The Message of Mercy
Saint Faustina was a poor uneducated nun known as Helen Kowalska. She was born in Poland on August 25th, 1905. Before she turned twenty, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, whose members are dedicated to the care and education of troubled young women.
In the 1930s, Saint Faustina received a message from the Lord. Jesus said to St. Faustina,
“My daughter, be at peace; do as I tell you. Your thoughts are united with My thoughts, so write whatever comes to your mind. You are the secretary of My mercy. I have chosen you for that office in this life and the next life. That is how I want it to be in spite of all the opposition they will give you. Know that My choice will not change.” (excerpt from the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska)
On February 22, 1931, St. Faustina saw a vision of Jesus with rays of mercy streaming from the area near His heart. (Diary, 299) He told St. Faustina to have an image painted that would represent this image, with the signature “Jesus, I trust in you!” The two rays represent “the Blood and the Water, when I was pierced by the lance on the cross.” (Diary, 299) This image is to hold a place of honour on the Feast of the Divine Mercy – a clear reminder of all that Jesus did for us through His Passion, His Death and His Resurrection, as well as a reminder of what He asks if us in return – To trust Him and to be merciful to others. “I want the image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it.” (Diary, 341)
Jesus requested that the Sunday after Easter be officially established in the Church as the Feast of Divine Mercy. “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.” (Diary, 699)
St. Faustina’s diary contains at least 14 passages in which Our Lord is quoted as requesting a “Feast of Mercy” be established in the Church. Jesus declared: “This feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of My tender mercies.” (Diary, 420)
St. Faustina was canonized by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000. At this time, Pope John Paul II also established the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday.
In His revelations, Jesus taught St. Faustina that His Mercy is unlimited, even to the greatest of sinners. He revealed special ways for people to respond to His Mercy. Our Lord’s promise to grant complete forgiveness of sins and punishment on the Feast of Divine Mercy is recorded at least three times in the Diary. Jesus said, “The soul that will go to Confession and receive the Holy Communion will obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.” (Diary, 699)
Our Lord is emphasizing, through this promise, the infinite value of Confession and Communion as miracles of mercy. Our Lord’s promise of complete forgiveness is a reminder that He is truly present and truly alive in the Eucharist, filled with love for us and and waiting for us to turn to Him with trust. It is also a call for us to be washed clean in His love through confession and Holy Communion, no matter how terrible our sins. Jesus is offering us a clean start, to begin our lives again.
Jesus wants us to realize that since the Eucharist is His own Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, it is the “Fountain of Life.” (Diary,300) Many people do not realize the importance of receiving Holy Communion. In His revelation to St. Faustina, Our Lord makes it clear what He offers us in Holy Communion and how much it hurts Him when we treat His presence with indifference. “My great delight is to unite Myself with souls… When I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay any attention to Me; they leave me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. Oh how sad I am that souls do not recognize Love! They treat Me as a dead object.” (Diary, 1385)
In 1935 the angel of wrath was about to strike the Earth and St. Faustina heard the words of the chaplet in her soul. She started to recite the words of the chaplet and saw the helplessness of the angel. Jesus told her, “Encourage your soul to say the chaplet… Whoever will recite it will receive grateful mercy…. My daughter, help Me to save souls. You will go to a dying sinner, and you will continue to recite the chaplet, and in this way you will obtain for him trust in My mercy, for he is already in despair.: (Diary, 1797)
St. Faustina prayed the chaplet almost constantly, especially for the dying. The Lord urged her to encourage others to recite it as well, promising extraordinary graces to those who would recite this special prayer. The Chaplet can be said at any time, but the Lord asked St. Faustina to particularly pause at 3:00 o’clock, the hour He died on the cross. He also asked that St. Faustina recite the chaplet as a novena, especially on the nine days before the Feast of Mercy.
PRAYERS OF THE DIVINE MERCY CHAPLET
Recite on ordinary Rosary Beads (Diary, 476)
Our Father, Hail Mary, Apostles Creed,
On the “Our Father” beads before each decade say:
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 all the world.
On the “Hail Mary” beads of each decade say:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and the whole world.
After the five decades, say three times:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and the whole world.
We have regular meetings every 2nd and 4th Wednesday following the 9:00am Mass. Divine Mercy Chapel is prayed after every weekday mass.