KOTA KINABALU – Over a thousand devotees of the Divine Mercy attended the Jubilee of Divine Mercy on 3 Apr 2016, Divine Mercy Sunday, at the Sacred Heart Cathedral here.
The devotees came from across the Kota Kinabalu Archdiocese, although there were also some from other dioceses. From the Marian grotto the devotees walked in procession in the sultry sunshine to the cathedral Holy Door led by Fr Paul Lo, the Spiritual Adsiver to the Lay Associations & Movements in the archdiocese. The Litany of the Saints was chanted as they walked in procession. In front of the Holy Door, a simple rite was celebrated before the devotees entered through it into the cathedral in a single file.
Before Mass, the devotees prayed the Praises of the Divine Mercy and the 3 o’clock Prayer.
After the Introductory rites, the presider blessed the enlarged image of the Divine Mercy stationed on the sanctuary.
One of the points brought out in the homily was that the devotion to the Divine Mercy is counter-cultural because in the commercial world there is no mercy. Through the devotion one learns and is empowered by the Spirit to be “merciful as the Father is merciful” – the whole point of the Jubilee Year of Mercy as well as the goal of the Divine Mercy deovtion.
After the Mass, all the images of the Divine Mercy of all sizes, St Faustina and other holy images, were blessed. The devotees also went forward to pay homage to the Divine Mercy Image on the sanctuary both before and after Mass. Then they all adjourned to the parish canteen to partake in the simple repast prepared by some of the devotees.
The devotion was spread by St Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun, in the 1930s. She wrote a diary of about 500 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. It had the support of St John Paul II who wrote an encyclical entitled Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy) in 1981. He designated the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday on 30 Apr 2000.
The devotion spread to Sabah in 1998 and first took root in St Michael Penampang before spreading to other parishes.