"Today, in this church that has become a shrine of mercy in Rome, and on this Sunday that St. John Paul II dedicated to Divine Mercy 20 years ago, we confidently welcome this message. Jesus said to St. Faustina: 'I am love and mercy itself; there is no human misery that could measure up to my mercy'."
The pope recalled that St. Faustina had told Jesus that she had given him everything. But in reply Christ said to her: "You have not offered me the thing that is truly yours."
"What had that holy nun kept for herself?" he asked. "Jesus said to her with kindness: 'My daughter, give me your failings.' We too can ask ourselves: 'Have I given my failings to the Lord? Have I let him see me fall so that he can raise me up?'"
"Or is there something I still keep inside me? A sin, a regret from the past, a wound that I have inside, a grudge against someone, an idea about a particular person... The Lord waits for us to offer him our failings so that he can help us experience his mercy."
Following Mass, Pope Francis recited the Regina Coeli prayer inside the church.
Speaking shortly before the prayer, he said: "The response of Christians in the storms of life and history can only be mercy: compassionate love among ourselves and towards everyone, especially those who suffer, those who struggle most, those who are abandoned..."
"Not pietism, not assistance, but compassion, which comes from the heart. And divine mercy comes from the Heart of the Risen Christ."
"It springs from the always open wound of his side, open for us, who always need forgiveness and comfort. Christian mercy also inspires just sharing among nations and their institutions, in order to face the present crisis in solidarity."
He then greeted Eastern Christians celebrating Easter this Sunday.
"In particular, I rejoice with the Eastern Catholic communities which, for ecumenical reasons, celebrate Easter together with the Orthodox ones," he said. "May this fraternity be a comfort where Christians are a small minority."
Santo Spirito in Sassia, a 16th-century church originally built as a hospital, contains relics of both St. Faustina Kowalska and St. John Paul II.
(Story continues below)
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Between 1934 and her death, St. Faustina recorded her conversations with Jesus in a diary that was later published in dozens of languages. With her confessor Fr. Michał Sopoćko, she asked an artist to paint an image of Jesus with his left hand pointing to his heart, which emits two rays, one red and one white. It became known as the Divine Mercy image or the Image of Merciful Jesus.
St. Faustina became the first saint of the new millennium when she was canonized April 30, 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
John Paul II died April 2, 2005, the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday. He was beatified on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2011 and canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2014.