The Divine Mercy devotion arose in the 1930s as a result of diary readings from a Polish Nun, now known as Saint Faustina Kowalska who documented her revelations of God’s mercy in about 600 pages. This special devotion focuses on a deeper understanding of God’s love and mercy which everyone is worthy of receiving- even the greatest of sinners. The message is summarised in ABC:
Ask for His mercy: God desires that we communicate with him through prayer with a contrite heart, asking for His mercy upon us and on the whole world.
Be merciful: God desires that we extend the mercy to others just as He bestows mercy upon us.
Completely trust in Jesus: The more we trust in God’s mercy, the more His graces shall be given to us.
Living a life of Mercy
The image of Divine Mercy as received by Saint Faustina is depicted by Jesus stretching forth His right hand and placing the left hand on His heart. The words “Jesus, I trust in you” are written below the image and two beams (red and white) radiate from His heart representing blood and water. It is not enough to pray the chaplet or venerate this image but we are called to be merciful just as our Father is:
“These people honour me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (Isaiah 29:13)
We can live a life of mercy by radiating mercy to our neighbours through our deeds, words and prayers:
“Blessed are the Merciful, for they shall obtain Mercy” (Mathew 5:7)
The Feast of Divine Mercy is held on the first Sunday of Easter (23rd April) just as our Lord willed it as recorded in the diary of Saint Faustina. The mercy to be poured out for all souls is boundless as the soul that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment (Diary 1109). Ideally this refers to confession before or during Lent as we use this time as a preparation for the Feast.
Have a Happy Feast day and be sure to extend that extra bit of charity to your friends and family!