In February 2000, I met 92 year old Inez Dawes Carlson, who told me she met Jesus Christ in the flesh in 1925 when she was just 17 years old. Inez eventually died in obscurity, but not before I captured her story on tape.

In 1931, St. Faustina had her encounter with Jesus (AFTER Inez’s):

“Kowalska wrote that on the night of Sunday, 22 February 1931, while she was in her cell in Płock, Jesus appeared wearing a white garment with red and pale rays…”

In 2004, on a “random” Sunday drive with my family we impulsively visited the Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee. Inside, I recognized then-Bishop Timothy Dolan receiving his public in the center isle.

At the front of the church, I saw a crowd gathered around a life-size painting of Jesus. Deacons in black tunics and hats with purple piping were gently touching people’s rosaries to the painting. It was Adolf Hyla’s version of “The Divine Mercy,” painted in Cracow in 1944, as a “votive” for his family, who had miraculously escaped death in World War II.

I had no idea of the painting’s importance, but I immediately remembered Inez’s description of her encounter with Jesus and how it matched the painting perfectly. She said He “Had a white garb on that day, and there was a glow about Him, with beautiful, effervescent, translucent, and luminescent eyes that I shall never forget. His beard was parted in the middle, and His hair was somewhat curly”.

Then I had my opportunity to tell Bishop Dolan Inez’s story. After listening intently he slowly turned back to the front of the church, where the Divine Mercy painting just “happened” to be touring the U.S., and astonishingly declared while gesturing with his right hand toward the alter “I believe the old woman – therefore that the painting must be authentic.” Turns out that painting is mega-famous in the Catholic world, with 100s of millions of devotees globally.

The next year, 2005, was the very first “Divine Mercy Sunday” declared by John Paul II. Divine Mercy Sunday is “The first Sunday after Easter” – and that day is TODAY.

Coincidence? St. Faustina was born on August 25th, my mother’s birthday. The Divine Mercy Parish is located on Cherry St, the same name of street where I raised my family. The art I published here was originally called “Untitled #657” randomly by Canva. The street number of our house on Cherry was also 657. “Untitled” was the actual name of my late son Drew’s band. The Divine Mercy church is located in Shenandoah, same name of the next subdivision I moved into, same name as the only song my wife sung solo as a Disney entertainer, same song I once sent to my estranged siblings to tell them I missed them. It all may sound crazy, but it happened to me.

I see a pattern, not a coincidence, and that pattern tells me my Miracle in Milwaukee and today’s celebration of Divine Mercy were for me. I’ve ALWAYS needed Divine Mercy. Just in case you are NOT perfect either – TODAY can be your day – Divine Mercy Sunday! Bishop Francis Y. Kalabat told me directly that “Communion, confession, and mass within one week of Divine Mercy Sunday = NO Purgatory.” I’m going to check that out. That Divine Mercy keeps sounding better and better. To celebrate today, I am going to watch my favorite Jesus movie growing up – “coincidentally” made the year I was born – 1961. Enjoy ~ it’s free: “King of Kings”. ~Gregory J. Swan, April 16, 2023 | Divine Mercy Sunday