Jesus’ words to St. 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 (742).
“When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls” (1074).
“The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to My mercy” (723).
“Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion” (1146)…“Beg for mercy for the whole world” (570)…“No soul that has ever called upon My mercy has ever been disappointed” (1541).
“I have opened My Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with trust” (1520)…On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls – no one have I excluded! (1182)…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” (327)…“The graces of My mercy are drawn by one vessel only, and that is – trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive” (1578).
“I am Love and Mercy itself (1074)…Let no soul fear to draw near to me, even though its sins be as scarlet (699)…My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world (1485)…I let my Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come, then, with trust to draw graces from this fountain. I never reject a contrite heart (1485)…Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul” (1777).
The above is just a sampling of the many tremendous promises given by our Lord to St. Faustina. These words provide us with a taste for this great devotion of Divine Mercy. The living of this devotion can be summed up in the ABC’s of the devotion. That is, we are to: 1. 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; 2. 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;” 3. Completely Trust: “God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependant upon our trust. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we will receive.”
The Corporal Works of Mercy*
1. Feed the hungry. 2. Give drink to the thirsty. 3. Clothe the naked. 4. Shelter the homeless. 5. Comfort the imprisoned. 6. Visit the sick. 7. Bury the dead.
The Spiritual Works of Mercy*
1. Admonish sinners. 2. Instruct the uninformed. 3. Counsel the doubtful. 4. Comfort the sorrowful. 5. Be patient with those in error. 6. Forgive offenses. 7. Pray for the living and the dead.
*Jesus admonishes us through Faustina that in order to receive His infinite Mercy, we must show mercy to others. Jesus explicitly states that he demands deeds of mercy to be done for others out of love for Him. Further, He states that even the greatest faith, without works, is dead.
Essentially, the devotion consists of four significant elements: 1. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy, 2. The three o’clock hour of devotion to the Divine Mercy and the remembrance of His most sorrowful passion, 3. The Novena of Mercy leading up to its conclusion on Divine Mercy Sunday, which falls on the Sunday after Easter, and 4. Veneration of the Sacred Image of Divine Mercy with its inscription, “Jesus, I Trust in You.”
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
St. Faustina experienced a supernatural image or vision of an Angel sent to destroy a certain city due to its tremendous sinfulness. She began imploring God’s mercy for the town, but it was to no avail. Suddenly, she found herself immersed in the presence of the Holy Trinity, and she could feel the presence of Jesus within her soul. At the same time, she heard an interior voice reciting the following prayer: “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; for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world” (476). As she continued to recite this prayer, the Angel became powerless and weakened, and could not mete out the punishment that the city deserved. The following day, while in the chapel, she again heard an interior voice reciting these words which would constitute the essence of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, and she was inspired to recite this chaplet as often as possible for sinners and for the dying. Our Lord made it clear to her that this devotion of “The Chaplet,” as Jesus referred to it, was not simply for Faustina to recite, but would become a marvelous devotion that would spread throughout the world through St. Faustina’s writings.
What is more, Our Lord revealed tremendous promises associated with the prayer and recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Our Lord stated, “Encourage souls to say the chaplet I have given you (1541)…Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death (687) … 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 (1541) … 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 (687) … I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy (687) … Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will” (1731).
How to Pray the Chaplet
(To be prayed on ordinary Rosary Beads)
1. Pray 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 the evil one. Amen.
2. Pray the “Hail Mary:” Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
3. Pray the “Apostles’ Creed:” I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His ony Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again 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.
4. On the large bead before each decade: Eternal Father, I offer You the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
5. On each of the 10 small beads of each decade: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
6. Concluding doxology (after five decades): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. (Three times)
The Three O’clock Hour of Mercy
“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 makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion” (1320).
Feast of Divine Mercy
The first Sunday after Easter is the Feast of Mercy. Jesus said, “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” (699).
Indulgenced by Pope John Paul II, 2002
Recitation of the Chaplet during Eucharistic Adoration
On the occasion of the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, by a personally signed parchment, imparted a special Apostolic Blessing “to all the faithful, who during adoration of Our Most Merciful Savior in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar will be praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the sick and for those throughout the world who will be dying in that hour.” The Apostolic Blessing extends indefinitely for all who participate.
Nihil Obastat: George H. Pearce, S.M., Archbishop of Suva, Fiji.
Imprimatur: Joseph F. Maguire, Bishop, Springfield, MA, March 16, 1987