Prayers of the Divine Mercy

Listen to Blessed Assurance to Blessed Assurance

Divine Mercy Chaplet

1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.

2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).

4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Sister Maria Faustina KowalskaIn 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy, Sister tells us:

"I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it. Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to look through Our Lord's wounds and I understood that God blessed the earth for the sake of Jesus."

Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:

"I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just punishment...."

The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on ordinary rosary beads:

"First say one 'Our Father', 'Hail Mary', and 'I believe'. Then on the large beads say the following words: 'Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.' On the smaller beads you are to say the following words: 'For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.' In conclusion you are to say these words three times: 'Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world'."

Jesus said later to Sister Faustina:

"Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who trust in My Mercy...."

"....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior".

Prayer of Entrustment to the Divine Mercy

O Lord, our God.
We place our trust in You, 
Because you are mercy itself.
We repent of our sins and turn to You for mercy.
We trust You to provide for our every need, according to Your will. 
Help us to forgive others as You forgive us. 
We promise to be merciful by our deeds, words and prayers.
Though we have fears because of human weakness, we rely on Your infinite goodness and mercy. 
We entrust to You the future of our planet, our Church, our nations, our families and all our needs.  
With loud cries we implore your mercy on us and on the whole world.
Look upon us, created in your image and likeness.
Form us in the Heart of Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit into the living images of mercy.
May all come to know the depth of Your mercy and sing the praises of Your mercy forever. Amen!

Litany of Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy, gushing forth from the bosom of the Father, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, greatest attribute of GOD, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, incomprehensible mystery, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, fountain gushing forth from the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, unfathomed by any intellect, human or angelic, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, from which wells forth all life and happiness, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, better than the heavens, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, source of miracles and wonders, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, encompassing the whole universe, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, descending to earth in the Person of the Incarnate Word, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, which flowed out from the open wound of the Heart of JESUS, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, enclosed in the Heart of JESUS for us, and especially for sinners, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, unfathomed in the institution of the Sacred Host, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, in the founding of Holy Church, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, in our justification through JESUS CHRIST, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, accompanying us through our whole life, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, embracing us especially at the hour of death, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, endowing us with immortal life, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, accompanying us every moment of our life, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, shielding us from the fire of hell, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, in the conversion of hardened sinners, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, astonishment for Angels, incomprehensible to Saints, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, unfathomed in all the mysteries of GOD, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, lifting us out of every misery, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, source of our happiness and joy, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, in calling us forth from nothingness to existence, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, embracing all the works of His hands, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, crown of all of god's handiwork, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, in which we are all immersed, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, sweet relief for anguished hearts, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, only hope of despairing souls, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, repose of hearts, peace amidst fear, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, delight and ecstasy of holy souls, I trust in You.
Divine Mercy, inspiring hope against all hope, I trust in You.

Eternal GOD, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself. Amen.

The Litany of the Mercy of God

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Mercy of God, supreme attribute of the Creator, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, greatest perfection of the Redeemer, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, unfathomable love of the Sanctifier, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, inconceivable mystery of the Holy Trinity, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, expression of the greatest power of the Most High, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, revealed in the creation of the heavenly Spirits, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, summoning us to existence out of nothingness, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, embracing the whole universe, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, bestowing upon us immortal life, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, shielding us from merited punishments, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, raising us from the misery of sin, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, justifying us in the Word Incarnate, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, flowing from the wounds of Christ, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, gushing from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, giving to us the Most Blessed Virgin Mary as Mother of Mercy, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, shown in the revelation of the Divine mysteries, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, manifested in the institution of the universal Church, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, contained in the institution of the Holy Sacraments, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, bestowed upon mankind in the Sacraments of Baptism and Penance, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, granted in the Sacraments of the Altar and the Priesthood, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, shown in calling us to the Holy Faith, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, revealed in the conversion of sinners, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, manifested in the sanctification of the just, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, fulfilled in the perfecting of the saintly, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, font of health for the sick and the suffering, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, solace of anguished hearts, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, hope of souls afflicted with despair, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, always and everywhere accompanying all people, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, anticipating us with graces, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, peace of the dying, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, refreshment and relief of the Souls in Purgatory, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, heavenly delight of the blessed, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, crown of all the Saints, We trust in Thee.
Mercy of God, inexhaustible source of miracles, We trust in Thee.

Lamb of God, Who didst show us Thy greatest mercy in redeeming the world on the Cross,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who dost mercifully offer Thyself for us in every Holy Mass,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world through Thine inexhaustible Mercy,
Have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

V. The tender mercies of the Lord are over all His works.
R. The mercies of the Lord I will sing forever.

Let Us Pray: O God, Whose Mercy is infinite and Whose treasures of pity are inexhaustible, graciously look down upon us and increase in us Thy Mercy so that we may never, even in the greatest trials, give way to despair, but may always trustfully conform ourselves to Thy Holy Will, which is Mercy itself. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King of Mercy, Who with Thee and the Holy Spirit doth show us Mercy forever and ever. Amen.

Divine Mercy Novena (shorter version)

I fly to Your Mercy, Compassionate God, Who alone are good. Although my misery is great and my offenses are many, I trust in Your Mercy because You are the God of Mercy, and it has never been heard of in all ages, nor do Heaven or Earth remember, that a soul trusting in Your Mercy has been disappointed.

(State your intentions)

Jesus, Friend of a lonely heart, You are my haven.
You are my peace.
You are my salvation.
You are my serenity in moments of struggle and amidst an ocean of doubts. Amen.

Divine Mercy Novena

Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday.  He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:

"These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy."

In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:

"On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
Day 6 Day 7 Day 8 Day 9  

Day 1

"Today bring to Me all mankind, especially all sinners, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me."

Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen.

Day 2

"Today bring to Me the Souls of Priests and Religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave me strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them as through channels My mercy flows out upon mankind."

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service,* that they may perform worthy works of mercy; and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard -- upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

* In the original text, Saint Faustina uses the pronoun "us" since she was offering this prayer as a consecrated religious sister. The wording adapted here is intended to make the prayer suitable for universal use. 

Day 3

"Today bring to Me all Devout and Faithful Souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were a drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness." 

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this grace of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Day 4

"Today bring Me those who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know Me, I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy."  

   Most compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

    Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe in You, and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your Mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "the pagans." Since the pontificate of Pope John XXIII, the Church has seen fit to replace this term with clearer and more appropriate terminology.

Day 5

"Today bring Me the souls of those who have separated themselves from My Church, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During My bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart, that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church My wounds heal and in this way they alleviate My Passion."

    Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You . Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to glorify the generosity of Your Mercy.

    Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Son's Church, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in His Most Compassionate Heart. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great Mercy for endless ages. Amen.

*Our Lord's original words here were "heretics and schismatics," since He spoke to Saint Faustina within the context of her times. As of the Second Vatican Council, Church authorities have seen fit not to use those designations in accordance with the explanation given in the Council's Decree on Ecumenism (n.3). Every pope since the Council has reaffirmed that usage. Saint Faustina herself, her heart always in harmony with the mind of the Church, most certainly would have agreed. When at one time, because of the decisions of her superiors and father confessor, she was not able to execute Our Lord's inspirations and orders, she declared: "I will follow Your will insofar as You will permit me to do so through Your representative. O my Jesus " I give priority to the voice of the Church over the voice with which You speak to me" (497). The Lord confirmed her action and praised her for it.

Day 6

"Today bring Me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My Mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence."

   Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all Heaven into ecstasy and they are the Heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

    Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of Mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your Mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Day 7

"Today bring Me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My Mercy , and immerse them in My Mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death."

   Most Merciful Jesus, Whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your Mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your Mercy; and united to You, O Jesus, they carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your Mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

    Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless Mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their hearts, overflowing with joy, sing a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You, O God; Show them Your Mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, Who said to them during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless Mercy of His, He, Himself, will defend as His glory. Amen.

*The text leads one to conclude that in the first prayer directed to Jesus, Who is the Redeemer, it is "victim" souls and contemplatives that are being prayed for; those persons, that is, that voluntarily offered themselves to God for the salvation of their neighbor (see Col 1:24; 2 Cor 4:12). This explains their close union with the Savior and the extraordinary efficacy that their invisible activity has for others. In the second prayer, directed to the Father from whom comes "every worthwhile gift and every genuine benefit,"we recommend the "active" souls, who promote devotion to The Divine Mercy and exercise with it all the other works that lend themselves to the spiritual and material uplifting of their brethren.

Day 8

"Today bring Me the souls who are detained in Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My Mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My Justice. It is in Your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My Justice."

   Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your Justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of Purgatory, that there, too, the power of Your Mercy may be celebrated.

    Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded: Manifest Your Mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

Day 9

"Today bring Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My Mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My Soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: 'Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will." For them the last hope of salvation is to run to My Mercy."

   Most Merciful Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure Love let these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your Mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your Love, and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your Power.

    Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your Mercy Amen.

~~Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987

 

Prayer for the Sexually and Physically Abused

Divine Mercy, I beg of You to protect all those helpless children who are physically and sexually abused, especially by those whose duty it is to guide and protect them on earth. Send down Your enveloping cloak of Mercy and wrap it around these poor children, enfolding them in Your love and protection. Send forth Your rays of Blood and Water to cleanse and renew the souls of those who perpetrate these vile acts of Satan. Let the powerful image of Your Divine Mercy find a way of entering the homes of the families affected by physical and sexual abuse, and as You have promised, may Your graces flow from it to renew and restore them. O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in You.

~~from the Divine Mercy Apostolate Prayer book

Background of the Divine Mercy Devotion

From the diary of a young Polish nun, a special devotion began spreading throughout the world in the 1930s. The message is nothing new, but is a reminder of what the Church has always taught through scripture and tradition: that God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must show mercy and forgiveness. But in the Divine Mercy devotion, the message takes on a powerful new focus, calling people to a deeper understanding that God’s love is unlimited and available to everyone — especially the greatest sinners.

The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had begun to spread.

The message of mercy is that God loves us — all of us — no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message we can call to mind simply by remembering ABC.

A — Ask for His Mercy. God wants us to approach Him in prayer constantly, repenting of our sins and
asking Him to pour His mercy out upon us and upon the whole world.

B — Be merciful. God wants us to receive His mercy and let it flow through us to others. He wants us to
extend love and forgiveness to others just as He does to us.

C — Completely trust in Jesus. God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.

The Divine Mercy Devotion

Devotion to The Divine Mercy involves a total commitment to God as Mercy. It is a decision to trust completely in Him, to accept His mercy with thanksgiving, and to be merciful as He is merciful.

The devotional practices proposed in the diary of Saint Faustina and set forth in this website are completely in accordance with the teachings of the Church and are firmly rooted in the Gospel message of our Merciful Savior. Properly understood and implemented, they will help us grow as genuine followers of Christ.

Merciful Heart

There are two scriptural verses that we should keep in mind as we involve ourselves in these devotional practices:

1. "This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me" (Is 29:13);

2. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Mt 5:7).

It's an ironic and somewhat frightening fact that many of the most religious people of Christ's time (people who were actively practicing their religion and eagerly awaiting the promised Messiah) were not able to recognize Him when He came.

The Pharisees, to whom Christ was speaking in the first quotation above, were very devoted to the prayers, rules, and rituals of their religion; but over the years, these outer observances had become so important in themselves that their real meaning had been lost. The Pharisees performed all the prescribed sacrifices, said all the right prayers, fasted regularly, and talked a lot of about God, but none of it had touched their hearts. As a result, they had no relationship with God, they were not living the way He wanted them to live, and they were not prepared for the coming of Jesus.

When we look at the image of the Merciful Savior, or pause for prayer at three o'clock, or pray the Chaplet — are these things drawing us closer to the real sacramental life of the Church and allowing Jesus to transform our hearts? Or have they just become religious habits? In our daily lives are we growing more and more as people of mercy? Or are we just giving "lip service" to God's mercy?

Living the Message of Mercy

The devotional practices revealed through Saint Faustina were given to us as "vessels of mercy" through which God's love can be poured out upon the world, but they are not sufficient unto themselves. It's not enough for us to hang The Divine Mercy image in our homes, pray the Chaplet every day at three o'clock, and receive Holy Communion on the first Sunday after Easter. We also have to show mercy to our neighbors. Putting mercy into action is not an option of the Divine Mercy Devotion; it's a requirement!

Our Lord strongly speaks about this to Saint Faustina:

"I demand from you deeds of mercy which are to arise out of love for me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse yourself from it." (Diary, 742)

Like the gospel command, "Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful," this demand that we show mercy to our neighbors "always and everywhere" seems impossible to fulfill. But the Lord assures us that it is possible. "When a soul approaches Me with trust," He explains, "I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls" (Diary, 1074).

How do we "radiate" God's mercy to others? By our actions, our words, and our prayers. "In these three degrees," he tells Sister Faustina, "is contained the fullness of mercy" (Diary 742). We have all been called to this threefold practice of mercy, but we are not all called in the same way. We need to ask the Lord, who understands our individual personalities and situation, to help us recognize the various ways we can each show His mercy in our daily lives.

By asking for the Lord's mercy, trusting in His mercy, and sincerely trying to live His mercy in our lives, we can assure that we will never hear Him say of us, "Their hearts are far from Me," but rather that wonderful promise, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."

It is our hope that you will continue to read and reread the information on this website and make the prayers, attitudes, and practices presented a real part of your life, so that you may come to trust completely in God and live each day immersed in His merciful love — thus fulfilling the Lord's command to let your life "shine before people, so that they will see the good things you do and praise your Father in Heaven" (Mt 5:16).

~~Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987

NOTE from Anna: We are all called to emulate the Mercy of Christ by showing each other mercy here on earth. The Catholic Church teaches that there are many works of mercy that we may perform, both corporal and spiritual. While these works of mercy are excellent ways to atone for sin, they are better performed out of brotherly love and compassion, expanding the virtue of charity to its fullest sense. Please read more about the Works of Mercy, and consider adopting them as a way of life, mirroring the Mercy of God toward our brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Image of the Divine Mercy

The earliest element of the Devotion to the Divine Mercy revealed to St. Faustina was the Image. On February 22nd, 1931 Jesus appeared to her with rays radiating from His heart and said:

"Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus I trust in You.  I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and throughout the world." (Diary 47)

"I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory." (Diary 48)

"I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: 'Jesus, I trust in You.'" (Diary 327)

"The two rays denote Blood and Water. the pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. These rays shield souls from the wrath of My Father. Happy is the one who dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him." (Diary 299)

"Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush, lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace." (Diary 313)

"By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works." (Diary 742)

In these texts the Church's doctrine on images, justification and grace are explained. First, by itself an image is merely a painting, no matter how beautiful and expressive. Yet, it can point us the mysteries of the faith and dispose us to grasp and receive what it represents, in this case the Divine Mercy. It is thus a vessel, not the source, a reminder, not the reality. The reality is the merciful fountain of grace flowing from the pierced Heart of Christ on the Cross, and flowing out visibly to represent the visible, that is the sacramental, signs of grace, Baptism and Eucharist, standing for all the sacraments of the Church. Thus, St. John in his first letter insists on the presence of the invisible with the visible, the Spirit with the water and the Blood. 

The image also reminds us that salvation is not just by faith, but by works of charity also. It takes faith to see and believe in what the Image signifies, Divine Mercy poured out from Christ upon the Cross, but it takes mercy, love going beyond the strict requirements of justice, in order to draw down mercy on oneself. "Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us" (Mt 6:12) and  "the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you" (Mt 7:2) The Image of the pierced side of Christ pouring out blood and water reminds us that the Cross, love in action, is the price of mercy. "As I have loved you so also should you love one another."  (Jn 13:34)  

~~Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987

The Feast Of Mercy

During the course of Jesus' revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The liturgical texts of that day, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concern the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy, and are thus already suited to the request of Our Lord. This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that "throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that mankind will experience in the years to come." These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give to a private revelation, an act of  papal infallibility proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to St. Faustina.

Concerning the Feast of Mercy Jesus said:

"Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment." (Diary 300)

"I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it." (Diary 341)

"This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies." (Diary 420)

On one occasion, I heard these words: "My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.* [our emphasis] On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will I contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy." (Diary 699)

"Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it." (Diary 742)

"I want to grant complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My mercy." (Diary 1109)

As you can see the Lord's desire for the Feast includes the solemn, public  veneration of the Image of Divine Mercy by the Church, as well as personal acts of veneration and mercy. The great promise for the individual soul is that a devotional act of sacramental penance and Communion will obtain for that soul the plenitude of the divine mercy on the Feast.

*The Cardinal of Krakow, Cardinal Macharski, whose diocese is the center of the spread of the devotion and the sponsor of the Cause of Sr. Faustina, has written that we should use Lent as preparation for the Feast and confess even before Holy Week! So, it is clear that the confessional requirement does not have to be met on the Feast itself. That would be an impossible burden for the clergy if it did. The Communion requirement is easily met that day, however, since it is a day of obligation, being Sunday. We would only need confession again, if received earlier in Lenten or Easter Season, if we were in the state of mortal sin on the Feast.

~~Diary, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul (c) 1987

Recommended Reading

Divine Mercy in My Soul: Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska The Divine Mercy: Message and Devotion Meditations on Divine Mercy Divine Mercy Chaplet For Sick & Dying: Prepack

See also books about St. Faustina, and prayers to her.

 

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06/01/2011

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