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Pope asks for new Catholic institutions of mercy, charity


  • Pope Francis speaks as he leads a prayer service on the eve of the feast of Divine Mercy in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 2. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pope Francis speaks as he leads a prayer service on the eve of the feast of Divine Mercy in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 2. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Pilgrims participate in a prayer service led by Pope Francis on the eve of the feast of Divine Mercy in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 2. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • An image of Jesus of Divine Mercy is seen as Pope Francis leads a prayer service on the eve of the feast of Divine Mercy in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 2. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Nuns socialize in St. Peter's Square after a prayer service led by Pope Francis on the eve of the feast of Divine Mercy in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 2. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis asked Catholic dioceses around the world to set up a permanent memorial of the Year of Mercy by establishing a hospital, home for the aged or school in an under-served area.

Celebrating Divine Mercy Sunday with an evening prayer vigil April 2 and a morning Mass April 3, the pope said the idea came to him during a meeting with a charitable organization and he decided to mention it at the vigil with participants of the European gathering of the World Apostolic Congress of Mercy and followers of the Divine Mercy devotion.

"As a reminder, a 'monument' let's say, to this Year of Mercy, how beautiful it would be if in every diocese there were a structural work of mercy: a hospital, a home for the aged or abandoned children, a school where there isn't one, a home for recovering drug addicts -- so many things could be done," the pope said.

"Let's think about it and speak with the bishops," the pope told thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet of St. Faustina Kowalska, and also to remember St. John Paul II, who promoted the devotion and died April 2, 2005.

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