The practice of praying novenas ( the word 'Novena', ( nine) from the Latin, the common international language of it's day, New Testament times) is derived from Scripture. After the Lord’s Ascension ( Mark 16:19), the apostles returned to Jerusalem, entered the upper room, and "all these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren" (Acts 1:14).
There, about 120 people, led by Peter, prayed for nine days in preparation for the day of Pentecost, the fiftieth day after the Resurrection, when the Holy Spirit came to them "with power from on high", as the Lord had promised ( Luke 24:45-49).
We see in scripture, our Lord instituted the first "novena", or nine days of prayer. On the day of His Ascension, (Mark 16:19) Jesus sent His apostles back to Jerusalem to pray. The Gospel of Luke tells us that on that day "He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.’" (Luke 24:45-49)
Paul, already in the first century, notes the importance and annual celebration of this festival to the early Christian community,( Acts 20:16 – "For Paul had decided to sail past Ephesus, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost.". And, 1 Corinthians 16:8 – " But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, ..").
Six Basic Things to Remember About Prayer
Divine Mercy Devotion ( ongoing) -
"Mercy" is found in the Bible over 120 times, - over 60 in the old Testament, and over 50 in the New Testament.
See also -
"Divine Mercy: A Guide From Genesis to Benedict XVI"
"Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul"
Divine Mercy Backround
Lagiewniki is where the nun and mystic St. Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) lived with her congregation. John Paul II canonized the Polish religious April 30, 2000, and announced on the same day that "throughout the world, the second Sunday of Easter will receive the name of Divine Mercy Sunday."
In a Zenit news article prior to the first international Congress, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said: "Many believers took it as a sign the fact that John Paul II died on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday."
The Cardinal also emphasized performing works of mercy that flow from our experience of being close to the Lord.
He describes such works of mercy as "the triumph of living mercy" that gives our witness credibility. Words are not enough.
For example, many of the faithful pray the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy at the bedside of a dying person. Jesus told St. Faustina that this is one of the best means of assisting the dying (see Diary of St. Faustina, 811 and 1541).
The cardinal said that the Divine Mercy event will have an interreligious component through the participation of Jews, Muslims and Buddhists: "The annual congress is a bridge to other religions, but also reaching out to agnostics and atheists."
That is why, the cardinal said, the first world congress on mercy was intended to give a "very radical encouragement" to rediscover the core of the Gospel, that is to say, mercy.
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