What is Divine Mercy Sunday?

The Sunday after Easter marks a special feast day in the Catholic Church: Divine Mercy Sunday, meant to represent Jesus' gift of mercy.

In the 1930s, a young Polish nun who is now known as St. Faustina, received a series of revelations from Jesus that asked her to establish this specific day of mercy. St. Faustina was canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 2000, the pope who is known to have had a special devotion to Divine Mercy. On the same day of her canonization, John Paul II officially dedicated the Sunday after Easter to Divine Mercy.

On this feast day, Catholics can obtain a total forgiveness of sins through a plenary indulgence by receiving communion and going to confession.

In Rome, Pope Francis often celebrates this feast day at the Church of Divine Mercy. He has also celebrated it at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Poland, like he did here in 2016.

"Let's never turn away from Jesus, even if we think that our sins and our faults are the worst. He prefers us as we are, as such his mercy pours out on us," Pope Francis said.

In many churches around the world, people can find the image of the Divine Mercy that is often publicly venerated and blessed on this special feast day.