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