Diocese of Sibu, Sarawak, Malaysia
For the Catholic diocese of Sibu in Sarawak, Malaysia, pilgrimage is the dominant theme for the celebration of The Jubilee Year of Mercy. The 'Road to Mercy' pilgrimage was launched on 8th December 2015 some hours even before – taking into account the time zone – Pope Francis opened the Holy Door at St Peter's in Rome! Starting at St Teresa's cathedral in Sibu a pilgrimage cross and icon of mercy will travel to the 12 parishes of the diocese and stay a month in each. During that month each parish in turn will become the central focus of the Road of Mercy, and prayer and activities will centre around the theme of mercy.
Images of St Faustina Kowalska, the early 20th century Polish nun and mystic who launched the worldwide Divine Mercy devotion, and Karol Woityla who as a young man in Krakow was fascinated that this message of mercy arose in Poland between the two World Wars, and later as John Paul II, established a feast of Divine Mercy for the first Sunday of Easter, will also be carried from parish to parish.
Standing in this tradition Pope Francis has given his own slant to the theme of mercy.
"St Faustina's was a highly spiritual version of mercy, focused on compassion for lost souls and people suffering under the weight of sin. Pope Francis’ brand of mercy is earthier, insisting on finding expression in concrete acts of solidarity with the poor, with migrants and refugees, with prisoners, and other victims of what he calls a “throwaway culture.” ( John Allen jr in Crux)