Today is April 2nd - the Eve of Divine Mercy Sunday. 11 years ago, a Pope, who was instrumental in spreading the message of Divine Mercy, the Pope who declared the second Sunday of Easter (i.e. the first Sunday after Easter Sunday) as the Divine Mercy Sunday while canonizing St. Maria Faustina, died on April 2nd, exactly on the Eve of Divine Mercy Sunday.
"The Message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me… which I took with me to the See of Peter and which in a sense forms the image of this Pontificate." Pope John Paul II wrote in his encyclical on Divine Mercy.Pope John Paul II was feeling very weak on the 2nd of April, 2005. He had made his confession that day. He got inspirations to celebrate the Divine Mercy Festal Mass that evening itself, which he ignored twice. But when he got the inspiration a third time, he asked for arrangements to be made to celebrate the Festal Mass. According the Canonical Calendar, a feast starts on its Eve after 5 pm. The Pope had made his last confession, celebrated the Festal Mass, received the Holy Communion and breathed his last about 28 minutes later.
Now, when we make confession of our sins, all our sins are forgiven, but not all punishments are wiped out. That’s why we need to make ourselves spotless and clean through purification of sins in Purgatory. But, whoever goes to confession during the days of the Octave of Easter and receives communion on the Divine Mercy Feast is wiped clean of all his sins and is made spotless.
Thus, the great Pope of Mercy, entered spotless and divine in the kingdom of Heaven right upon his death. This is a special grace he received from God for spreading the message of Divine mercy. Of course, the Pope’s devotion and dedication to the Holy Mother is well known and well talked about. But this is a rather unusual information I came across on the internet. It isn’t surprising that the Holy Father was canonized a saint soon after his death, one the quickest canonizations, I think. Though he died on 2nd April, his Feast Day is celebrated on 22nd October.
The link to this story, the Message on Divine Mercy and life of St. Faustina is right here: http://www.thedivinemercy.org/news/Why-Is-Faustina-So-Important-6455?source=FBDM