May the Saints & Feast Days for the month of April inspire you to grow closer to Christ Jesus. The month of April is dedicated to the Holy Spirit.

April 2: Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday of the Lord’s Passion we commemorate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem,the beginning of the week to remember Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. We proclaim Christ as Victor: “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord”. But by our faith, we know that His triumph is over sin and death, making our peace with God, and opening the gate of Eternal Life with the Holy Trinity. The Mass this day presents both His triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the story of His passion. This reminds us that His triumph was not what was expected, but it was a triumph over our true enemies.

“Christ Jesus, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance,he humbled himself, becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross”.

(Phil 2:6-8)

April 6: Holy Thursday

Two Masses are allowed on Holy Thursday—the Chrism Mass and the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. In each diocese, there is a Chrism Mass, or Mass of the Holy Oils, said in the morning at the cathedral of the diocese. The holy oils blessed by the bishop are used throughout the diocese for the following year in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and the Anointing of the Sick. This Mass also celebrates the institution of the priesthood. During the evening of Holy Thursday, the Mass of the Lord’s Supper is celebrated. It is celebrated in the evening because the Passover began at sundown. There is only one Mass, at which the whole community and priests of the parish participate. This Mass recalls the institution of the Holy Eucharist and the priesthood. During this Mass the Gloria is sung, and the bells are rung. After the Gloria, there is no more music or bells until the Easter Vigil. After the Communion Prayer, there is no final blessing. The Holy Eucharist is carried in procession through Church and then transferred into a place of reposition. After the Mass, we reflect on the Agony in the Garden, and the arrest and imprisonment of Jesus. The altar is stripped bare; crosses are removed or covered.

“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here and watch with Me … watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

– Mat 26:38-41

April 7: Good Friday

Today the whole Church mourns the death of our Savior. This is a day set aside for fasting and prayer. According to the Church’s long-standing tradition, the sacraments are not celebrated on Good Friday or Holy Saturday. Instead of Mass we hold a service that is the “Celebration of the Lord’s Passion,” around three o’clock in the afternoon when Christ expired. The service is divided into three parts: Liturgy of the Word, Veneration of the Cross and Holy Communion. Then there is a “Prayer After Communion,” and a “Prayer Over the People,” and everyone departs in silence.

“Yet it was our pain that He bore, our sufferings He endured. We thought of Him as stricken, struck down by God and afflicted, but He was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity. He bore the punishment that makes us whole, by His wounds we were healed”.

– Isa 53: 4-5.

April 9: Easter Sunday The Resurrection of the Lord

“He is risen. The resurrection of Christ is a pledge of our own resurrection. It is the foundation upon which our faith rests. It is the guarantee of our redemption and God’s assurance that our sins are forgiven and that we are called to eternal life. Christ, the innocent One, has reconciled sinners to the Father. The Israelites marked the doors of their houses with the blood of the paschal lamb. We are the new Israel, and “Christ our Pasch is sacrificed.” We mark ourselves with His blood, whenever we receive the Holy Eucharist”. – The Light of the World by Benedict Baur, O.S.B

“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for HE HAS RISEN, as He said. Come, see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples that HE HAS RISEN from the dead.”

– Matthew 28:5-7

April 16: Divine Mercy Sunday

In the visions to St.Faustina Kowalska, our Lord called for a special feast day to be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. Today, that feast day is known as Divine Mercy Sunday, so named by Pope St. John Paul II at the canonization of St. Faustina on April 30, 2000.

On Good Friday, 1937, Jesus requested that St. Faustina make a special novena before the Feast of Mercy, from Good Friday through the following Saturday. The special intentions for each day of this novena, along with an email reminder, can be found at this link:

“My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and a shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.”

From St. Faustina’s Diary: Divine Mercy in my Soul

April 25: Feast of St. Mark

St. Mark was a Jew by birth and the son of Mary who owned the home, a meeting place for the first Christians in Jerusalem (Acts 12:12). A close friendship existed between St. Mark and St. Peter. He was Peter’s companion, disciple, and interpreter, and Mark was present at Peter’s preaching in Rome. According to some of the early church fathers, Mark wrote his gospel at the request of the Romans who wanted to have St. Peter’s preaching committed to writing. St. Peter reviewed the work and approved it to be read during liturgical assemblies.

There are several indications that this gospel was written for gentile believers in Rome, not the least of which is that this is the only gospel that records the Roman Centurion’s declaration at the death of Christ that “truly this Man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39). St. Mark was appointed the bishop of Alexandria and died a martyr’s death by being dragged through the streets around 68 AD.

Now after John (the Baptist) was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand,repent and believe in the gospel”.

– Mark 1: 14-15

April 29: St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380)

St. Catherine of Siena was canonized on June 29, 1461, and declared a Doctor of the Church by St. Pope Paul VI in October 1970. She is best known for her efforts to convince Pope Gregory XI to move the papacy from Avignon, France back to Rome. Pope Gregory returned his administration to Rome in January 1377. She is also known for her book on mystical theology, The Dialogue of Divine Providence, which is a dialogue between a soul who “rises up” to God and God himself.

“We are of such value to God that He came to live among us … and to guide us home. He will go to any length to seek us, even to be lifted high upon the cross to draw us back to Himself. We can only respond by loving God for His love.”

– St. Catherine of Siena
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