We learn to know the merciful love of God towards every man only thanks to Revelation. It is God Himself who tells us about His mercy from the first words of Holy Scripture. In our times, we are reminded of this truth through the Message transmitted by St. Faustina and the teaching of Pope John Paul II.
At first, the Devotion to the Divine Mercy was spread the way other devotions were: litanies, chaplets and novenas were popular parts of them and Sister Faustina’s confessor from Vilnius, the blessed Rev. Michał Sopoćko, spread the Devotion to the Divine Mercy by popularizing these forms. It was only the Rev. Professor Ignacy Różycki who laid the theological foundations for this Devotion in the forms conveyed by Saint Faustina – for the needs of the beatification process of the Apostle of the Divine Mercy he analyzed her ‚Diary’ fully.
The picture of the Merciful Jesus has been one of the most well-known images of the crucified and risen Christ in the history of the Church and in the contemporary world. This is an unusual picture not only because of the fact that it is the most popular one but, above all, because the Lord Jesus Himself is its coauthor. On the 22th February, 1931, in a cell of the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Płock, He appeared to Sister Faustina – she saw Him just as He is represented in the image and He commanded her to paint His picture according to the vision.
Feast of Mercy
The Feast of Mercy is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, that is on the Second Sunday of Easter, which is called the Divine Mercy Sunday today. Cardinal Franciszek Macharski was the first one to make it part of the liturgical calendar of the Archdiocese of Cracow (1985) and, later, some Polish bishops instituted the feast in their dioceses. In 1995, at the request of the Polish Episcopal Conference, Holy Father John Paul II instituted the feast in all dioceses in Poland. On the day of Sister Faustina’s canonization, 30th April 2000, the Pope instituted the feast for the whole Church.The institution of the feast was inspired by a desire of Jesus which was conveyed by Sister Faustina.
Chaplet of the Divine Mercy
This prayer is God’s special gift for our times. The Lord Jesus dictated it to Sister Faustina in Vilnius on the 13-14th September, 1935. On Friday, the 13th September, in her cell Sister Faustina had a vision of an angel who came to the earth to punish it for its sins. When she saw that sign of divine wrath, she began to implore the angel to hold off for a few moments and the world would do penance. However, when she stood before the majesty of the Holy Trinity, she did not dare to repeat that entreaty. Only when she felt the power of Jesus’ grace in her soul did she start to pray – she said the words heard interiorly. In the ‚Diary’ she wrote: As I was praying in this manner, I saw the Angel’s helplessness: he could not carry out the just punishment which was rightly due for sins (Diary 475).
Hour of Mercy
The hour of the Lord Jesus’ death, 3pm, is a privileged time as regards the devotion to the Divine Mercy. At that hour, in spirit we stand beneath Christ’s cross in order to entreat for mercy for us and the whole world for the sake of the merits of His passion. The Lord Jesus said to Sister Faustina: “At three o’clock implore My mercy, especially for 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” (Diary 1320).
Our Lady Of Mercy
Mary is the one who obtained mercy in a particular and exceptional way, as no other person has. At the same time, still in an exceptional way, she made possible with the sacrifice of her heart her own sharing in revealing God’s mercy. Mary, then, is the one who has the deepest knowledge of the mystery of God’s mercy. She knows its price, she knows how great it is. (Dives in Misericordia, 9)
Is ”a gift from God for our times”, great mystic, mistress of spiritual life, prophet, who reminded the biblical truth about merciful love of God for every human being and calls to proclaim it to the world through the testimony of life, deed, word and prayer.
Spreading of Devotion to The Divine Mercy
Souls who spread the honour of My mercy I shield through their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Saviour (Diary 1075). This is what the Lord Jesus promised to everyone who will proclaim His Mercy, spread its honour in any way. Priests can rejoice at His additional promise: Hardened sinners will repent on hearing their words when they speak about My unfathomable mercy, about the compassion I have for them in My Heart.