blood which is the life of souls … These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross”.
Faustina also wrote that Jesus stressed the importance of the image as part of the Divine Mercy devotion, and in Notebook 1, item 327 attributed these words to Jesus:
“I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature; “Jesus, I trust in You”.
Catholic devotions thus stress the importance of the image as a “conduit for grace” as part of the Divine Mercy message.
Faustina’s diary also relates the image to Divine Mercy Sunday, Faustina wrote that Jesus told her that he wanted the Divine Mercy image to be “solemnly blessed” on the first Sunday after Easter; and that Sunday was to be the Feast of Mercy.
Pope John Paul II instituted Divine Mercy Sunday and placed it on the General Roman Calendar. The Divine Mercy image is often carried in processions on Divine Mercy Sunday, and is placed in a location in the church so that it can be venerated by those who attended the Mass.
The veneration of the Divine Mercy image also takes place in conjunction with the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novena. The Vatican biography of Faustina states that the veneration of the Divine Mercy image is part of the second component of her message, namely “entreating God’s mercy for the whole world”. Praying before the Divine Mercy image (with the signature “Jesus I trust in you”) is not only encouraged in Catholic devotions, but is mentioned as a partial condition for some of the indulgences associated with Divine Mercy Sunday.
The first painting was by Eugene Kazimierowski, under the supervision of Faustina and her confessor, Michael Sopocko, in Vilnius. After completion in 1934, the painting hung in the Bernardine Sisters’ convent near the church of St. Archangel Michael, where Sopoko was a rector. In her diary, sister Faustina notes that Jesus told her to inform her confessor that the proper place for the painting was in a church, not in the hallway of a convent. The first public exposition of the Kazimierowski rendition was on 26-28 April 1935, at the church of the Gate of Dawn in Vilnius. In 1937, on the Sunday after Easter, the current Feast of Divine Mercy, the picture was put on display beside the main altar in St. Michael’s Church, Vilnius. The Soviet authorities, having occupied Lithuania, in 1948 closed St. Michael’s Church and destroyed the convent. The painting remained in the church building until 1951, when two pious women from Vilnius Brone Miniotaite and Janina Rodzevic bought the canvas from a guard and gave it to the parish priest at the Dominican Church of the Holy Spirit for safekeeping. Professional restoration in the spring of 2003 left the image exactly as it was when Eugeniusz Kazimierowski painted it under the direction of Sister Faustina.
Sopocko was a professor of theology at the University of Vilnius and introduced Faustina to Kazimierowski, who was professor of art there. Kazimierowski had painted religious images before, but this task was difficult for him. Sopocko himself posed as Jesus for the image, wearing an alb, and both he and Faustina regularly visited the painter’s workshop. The final painting satisfied neither Sopocko nor Faustina, who later wrote that Christ told her it is not that important that the picture be beautiful. The true beauty, Christ said, would be the blessing that He would bestow to the people by the means of the painting.
Another painting of the Divine Mercy was made by Adolf Hyla, as a votive offering. Through painting this picture, Hyla expressed his gratitude for the survival of his family during World War II.
Hyla was given the descriptions from Faustina’s diary by the nuns at the convent, and a small copy of the first painting. Hyla’s image is somewhat different from Kazimierowski’s as the former figured Jesus as a “Divine Physician”, walking the earth and healing people. He has Jesus approaching the viewer instead of merely standing. Christ’s right hand is lifted up high in benediction, and He is looking into the eyes of the viewer. The original version of this painting had a country landscape in the background, which was removed in a later replica as it was deemed “non-liturgical”.
The Hyla rendition is also called the “Krakow Divine Mercy Image” because it is kept in the sanctuary at Krakow-Lagiewniki.
Before Adolf Hyla offered his votive painting, the sisters had commissioned Stanislaw Batowski to paint a third version. This was lost in a fire, and Batowski painted a fourth painting which arrived at the convent at almost the same time as Hyla’s. Cardinal Sapieha, who happened to be in the convent then, selected the Hyla painting because it was a votive image.
A number of other artists have painted the image, but Hyla’s rendition remains the most reproduced one.
“The image of The Divine Mercy, painted by Adam Styka (1957), is displayed in the Sanctuary of The Divine Mercy at the Congregation of Marians in Stockbridge, MA USA”. (Diary pictures of images). A popular image was created in 1982 by American artist Robert Skemp. This rendition depicts Jesus standing in front of an arched doorway, with a more pronounced halo about his head. The Skemp and Hyla images are the most ubiquitous depictions found in the Philippines, where the devotion to the Divine Mercy is a popular one.
The Divine Mercy Shrine, in El Salvador City, Phillipines was built in 2008, and has a 15.24 metre (50 foot) statue of the Divine Mercy towering above the shrine.
In 1959 the Vatican banned the image and devotion to it because of a number of factors. Some Polish bishops questioned Sr. Faustina’s’ claims and were uncomfortable with the image’s similarity to the red and white Polish flag. Polish priests were reported to be interpreting the rays as a symbol of the flag. The ban on the image and devotion to it was only lifted on April 15, 1978, due to pressure from future Polish pope, Karol Wojtyla, who was a great advocate for Sr. Faustina.