Devotions and Prayers:
History of Divine Mercy Devotion
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 here are completely in accordance with the teachings of the Church and are firmly rooted in the Gospel message of our Merciful Saviour. Properly understood and implemented, they will help us grow as genuine followers of Christ.
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 recognise 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 the graces of his mercy are dependent upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.
The Divine Mercy Image
In 1931, Our Lord appeared to a young Polish nun, St. Faustina Kowalska, in a vision. She saw Jesus clothed in a white garment with His right hand raised in blessing. His left hand was touching His garment in the area of the heart, from which two large rays came forth, one red and the other pale. She gazed intently at the Lord in silence, her soul filled with awe, but also with great joy. Jesus said to her:
“Paint an image according to the pattern you see with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. " 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, 47, 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). "I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world” (Diary, 47).
At the request of her spiritual director, Saint Faustina asked the Lord about the meaning of the rays in the image. She heard these words in reply:
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 depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross " Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him (Diary, 299) " 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).
Many different versions of this image have been painted, but Our Lord made it clear that the painting itself is not what is important. When Saint Faustina first saw the original image that was being painted under her direction, she wept in disappointment and complained to Jesus: "Who will paint You as beautiful as You are?" (Diary, 313) In answer she heard these words: ”Not in the beauty of the colour, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace”(Diary, 313). So, no matter which version of the image we prefer, we can be assured that it is a vehicle of God’s grace if it is revered with trust in His mercy.
The Feast of Mercy
From St Faustina’s Diary:
One morning, when it was my duty to open the gate to let out our people who delivered baked goods, I entered the little chapel to visit Jesus for a minute and to renew the intentions of the day. Today, Jesus, I offer You all my sufferings, mortifications and prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father, so that he may approve the Feast of mercy. But, Jesus, I have one more word to say to You: I am surprised that You bid me to talk about this Feast of mercy, for they tell me that there is already such a feast and so why should I talk about it?
And Jesus said to me,
“And who knows anything about this feast? No one! Even those who should be proclaiming My mercy and teaching people about is often do not know about it themselves. That is why I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday of Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.”
“I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be the Feast of Mercy”
Hour of Great Mercy
Jesus said to St 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. I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that make a request or Me in the virtue of My Passion......"
"I remind you, My daughter, that as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring the glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world- mercy triumphed over justice"
The Novena to The Divine Mercy
On Good Friday, 1937, Jesus requested that Saint Faustina make a special novena before the Feast of Mercy, from Good Friday through the following Saturday. He, Himself, dictated the intentions for each day. By means of a specific prayer, she was to bring to His Heart a different group of souls each day and thus immerse them in the ocean of His mercy, begging the Father -- on the strength of Jesus' Passion -- for graces for them
The Divine Mercy Novena:
The Novena to The Divine Mercy (Diary, 1209-1229) It is greatly recommended that the following novena intentions and prayers be prayed together with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, since Our Lord specifically asked for a novena of Chaplets, especially before the Feast of Mercy.
Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet
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 Saviour".
The Lord said to Sister Faustina:
“You will recite this chaplet on the beads of the rosary in the following manner:
First of all you will say one OUR FATHER, one HAIL MARY, and the I BELIEVE IN GOD.
Then, on the OUR FATHER BEADS you will say the following words:
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 word.
On the HAIL MARY BEADS you will say the following words:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion
Have mercy on us and on the
In conclusion THREE TIMES you will recite these words:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us and on the whole word.”
The Chaplet of Mercy as a Novena
In addition to the Novena to The Divine Mercy, which Our Lord gave to Saint Maria Faustina for her own personal use, He revealed to her a powerful prayer that He wanted everyone to say - the Chaplet of Mercy. Saint Faustina prayed the Chaplet almost constantly, especially for the dying, and the Lord urged her to encourage others to say it, too, promising extraordinary graces to those who would recite this special prayer.
The Chaplet can be said anytime, but the Lord specifically asked that it be recited as a novena, especially on the nine days before the Feast of Mercy. And He promised, “By this Novena (of Chaplets) I will grant every possible grace to souls” (Diary, 796).
We can pray this Novena of Chaplets for our own personal intentions, or we can offer it together with the Novena to The Divine Mercy for the daily intentions dictated by Our Lord to Saint Faustina (see reverse side of this pamphlet).
Our Lord said to Saint Faustina:
Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you. … Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. … When thy 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 Saviour. … Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy. ... Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.
(Diary, 687, 1541, 1731).
HOW TO PRAY THE CHAPLET OF THE DIVINE MERCY
The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades and could be preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing prayer.
1. The Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
2. 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 (Diary, 1319).
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You! (three times) (Diary, 84).
3. The Our Father:Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen
4. The Hail Mary:Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen
5. The Apostles’ Creed: I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen
6. On the “Our Father”bead before each decade: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 (Diary, 476).
7. On the “Hail Mary”beads of each decade:For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
8. Repeat “Eternal Father” and “For the Sake of His sorrowful Passion”: (Number 6 & 7) Prayers for four more decades.
9. After 5 decades, the concluding doxology(three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
10. Closing Prayers(optional): 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 (Diary, 950).
The Angelus is a short practice of devotion in honor of the Incarnation repeated three times each day: morning, noon and evening:
The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary: And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.
And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God that we may be made worth of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord. Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.
During Eastertide (from Easter day throughout Pentecost, and throughout the octave of Pentecost if it is celebrated):
Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia. Has risen, as he said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia. Let us pray: O God, Who by the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, hast vouchsafed to make glad the whole world, grant, we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life, through the same Christ our Lord.
Deeds of Mercy
“My daughter, if I demand through you that people revere My mercy, you should be the first to distinguish yourself by this confidence in My mercy. I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbours always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it.
I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy towards your neighbour: the first - by deed, the second - by word, the third - by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies ad pays reverence to My mercy. Yes, the first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy, but there must also be acts of mercy, and I demand the worship of My mercy through the solemn celebration of the Feast and through the veneration of the image which is painted. 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 event the strongest faith is of no avail without works.”
Later, on October 1 1937 - “Daughter, I need sacrifice lovingly accomplished, because that alone has meaning for Me. Enormous indeed are the debts of the world which are due to me; pure souls can pay them by their sacrifice, exercising mercy in spirit.”
St Faustina replies - I understand your words, Lord, and the magnitude of the mercy that ought to shine in my soul.
Jesus: “I know, My daughter, that you understand it and that you do everything within your power. But write this for the many souls who are often worried because they do not have the material means with which to carry out an act of mercy. Yet spiritual mercy, which requires neither permission nor storehouses, is much more meritorious and is within the grasp of every soul. If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will no obtain My mercy on the day of judgement. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasures for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgement with their mercy.”