Every year on the Second Sunday of Easter we hear the topic of Divine Mercy Sunday discussed, but many may be like myself in having failed to research this Sunday or why it is celebrated. I wanted to attach a few helpful links to shed light on the Feast of Divine Mercy and why it is a beautiful celebration within the Church. Pope John Paul II officially designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday in 2000 after the canonization of St. Faustina.
Jesus appeared to Saint Faustina in a numerous visions and conversations. He specifically asked that she paint a vision of His Divine Mercy and that a feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter to celebrate His Divine Mercy. Saint Faustina is quoted as writing the following in her journal: “I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.” All believers are called to pay special devotion to Jesus' Divine Mercy on this day. St. Faustina's journal writings also note the following: “I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy.” The Feast of Divine Mercy is celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter which is also the day after the completion of the Divine Mercy novena which starts on Good Friday.
In 2002 Pope John Paul II instituted the granting of plenary indulgences related to Divine Mercy Sunday. In order for this indulgence to be obtained, the following must be done: Sacrament of Reconciliation (which may take place before Sunday), reception of the Holy Eucharist, the minimum of an Our Father and Hail Mary for the intentions of the Pope, and either taking part in the prayers and devotions in honor of Divine Mercy that take place in a local Church or chapel OR in front of the blessed sacrament say an Our Father and the Creed added a devout prayer to the Merciful Lord.