Through St. Faustina, Our Lord gifted humanity with several channels by which to access the timeless message and incredible graces found in His Mercy.
“Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity at the dawn of the third millennium.” — St. John Paul II, Divine Mercy Sunday Homily, April 22, 2001
Below you will find the five forms of devotion to Divine Mercy and a few bonus facts!
7 Things to Know About Divine Mercy
1) THE DIARY OF ST. FAUSTINA
Jesus appeared to a poor Polish nun, St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, and charged her with spreading His message of Mercy to the world.
Her more than 600 diary pages hold the message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy. The release of her diary sparked a movement that led to the spreading of the official image and devotion.
Note from Author: I will reference excerpts from the diary numerous times in this article. You can get your own copy here.
2) THE MESSAGE
The Lord’s Mercy is greater than our sins and He desires for us to turn to Him with trust and repentance before our judgment.
The message of Divine Mercy is not new to Church teaching. Pope Benedict XVI described it as the center of the Gospel.
3) THE IMAGE
The image was the first element of devotion revealed by Jesus on Feb., 22, 1931, and referred to as a vessel of grace!
Jesus said to St. Faustina:
“Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the world. 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)
*Remember, the physical image itself is not to be worshiped! It’s a vessel/reminder of the source and reality of this image.
4) DIVINE MERCY CHAPLET
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy was given to St. Faustina in 1935 during a private revelation.
It is a powerful way to meditate upon His Passion and is prayed using ordinary Rosary beads (5 decades). You can find a full how-to guide here.
Jesus revealed promises attached to praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
“Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, 1731)
5) THE HOUR OF MERCY
The hour of mercy starts at 3 o’clock, which is the hour at which Jesus died on the Cross.
Jesus explained to St. Faustina:
“I remind you, My daughter, that as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and 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.” (Diary, 1572)
“At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for poor 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… ” (Diary, 1320)
6) THE FEAST
Jesus requested the solemn celebration to be the first Sunday after Easter:
“I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. 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…The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness.” (Diary, 699)
It was St. Pope John Paul II who officially established Divine Mercy Sunday as a feast day for the entire Church.
You can find details on receiving a plenary indulgence on Divine Mercy Sunday here.
The Divine Mercy Novena begins on Good Friday–nine days before Divine Mercy Sunday.
The Lord said:
“By this novena, I will grant every possible grace to souls” (Diary, 796)
In giving us this novena, Jesus also provided us with special intentions for each day:
“On each day you will bring to My Heart a different group of souls…On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My bitter Passion, for graces for these souls.” (Diary, 1209)
The full instruction can be found here and in the Diary of St. Faustina (1210-1229).