The Great Mercy Pope 

 In Living the Liturgy


Saint Pope John Paul II, both in his teaching and personal life, strove to live and teach the message of Divine Mercy. As the great Mercy Pope, he wrote an encyclical on Divine Mercy: “The Message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me… which I took with me to the See of Peter and which it in a sense forms the image of this Pontificate.” 

In his writings and homilies, he has described Divine Mercy as the answer to the world’s problems and the message of the third millennium. He beatified and canonized Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, and he did it in Rome and not in Poland to underscore that Divine Mercy is for the whole world. 

When Saint Pope John Paul canonized Sister Faustina, he also, on the same day, surprised the entire world by establishing Divine Mercy Sunday as a feast day for the entire Church. The feast day falls on the Second Sunday of the Easter season. On that day, he declared, “This is the happiest day of my life.” 

In 2002, the Pope entrusted the whole world to Divine Mercy when he consecrated the International Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki, a suburb of Krakow in Poland. This is where Saint Faustina’s mortal remains are entombed. He also says that he had been thinking about Sister Faustina for a long time when he wrote his encyclical on Divine Mercy. Further, the Holy Father has frequently quoted from the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and has prayed The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy at the saint’s tomb. 

 Repeatedly Saint Pope John Paul II has written and spoken about the need for us to turn to the mercy of God as the answer to the specific problems of our times. He has placed a strong and significant focus on the Divine Mercy message and devotion throughout his pontificate that will carry the Church long after his death.

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