The Easter season is a very special time of the Liturgical Year because we experience so much of the love and mercy of God. During this special season, we experience the Divine Mercy of Jesus; he appears in the upper room, the Emmaus walk, Christ the Good Shepherd and the list goes on. I am going to focus on the Divine Mercy of Jesus.
The devotion was actively promoted by Pope St. John Paul II. On April 30, 2000, the Canonization of Faustina Kowalska took place and the Sunday after Easter was officially designated as the Sunday of the Divine Mercy in the General Roman Calendar. On April 22, 2001, which was one year after establishing Divine Mercy Sunday, Pope St. John Paul II re-emphasized its message in the resurrection context of Easter:
Jesus said to St. Faustina one day: "Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy". Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity.
The devotion on Divine Mercy Sunday grew rapidly after its designation by Pope St. John Paul II and is now widely celebrated by Catholics. The Divine Mercy image is often carried in processions on Divine Mercy Sunday, and is placed in a location in the church so that it can be venerated by those who attended Mass.
The liturgical celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday reflects the devotional elements of Divine Mercy – the first prayer of that Mass beginning with: Heavenly Father and God of Mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for He is alive and has become the Lord of Life. This opening prayer refers to Divine Mercy as the key element in the plan of God for salvation and emphasizes the belief that it was through mercy that God gave his only Son for the redemption of mankind, after the fall of Adam.
Pope St. John Paul II, who died in April 2005 on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, was himself beatified on Divine Mercy Sunday, May 1, 2011, by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, and was canonized on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27, 2014, by Pope Francis. The following is a few excerpts from the diary of St. Faustina.
Our Lord, Himself, gave us the Chaplet of Divine Mercy through Saint Faustina, and He made it clear to her that it was for the whole world.St. Faustina’s diary records Jesus saying: "Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you... Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death... 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... Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if they were to recite this Chaplet only once, they would receive grace from My infinite mercy... Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will."
In 1931 Our Lord granted a vision to Saint Faustina with two rays emanating from His heart, one red and the other pale. As she gazed intently at Him, He said to her, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see with the signature: Jesus, I Trust in You... I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death.”
Our Lord also said in Sr, Faustina’s diary: “At three o'clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief instant, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy. In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My passion.”
That is howthe Lord lov
es and cares for us. Jesus calls each and every one of us to sainthood. At Baptism we are labeled as a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of His own. Jesus values each of us and died for each of us, personally. Jesus gave us Divine Mercy to assist us in this world as we assist others and to assist us at our time of death to be with him in Paradise. Do you pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy?
The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
How to Recite the Chaplet
The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades. The Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing prayer.
1. On the Cross: Make the Sign of the Cross
2. Optional Opening Prayers:
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.
(Repeat three times)
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
3. Our Father
4. Hail Mary
5. The Apostle's Creed
6. The Eternal Father: (Prayed on the “Our Father” beads)
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.
7. On the Ten Small Beads of Each Decade
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
8. Repeat for the remaining decades
Saying the "Eternal Father" (6) on the "Our Father" bead and then 10 "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion" (7) on the following "Hail Mary" beads.
9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
10. Optional Closing Prayer
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.