What is the message of Divine Mercy?

And how to pray the chaplet

Julie Filby

Throughout history, visionaries such as Francis of Assisi, Joan of Arc and Bernadette of Lourdes have relayed divine messages—including the message of Divine Mercy revealed to a young peasant girl in Poland.Sister Faustina

In the 1930s Jesus appeared Helena Kowalska, the third of 10 children of Marianna and Stanislaus Kowalska, living in Glogowiec. Helena, who later became known as Sister Faustina after entering the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy convent, recorded the revelations in a diary. According to St. Faustina’s diary, Jesus said: “My daughter, know that my heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy graces flow out upon the whole world. No soul that has approached me has ever gone away unconsoled” (“The Diary of Sister M. Faustina Kowalska,” No. 1777).

Though originally viewed with skepticism, ultimately her life and writings inspired the Divine Mercy message and devotion of the Church. Soon-to-be canonized Pope John Paul II, who was also Polish, took a personal interest in the visions of Sister Faustina. He promoted her sainthood cause and canonized her personally on April 30, 2000.

At the same time the pontiff officially designated the Second Sunday of Easter, the date revealed to St. Faustina, as the feast of Divine Mercy. The Holy Father declared, “It is important then that we accept the whole message that comes to us from the word of God on this Second Sunday of Easter”—referring to the path of mercy with God and others indicated in the liturgy’s readings.

This year Divine Mercy Sunday is April 27: the day Blessed John Paul II will be canonized. On the feast, a plenary indulgence may be granted under the usual conditions of confession, receiving Communion and praying for the intentions of the pontiff.

How to Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary and Apostles Creed.

2. Using a rosary, on the Our Father beads 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 those of the whole world.

3. On the 10 Hail Mary beads say: For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

4. Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades.

5. Conclude with: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world (three times).

COMING UP: Colorado Catholic bishops remember Columbine on 20th anniversary

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Colorado’s bishops have issued a joint statement recognizing the 20th anniversary of the April 20, 1999 shooting at Columbine High School that claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher. The full statement can be read below.

This week we remember the horrific tragedy that occurred at Columbine High School 20 years ago. In life there are days that will never be forgotten; seared in our minds and
on our hearts forever – for many of us in Colorado that day was April 20, 1999.

As we mark this solemn anniversary with prayer, remembrance and service let us not forget that there is still much work to be done. Violence in our homes, schools and cities is destroying the lives, dignity and hope of our brothers and sisters every day. Together, as people of good
will, we must confront this culture of violence with love, working to rebuild and support family life. We must commit ourselves to working together to encourage a culture of life and peace.

Nothing we do or say will bring back the lives and innocence that were lost 20 years ago. Let us take this moment to remember the gift of the lives of those we lost, and let us, as men and women of faith, take back our communities from the fear and evil that come from violence like we witnessed at Columbine. Our faith in Jesus Christ provides us with the hope and values that
can bring peace, respect and dignity to our homes, hearts and communities.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Columbine community and all those affected by violence
in our communities.