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Pray | Divine devotion

Started by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, the Divine Mercy devotion is a reminder of God’s gift of mercy to us all

Divine Mercy image
The Divine Mercy devotion is a celebration of God’s gift of mercy.

It traces back to St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun who kept a diary in the 1930s of Christ’s private revelations — His message of mercy. She wrote that she first saw a vision of Jesus on Feb. 22, 1931. He had rays of mercy streaming from His heart. Christ told her to have an image painted to represent the vision and to write below it, “Jesus, I trust in you!”

St. Faustina died of tuberculosis in 1938 at age 33. St. John Paul II, an ardent supporter of the devotion, canonized her in 2000 and declared Divine Mercy Sunday a worldwide feast day. The feast is observed on the octave of Easter and celebrates the fullness of Christ’s Resurrection. (This year, the feast will be celebrated April 8.)

For many, the devotion is a reminder of Jesus’ resurrection throughout the year — through praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet

As written in St. Faustina’s diary, Christ revealed to her a special chaplet to be prayed. It is to be prayed using a standard Rosary or special Divine Mercy chaplet beads. Through St. Faustina, Christ has asked the faithful to pray every day the chaplet at 3 p.m., the hour of great mercy and His death. Here’s how to pray the chaplet:

Make the sign of the Cross

Opening prayers (optional): You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. (Repeat three times) O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

Pray one Our Father, Hail Mary and the Apostle’s Creed

Pray at each of the five decades:

(On each “Our Father” bead of the rosary, pray) 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 each of the 10 “Hail Mary” beads, pray) For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Concluding prayer (repeat three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Optional closing prayer: 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.

Source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

More information

To learn more about the devotion, including the Divine Mercy Chaplet, novena and plenary indulgence, visit www.thedivinemercy.org.

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