THE ICON OF DIVINE MERCY

A Brief Instruction about the ICON

 

 

The icon is 6′ x 4′ and is written by Fabio Nones.

 

Please view the video below:

A Brief Instruction on Sacred Art and Icons

March 4, 2012

In the rich Roman Catholic tradition we are accustomed to seeing sacred art in our parishes.  Stained glass windows, statues and paintings depicting the life of Jesus, the apostles, the holy family and saints adorn our churches, chapels and homes.  The rich beauty of these items offers to us an opportunity for a deepening of prayer through the stories they tell.

Icons are different, not only in technique and style but in substance.  Traditionally a form taken up in the Eastern Catholic Church, icons come with a unique tradition of their own.  Using a strict code or method for creating icons, iconographers are said to “write” icons, not paint them.  Using traditional materials such as egg tempera paint and gold leaf, they are required to pray and fast while creating an icon. The  image itself is not a “realistic” image in the way a great painting might be viewed, but they offer us a way to the “real” Christ and a portal to prayer.

 

Because they are “written,” we are invited to “read” them.  Reading an icon is much like reading sacred scripture. We all know that reading spiritual books are good for the soul and our spiritual life, but we also know that reading scripture is different – it is a gateway to God.  Words have a special meaning in our faith.

 

To take it even deeper: Reflect on John Ch. 1:

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 

Holy Veneration

It is important to note that while icons may be venerated - to honor with a ritual act of devotion - this is not idolatry which is to worship a physical object as God.  In our tradition we venerate the cross on Good Friday, light candles in the Mary Chapel and kneel and pray before a relic of a saint.  These are all ritual acts of devotion that bring us closer to God through them.

 

The Divine Mercy Image

Maria Faustina Kowalska, known as Saint Faustina was a nun, mystic and visionary in Poland at the beginning of the 20th century.

On February 22, 1931 she reports in her diary of a vision of Christ with a command:

 

“In the evening, when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me, Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory”. [1]

 

In the image described by Saint Faustina, Jesus was depicted with his right hand raised in blessing to mankind, as if saying: “Peace be with you”, these are words we hear in the liturgy on the Sunday after Easter. On this Sunday St. John’s gospel relates the resurrected Jesus appearance in the room of the last supper and of the institution of the sacrament of reconciliation. In the painting we see the rays of blood and water flowing from the veiled pierced heart of Jesus, and the wounds on his hands and feet giving witness to the events of Good Friday. The picture of Divine Mercy unites the two gospel events, which is the greatest witness of the merciful love of God for all his people.

 

It is through the visions of Christ given to St. Faustina that became the institution of the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday on the Sunday following Easter.  From that declaration our parish received its name “Divine Mercy”.

 

Our Divine Mercy Icon

In 2010 a generous anonymous donor came forward to commission an original piece of art depicting the Divine Mercy image.  The Arts and Treasures committee commissioned an internationally known iconographer Fabio Nones, doctor of theology and director of an iconographic centre in Trento, Italy to create our original icon of the Divine Mercy.

Professor Nones’ commentary upon this creation: Gesù si presenta a poste chiuse. Dietro di lui la porta è chiusa con la serratura. Gesù supera le nostre paure. Il drappo rosso indica l’interno di una casa e la colonna è l’unione del cielo e della terra. Gesù è vestito di luce bianca perché è risorto. Con la mano destra benedice e con la sinistra indica il suo costato. Dal cuore sgorgano un raggio rosso e uno bianco dipinti con oro e argento. Lo sguardo è sereno e calmo e invita tutti a venire a lui. Sulle mani e sui piedi ha le piaghe della croce. Il piedistallo su cui sta indica la sua dignità regale. La scritta in alto significa Gesù Cristo.

 

 “Jesus is presented standing before a closed room with a locked door.  Jesus overcomes our fears.  The red cloth draped onto the marble column represents the union of heaven and of earth.  Jesus is clothed in the white light of resurrection and with His right hand He offers a blessing and with the left hand He points to His side.  From His heart flow red and white rays painted over with gold and silver. The look in His eyes is serene and calm, and He invites everyone to come to Him.  His hands and feet have the wounds of the cross. The marble pedestal on which He stands represents His royal dignity, His kingship.  The inscription at the top means “Jesus Christ.” 

 

Timeline of the Divine Mercy Icon:

February 22, 1931 – St. Faustina reports a vision of Jesus commissioning her to have a painting made of the image of Jesus.

April 22, 2001 – Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated for the first time and Universal Feast of the Church

August 2002 – Faribault Catholic Community named Divine Mercy Catholic Church

February 22, 2012 – Icon of the Divine Mercy is unveiled in Divine Mercy Catholic Church on Ash Wednesday

April 15, 2012 – Dedication of Divine Mercy icon

 

[1] Diary of St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul 47-8.

 

 Divine Mercy Church address: 139 Mercy Drive

Faribault, MN 55021

Divine Mercy Parish Office phone: 507-334-2266

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Archdiocese

of St. Paul

Parish Office

Father Tschann Ministry Building

4 Second Ave SW

Faribault, MN 55021

Office: 507-334-2266

Fax: 507-334-3895

Emergency: 507-334-8267

Divine Mercy Church

139 Mercy Drive

Faribault, MN 55021

Adoration Chapel

Mother Samuel Building

104 Second Ave SW

Faribault, MN  55021

Immaculate Conception

Only used for school masses

faith formation

Corner of Division St. & 3rd Ave. SW    

Faribault, MN  55021