The Octave of Easter
The Octave of Easter is the eight days which stretch from Easter Sunday to the second Sunday of Easter. Read more about its history and meaning.
Divine Mercy Sunday (The Second Sunday of Easter)
In 1931, Jesus appeared to St. Faustina in Poland and expressed his desire for a feast celebrating his mercy. The Feast of Mercy was to be on the Sunday after Easter and was to include a public blessing and liturgical veneration of His image with the inscription “Jesus, I trust in You.” Learn more about St. Faustina and her vision as well as find prayers related to Divine Mercy Sunday at The Divine Mercy.
Good Shepherd Sunday (The Fourth Sunday of Easter)
Many Christians are familiar with the verse in the Gospels where Jesus says plainly, “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). For this and other reasons, early Christians clung on to this image of Jesus and some of the earliest artwork we have is of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Ascension of Our Lord
The Solemnity of The Ascension of Our Lord marks Jesus’ ascension into heaven 40 days after his Resurrection. The Ascension is the completion of the Easter mysteries of Jesus’ life, passion, death and resurrection, and is the final step before the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
- Read more about the Ascension of Our Lord.
- Reflect on the Ascension of Our Lord with this 3-Minute Retreat slideshow.
Pentecost marks the occasion of God sending the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ disciples after his Resurrection. The book of Acts describes how the disciples were gathered together in one place on the day of Pentecost. The Jewish feast of Pentecost (Shavuot or the Feast of Weeks) was a day that commemorated the giving of the law to Moses, a day soon to be marked as well by the giving of the Holy Spirit. The day of Pentecost was a turning point for the disciples: Before Pentecost, the disciples were unsure of what they were to do next and spent most of their time in hiding. After Pentecost and [receiving] the gifts of the Holy Spirit, they understood their mission to spread the Good News of Jesus, and they had the courage to come out of hiding and speak openly about who Jesus was and what he had accomplished by his dying and rising. On Pentecost, the Holy Spirit gave the disciples the strength to fulfill their commission to spread the Good News of Jesus…. The Solemnity of Pentecost, on the fiftieth day of Easter, concludes the Easter season.1
- (excerpted from https://www.usccb.org/prayer-worship/liturgical-year/easter)