On the Sunday after Easter, the Universal Church celebrates the Feast of Divine Mercy. Especially on this day, we remember God’s amazing love for us all and His desire that we all share in His joy. His mercy easily exceeds our sins and is offered to all who ask for it, are merciful to others and trust in Jesus.
Public revelation – binding on all Christians – of God’s Word ended with the death of the Apostles, closing the deposit of faith. Private revelations, which illuminate more fully (but never change) the definitive and binding public ones, continue. Such gifts are for the people who receive them. In rare circumstances, the Magisterium of the Church recognizes private revelations as authentic calls from Christ or His saints to we His people (the Church Militant).
This is one of those cases. The Divine Mercy revelations were received in 1931 by a young Polish nun named Sister Faustina. She was canonized by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 2000. Later that year, Divine Mercy Sunday was instituted as Jesus had asked of her on 14 different occasions.
My daughter, tell the whole world about My inconceivable mercy. 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. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.
Also revealed to St. Faustina was a prayer known as the Diviner Mercy Chaplet which may be prayed using Rosary beads. Jesus said to her:
“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 Savior.”
The Diviner Mercy Chaplet is prayed as follows:
- Start with the Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary and Apostles Creed.
- Then on the Our Father beads, pray as follows: “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 the 10 Hail Mary Beads pray: “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
- Conclude with (3 times): “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
Steps 2 and 3 are repeated for all five decades.
When praying the Rosary, we meditate on the mysteries of Jesus’ life, passion, death and resurrection. Similarly when praying this chaplet, reflect on Jesus’ mercy. Compared to the Rosary, the DM Chaplet can be prayed in about half the time of one set of Rosary mysteries. It is a particularly good devotion (IMHO) on Friday (first Fridays in particular). It is also integral to the Divine Mercy Novena prayed from Good Friday up to Easter Sunday.
Whereas the Rosary can be prayed counting on your fingers, I recommend using actual Rosary beads for the DM Chaplet since the same prayers are prayed on each decade and you otherwise would lose count. Trust me, I tried!
Most days I am working on my computer at 3pm (the Hour of Mercy), so I have set a little alarm that softly chimes one time. I stop whatever I am doing, clear my head and pray a mini-chaplet (as I call it) – each of the DM Chaplet prayers (#2 thru #4 above) once. This takes about 1 minute and is easily integrated into my daily routine.
What I have written here is but a brief introduction to Divine Mercy. Read more about its beauty, depth and history at these online resources:
Finally… Jesus revealed a specific, beautiful image of Himself, with his right hand raised in blessing. His left hand is over His heart, from which a pale ray shines representing the Water of righteousness and a red ray shines representing the Blood which is the life of souls.
“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‘.”