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That's the Divine Mercy image.

Second Sunday of Easter / Sunday of Divine Mercy

April 4, 2021 •

I chose this particular image to hang on our confessional because it is the original Divine Mercy image. The "Vilnius image", it was the one Saint Faustina herself had painted.

Jesus would often appear to her. And at one point, He appeared to her under this form. He said to her, "Faustina, I'd like you to have an image of me painted like this."

So Faustina and Mother Superior go to Vilnius and commission a local artist to paint this. Faustina describes to him the vision. He does his sketches and then works up the first draft of the painting.

Over the next year or two, regularly Faustina and Mother would go to him and check on the progress of the work.

Faustina always had corrections. "No, no, the eyes are wrong." "No, it needs to be more blue here." She was always correcting the artist, and it was never good enough. The artist was getting a little flustered. Mother Superior was getting a little flustered. And Faustina was just frustrated that it wasn't perfect.

One day in her cell, Jesus appeared to her and said, "Faustina, the image is never going to be perfect, but it's good enough." So Faustina accepted it,

and the next time she saw the image she said, "Jesus approves." And this is the image we have.

There's something unique and special about this one that I want to share with you, and I learned this during my time with the Marians of the Immaculate Conception.

There was a group of lay people working with the Marians, traveling around and trying to spread devotion to three particular images: Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Divine Mercy image, and the Shroud of Turin. They had large copies of each of these images and used them during their talks.

Once day - I won't say by accident, but by providence, they discovered something very fascinating....

The image of the Shroud of Turin and the Divine Mercy had been laid one atop the other. When the light shone through them, the people were shocked to discover that the faces matched perfectly. The face that Saint Faustina had painted, and the face on the Shroud of Turin when sized correctly, match up flawlessly.

For all intents and purposes, the image that we have, the Vilnius image, is actually a photograph. It's what Jesus looked like two thousand years ago.

If you think about this image, this is how Jesus appeared to the Apostles today in the Gospel. You can imagine Him there....

He appears to Thomas - and this is what He looked like, still with the wounds in His hands, feet and side, in a white tunic, radiating light - and He says to Thomas: "Come. Touch My hands. And My feet. Here, put your hand into the wound in My side." That's the Divine Mercy image. ...

Without mercy we are lost. Without mercy every soul is damned for eternity. But because of this mercy, because of the suffering, death, and resurrection that we behold in the image of Divine Mercy, we have hope and consolation. And we should often make the words written under the image our own: "Jesus I trust in You."

Acts 4:32-35; Ps 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-2; 1 Jn 5:1-6; Jn 20:19-31

Homily begins at 28:43

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