The original painting of Divine Mercy, Shrine of Divine Mercy in Vilnius
Where did the Divine Mercy devotion come from?
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 which began 22nd February 1931. The Holy Father John Paul II called her diary a Gospel of Mercy, that comforted those suffering from the brutality of the twentieth century 'in the age of totalitarianisms Sister Faustina became the ambassador of the message that the only power strong enough to counteract their evil is the truth of God’s Mercy. " (1)
What is the Divine Mercy Message?
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.
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. (2)
What is the Divine Mercy devotion?
In the evening, when I was in my cell I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale (…) After a while, Jesus said to me: '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 [then]throughout the world. [Diary 47].
Meditation and veneration of the Divine Mercy image reminds us of the mystery of God’s merciful love for man revealed in the Holy Scriptures, it inspires us to form the Christian attitude of trust towards Him and mercy towards neighbour by trusting in him and in so doing obtain promises of living and progressing in the Christian life confident in the promise of eternal salvation. (3)
The chaplet of Divine Mercy is prayed every Friday at 3pm in St Teresa's.
The hour of the Lord Jesus’ death, 3pm, is a privileged time as regards the devotion to the Divine Mercy. At that hour, in spirit we stand beneath Christ’s cross in order to entreat for mercy for us and the whole world for the sake of the merits of His passion. The Lord Jesus said to Sister Faustina:
At three o’clock implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world (Diary 1320).
Immediately, it needs to be explained that what is meant here is not sixty minutes but the moment of Jesus’ agony on the cross, therefore – the prayer at 3pm.
What is the chaplet?
The chaplet can be chanted, sung or said, using a rosary:
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. (2)
What is the significance of Divine Mercy Sunday?
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. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened (Diary 699).
The greatest promise of this day is the grace of complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. It is connected with Holy Communion received on that day, following a good Confession (without any attachment to the smallest sin), in the spirit of the devotion to the Divine Mercy, that is, trusting God and loving neighbour actively. (4)