Digital Marian Helper Magazine Spring 2021

From the VAULTS Twenty years ago, in the Spring 2001 issue, we wrote in anticipation about the first worldwide celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday. Here’s a sampling of the cover story then: W hat really thrills the heart is an unexpected gift — and that’s exactly what the first worldwide celebration of Mercy Sunday will be, say s Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, t he priest who worked for St. Maria Faustina’s canonization for more than 20 years. When Pope John Paul II declared, durin g St. Faustina’s canonization l ast year [2000], that from now on the Second Sunday of Easter will be known as Divine Mercy Sunday, Fr. Michalenko says most of the nearly 250,000 people gathered in St. Peter’s Square were surprised. “The Holy Father caught many people off guard,” Fr. Michalenko says. “We expected that he would fulfill the Lord’s request to put the celebration on the Church calendar, but we didn’t know how he would handle it or when he would do it.” The pope’s announcement was followed by a decree from the Holy See’s Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, officially adding to the “Second Sunday of Easter” the title: “Divine Mercy Sunday.” “Having Mercy Sunday as a universal celebration in the Church is a great gift to us and to the entire world,” Fr. Michalenko explains. “In his homily at her canonization, the Holy Father called St. Faustina ‘a gift of God to our time.’ His declaration that Mercy Sunday will be celebrated worldwide is also the Lord’s gift to us. “It’s the fulfillment of the prophecy St. Faustina made about the Lord’s desire for Mercy Sunday to be celebrated throughout the whole Church,” he says. “Every prophecy she made has now been fulfilled.” 36 M arian H elper • S pring 2021 • marian . org