In fact, it is entirely fitting that Quasimodo Sunday should have been chosen by the Supreme Pontiff for the Feast of Divine Mercy since it is the day when St Thomas the Doubter was reconciled from his doubts, as the Gospel tells us, and, after placing his hands in the wounds of Christ, made the act of faith saying, "My Lord and my God!".
It is also the day when the introit of the traditional Roman rite repeats the words of St Peter:
"laying away all malice and all guile and dissimulations and envies and all detractions, just as the new born infants desire the rational milk without guile..."
This is a highly appropriate verse for those seeking out the mercy of God. Moreover, this day was the day when the neophytes, having been baptised at the Easter Vigil, and having worn their white baptismal robes (nowadays still used for infant baptism) for the full week, set aside their white robes having been filled with all the grace and blessing of baptism.
This, then, is surely the very day when the accumulation of God's grace and mercy is at its height and the Faithful ought, therefore, to seek access thereto all the more fully.
The Sacred Penitentiary, the Church's highest court (yes, really; it is higher than the Apostolic Signature or the Sacred Rota), in its Decree of 29 June 2002, set out the conditions for a Plenary Indulgence granted by the Supreme Pontiff. The Decree states:
"And so the Supreme Pontiff, motivated by an ardent desire to foster in Christians this devotion to Divine Mercy as much as possible in the hope of offering great spiritual fruit to the faithful, in the Audience granted on 13 June 2002, to those Responsible for the Apostolic Penitentiary, granted the following Indulgences:
- a plenary indulgence, granted under the usual conditions (sacramental confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer for the intentions of Supreme Pontiff) to the faithful who, on the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday, in any church or chapel, in a spirit that is completely detached from the affection for a sin, even a venial sin, take part in the prayers and devotions held in honour of Divine Mercy, or who, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament exposed or reserved in the tabernacle, recite the Our Father and the Creed, adding a devout prayer to the merciful Lord Jesus (e.g. Merciful Jesus, I trust in you!");
- a partial indulgence, granted to the faithful who, at least with a contrite heart, pray to the merciful Lord Jesus a legitimately approved invocation."
Confession and Communion may, according to the Penitentiary's guidance, be on any day 20 days either side of Low Sunday.
Below are reproduced the prayers of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy in Latin for the use of those who wish to gain access to the fathomless mercy of God.
I have rendered the final prayer into Latin, Greek and Hebrew, the primary sacred languages of the Church which appeared over the Holy Cross. That final prayer is the same that is sung, alternating in Greek and Latin, at the exceedingly ancient, solemn Good Friday service (the Mass of the Pre-sanctified).
This final prayer is said 3 times to signify the Holy Trinity just as the 3 sacred languages, Latin, Greek and Hebrew signify the Holy Trinity, also.
I commend this devotion to readers. It can, for instance, be incorporated into Benediction, after, say, the Prayer for England (or equivalent in other nations).
Corona Divinae Misericordiae
(Chaplet of Divine Mercy)
IN NOMINE Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
PATER NOSTER, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.
AVE MARIA, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.
CREDO in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem et vitam aeternam. Amen.
On each of the OUR FATHER beads:
PATER aeterne, offero tibi Corpus et Sanguinem, animam et divinitatem dilectissimi Filii Tui, Domini nostri, Iesu Christi, in propitiatione pro peccatis nostris et totius mundi.
(Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world)
On each of the HAIL MARY beads:
PRO DOLOROSA Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi.
(For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and the whole world)
In conclusion say the following (here in Latin, Greek and Hebrew):
miserere nobis et totius mundi.
eleison imas kai olon ton kosmon.
Elohim hakol yakhol,
veal kol haolam.
(Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and the whole world)
Say at three o’clock in the afternoon:
YOU EXPIRED, O Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls and an ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You. Amen.