This is the first of a series of posts exploring Our Lord’s Divine Mercy.
By: Erin Healy
Yesterday, we celebrated Divine Mercy Sunday, a devotion instituted by Saint Pope John Paul II on April 30, 2000, at the Canonization of Saint Faustina Kowalska.
Although this event is celebrated on the Sunday following Easter, its message of extending both corporal and spiritual mercy, as well as its devotions, can be celebrated throughout the year:
Divine Mercy is a reminder of what the Church teaches throughout scripture and tradition: God is merciful, forgiving and, as His followers, we are to extend the same mercy and forgiveness to all. As Saint Pope John Paul II writes in his 2005 Regina Caeli message:
“As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness, and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles, and reopens hearts to love. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!”
The Divine Mercy message is based on the writings of Saint Faustina, a Polish nun who kept a diary where she recorded revelations she received from God about His mercy. In the message of Divine Mercy, we are called to a more profound understanding of God’s limitless mercy – available to everyone – especially the greatest sinners. The message can be recalled using “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
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
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a devotion derived from the writings of Saint Faustina. The Chaplet is most commonly recited at the hour of Our Lord’s death at 3 p.m., on Divine Mercy Sunday, and in the presence of the dying, although it can be prayed at any time. The Divine Mercy Novena is a powerful series of prayers, beginning on Good Friday and ending on Divine Mercy Sunday.
According to her diary, the image of Divine Mercy was revealed to Saint Faustina on February 22, 1931, in a vision. In addition, she was given a message about veneration of the image and the promises ensured to those who do.
To learn more about the messages of Divine Mercy and the spirituality of Saint Faustina, read her published diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul, The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.