Background of the Divine Mercy Devotion
From the diary of a young Polish nun, a special devotion
began spreading throughout the world in the 1930s. The
message is nothing new, but is a reminder of what the
Church has always taught through scripture and tradition:
that God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must
show mercy and forgiveness. But in the Divine Mercy
devotion, the message takes on a powerful new focus,
calling people to a deeper understanding that God’s love is
unlimited and available to everyone — especially the
The message and devotion to Jesus as The Divine Mercy
is based on the writings of Saint Faustina Kowalska, an
uneducated Polish nun who, in obedience to her spiritual
director, wrote a diary of about 600 pages recording the
revelations she received about God’s mercy. Even before
her death in 1938, the devotion to The Divine Mercy had
begun to spread.
The message of mercy is that God loves us — all of us —
no matter how great our sins. He wants us to recognize that
His mercy is greater than our sins, so that we will call upon
Him with trust, receive His mercy, and let it flow through us to
others. Thus, all will come to share His joy. It is a message
we can call to mind simply by remembering 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
There are two scriptural verses that we should keep in mind
as we involve ourselves in these devotional practices:
1. "This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are
far from me" (Is 29:13);
2. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Mt
It's an ironic and somewhat frightening fact that many of the
most religious people of Christ's time (people who were
actively practicing their religion and eagerly awaiting the
promised Messiah) were not able to recognize Him when
The Pharisees, to whom Christ was speaking in the first
quotation above, were very devoted to the prayers, rules,
and rituals of their religion; but over the years, these outer
observances had become so important in themselves that
their real meaning had been lost. The Pharisees performed
all the prescribed sacrifices, said all the right prayers, fasted
regularly, and talked a lot of about God, but none of it had
touched their hearts. As a result, they had no relationship
with God, they were not living the way He wanted them to
live, and they were not prepared for the coming of Jesus.
When we look at the image of the Merciful Savior, or pause
for prayer at three o'clock, or pray the Chaplet — are these
things drawing us closer to the real sacramental life of the
Church and allowing Jesus to transform our hearts? Or have
they just become religious habits? In our daily lives are we
growing more and more as people of mercy? Or are we just
giving "lip service" to God's mercy?
The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:
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.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy,
Sister tells us:
"I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it.
Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross
and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to
look through Our Lord's wounds and I understood that God blessed
the earth for the sake of Jesus."
Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:
"I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike
the earth...I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words
which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just
The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on
ordinary rosary beads:
"First say one 'Our Father', 'Hail Mary', and 'I believe'. Then on
the large beads say the following words:
'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 smaller beads you are to say the following words:
'For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the
In conclusion you are to say these words three times:
'Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us
and on the whole world'.
Jesus said later to Sister Faustina:
"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".http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm