If the Via Lucis has been buried, the Divine Mercy devotion certainly has taken off in many places. Is it the connection with St John Paul? Or is St Faustina more of a saint and inspiration for our time?
154. In connection with the octave of Easter, recent years have witnessed the development and diffusion of a special devotion to the Divine Mercy based on the writings of Sr. Faustina Kowalska who was canonized 30 April 2000. It concentrates on the mercy poured forth in Christ’s death and resurrection, fount of the Holy Spirit who forgives sins and restores joy at having been redeemed. Since the liturgy of the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday – as it is now called (Cf. Notificazione of the CDWDS (5.5.2000)) – is the natural locus in which to express man’s acceptance of the Redeemer’s mercy, the faithful should be taught to understand this devotion in the light of the liturgical celebrations of these Easter days. Indeed, “the paschal Christ is the definitive incarnation of mercy, his living sign which is both historico-salvific and eschatological. At the same time, the Easter liturgy places the words of the psalm on our lips: “I shall sing forever of the Lord’s mercy” (Ps 89 2)”( John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia 8).
Some have grumbled about the Divine Mercy novena overshadowing the Triduum and the first week of Easter. There is not really any concern expressed here as it has been for other pious traditions nudging aside the Church’s liturgical life. Make of that what you will. The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy is online at the Vatican site.