The Divine Mercy Shrine of the Apostolic Vicariate of Puerto Princesa. Photos from Divine Mercy Shrine Facebook Page.

Today marks a significant day in the Catholic faith as Filipinos celebrate God’s love and immeasurable mercy through the feast of the Divine Mercy or Divine Mercy Sunday.

Its history can be traced back to the early 20th century through a Polish nun named Faustina Kowalska, who received messages from Jesus Christ about the depth of his mercy and love for humanity.

In one of her visions, Jesus instructed her to have an image painted of him with the words “Jesus, I trust in You” underneath and to celebrate a special feast in honor of his mercy on the Sunday after Easter.

In the year 2000, Pope John Paul II officially established Divine Mercy Sunday to remind people of the importance of seeking forgiveness and reconciliation for their sins.

The feast is celebrated in many churches around the world with special services and devotions, such as the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the veneration of the Divine Mercy image. It is also a time for believers to participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and seek forgiveness for their sins.

The devotion to the Divine Mercy has a significant following in the Philippines, which is known as a predominantly Catholic country.

It was introduced to the Philippines in the 1950s by Polish missionaries and has since become an important part of the country’s religious culture.

One of the most popular sites for Divine Mercy devotion in the Philippines is the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Marilao, Bulacan.

The shrine, which was built in the early 2000s, attracts thousands of pilgrims every year, especially during the Feast of Mercy or Divine Mercy Sunday.

Apart from the National Shrine, there are many other churches and chapels across the country that offer devotions and services related to Divine Mercy, including one in Puerto Princesa.

The Shrine of the Divine Mercy, also known as the Sicsican Parish, was established in 2008 in Brgy Sicsican and has since become a popular destination for pilgrims and tourists seeking spiritual nourishment and inspiration.

The church features an intricately designed retablo that highlights a replica of the Divine Mercy painting. The shrine’s vast interior provides a haven for those seeking help, refuge, and consolation and for those offering their prayers of thanksgiving for an answered prayer.

It also has a large courtyard that features life-size images of the Way of the Cross and other saints like St. Pope John Paul II.

The devotion to the Divine Mercy has also provided comfort and hope to many Filipinos during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many Filipinos have turned to their faith and the message of Divine Mercy for solace amid the challenges of the pandemic.

One example of the impact of the Divine Mercy devotion during COVID-19 is the case of the St. John Paul II Hospital in Laguna. According to reports, the hospital staff would gather every day at 3:00 p.m., the Hour of Mercy, to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for the patients and their families. They reported that the prayer brought them peace and comfort during the difficult times.

In Davao City, a COVID-19 survivor shared his story of recovery through the intercession of the Divine Mercy.

The man recounted how he was critically ill and on the brink of death, but he prayed to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with his family and miraculously recovered, attributing his healing to the mercy of God.

Many other Filipinos have shared similar testimonials about the power of the Divine Mercy devotion in their lives before and during the pandemic.

The Divine Mercy Sunday and the devotion to the Divine Mercy serve as a reminder that no matter how great our sins may be, God’s mercy is greater still. It offers hope and healing in a world filled with suffering and despair.

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