Thousands celebrate Divine Mercy

Faithful gather for annual conference

Upwards of 3,000 people packed into Dublin’s RDS at the weekend to celebrate the Divine Mercy Conference. While many Irish eyes were on Twickenham in hope of a rugby win over England, pilgrims at the RDS had only one thing on their mind – the ineffable mercy of God.

Divine Mercy emphasises devotion to the merciful love of God and the desire to let that love and mercy flow through one’s own heart towards those in need of it.

The devotion, beloved of Pope John Paul II, is due to the apparitions of Jesus received by Polish nun St Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), who is known as the Apostle of Mercy.

The keynote speaker was renowned Dominican preacher Fr Timothy Radcliffe.

Fr Radcliffe reminded pilgrims of the primacy of love and mercy which, he said, is being emphasised by Pope Francis in a particular way.

He warned against a tendency among some religious believers to act as police monitoring the lives of others. “If we go on trying to spot error in people all the time then we’re going to lose the core of the Gospel which St Faustina understood, which is that we are loved unconditionally.

“God wants us to grow up in to the freedom of adult Christians,” Fr Radcliffe said.

As Fr Radcliffe began to speak a small group – who later identified themselves as the Legion of St Joseph – began loudly praying the rosary in an apparent act of protest. However, pilgrims reacted quickly taking to their feet with a rousing round of applause for Fr Radcliffe, insisting that he be heard.