There's Something Special Here
Eden Hill, home of the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, is in full bloom this spring. Pilgrims from all over the United States and Canada are beginning to ascend the Hill to the Shrine for the summer, and mercy is descending upon them.
On Saturday, May 26, at 8 a.m., two buses full of eager parishioners from St. Lawrence O'Toole and Maria Reina de la Paz parish in Hartford, Connecticut, led by their youthful and excited pastor Fr. Alex Avendano, embarked upon their journey to the Shrine. Upon arriving at the National Shrine, they were amazed at the beauty of God's creation on the Shrine grounds.
With picnic lunches packed from home, they enjoyed fellowship with one another in our picnic table tent available to all pilgrims.
Father Avendano said, "It has been an absolutely beautiful day here. There is definitely something special here."
"And we are just getting started!" a parishioner added.
Praying the Way of the Cross along the pathway of life-size Stations of the Cross, visiting the Shrine of the Holy Innocents, honoring Our Lady at the Lourdes Grotto, and visiting the Divine Mercy Gift Shop were just some of the things pilgrims could choose to do in their day here.
At 1 p.m. the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for Eucharistic Adoration in the Shrine and pilgrims were able to receive God's mercy in the Sacrament of Confession. This led into the Holy Mass celebrated by Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, renowned expert on Divine Mercy.
Today also just so happened to be the Feast of St. Philip Neri. Father Seraphim shared that St. Philip Neri had a playful sense of humor and a joyful heart. Reportedly, St. Philip said that a joyful heart is more easily made perfect than a downcast heart.
Saint Philip Neri died of an enlarged heart. It was so large that it broke two of his ribs. "Scholars would say that this is partly natural and partly supernatural," Fr. Seraphim noted. Saint Philip Neri was so filled with the love of God, that his heart grew.
"Saint Philip Neri was transformed by Christ's love, by the Blood and Water which gushed forth from His Heart," Fr. Seraphim shared. "May we, too, allow the Blood and Water to change our hearts, and transform us into Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Following the Holy Mass, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy was prayed in the Hour of Mercy.
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We would like to invite you to plan a pilgrimage to National Shrine of The Divine Mercy with your prayer group, parish, or family. Buses must register in advance. Register here or by emailing email@example.com or by calling (413) 298-1119.