Today we observe our Lord’s bitter Passion. I always find this one of the hardest days of the year, simply being incapable of fathoming the depths of this kind of love. The only proper response is to fall on my face and cry, “Mercy!” In that cry, I have chosen to prepare for the great Feast of Divine Mercy, which begins today and ends on the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, the Sunday after Easter.
Divine Mercy Sunday is the newest Feast Day in the Church calendar, instituted by Blessed John Paul II on April 30, 2000. It comes to us from a humble polish nun to whom Jesus appeared, St. Faustina:
a young, uneducated, nun in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Cracow, Poland during the 1930’s. She came from a very poor family that struggled on their little farm during the years of World War I. She had only three years of very simple education, so hers were the humblest tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or garden. However, she received extraordinary revelations or messages from Our Lord Jesus. Jesus asked Sr. Faustina to record these experiences, which she compiled in notebooks. These notebooks are known today as the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and the words contained within are God’s loving message of Divine Mercy. (source)
Divine Mercy Sunday and its preparation are an opportunity of extraordinary grace. In fact, to those who pray the novena and observe the Feast day, Jesus promises a complete forgiveness and remission of sin – a plenary indulgence. Jesus says to St. Faustina as recorded in her diary, Divine Mercy in my Soul, “Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.” (Diary, 300)
For one reason or another, I’ve always found this novena difficult to stick to. Invariably I miss a day here or there, and then give up! Thus, having found the practice of posting the total consecration prayers during my Lenten preparation so helpful, I thought I’d do the same for this novena. I invite you to join me in this preparation. I will post the novena prayers each day along with instructions on how to pray the chaplet and how to prepare for the novena.
To properly observe the Feast day, we should:
- Celebrate the Feast on the Sunday after Easter.
- Sincerely repent of all our sins.
- Place our complete trust in Jesus.
- Go to Confession, preferably before that Sunday.
- Receive Holy Communion on the day of the Feast.
- Venerate* the Image of The Divine Mercy.
- Be merciful to others, through our actions, words, and prayers on their behalf.
I pray you will be richly blessed and bathed in this unfathomable gift given to the Church in a particular way this week,
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on me a sinner! Anne
Here are a few helpful links:
- The Hour of Great Mercy
- How to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- Pray along with in audio or video
- What if I miss a day of the novena?
- General info about the devotion and feast day
- Jesus 14 revelations to St. Faustina about the feast
- Jesus in the confessional
- St. Faustina’s diary in .pdf, Divine Mercy in My Soul
Btw, if you have a smart phone, you just have to download the Divine Mercy app. It’s excellent!!! I use it all the time!
THE NOVENA AND CHAPLET
Our Lord told St. Faustina, “I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My mercy, that they may draw … strength and refreshment and whatever grace they need in the hardships of life, and especially at the hour of death” (Diary, 1209).
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First Day: Today bring to Me ALL MANKIND, ESPECIALLY ALL SINNERS, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. In this way you will console Me in the bitter grief into which the loss of souls plunges Me.
Most Merciful Jesus, whose very nature it is to have compassion on us and to forgive us, do not look upon our sins but upon our trust which we place in Your infinite goodness. Receive us all into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart, and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by Your love which unites You to the Father and the Holy Spirit.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon all mankind and especially upon poor sinners, all enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion show us Your mercy, that we may praise the omnipotence of Your mercy for ever and ever. Amen. (source)
HOW TO PRAY THE CHAPLET OF DIVINE MERCY
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. Make the Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. Optional Opening Prayer
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
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.
4. Hail Mary
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
5. The Apostles Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; He descended into hell; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
6. The Eternal Father
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. (source)