Saturday, December 4, 2010

Divine Mercy Devotion

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy."
 – Matthew 5:7
Vision of St M. Faustina Kowalska as depicted by Vilnius

Do you exercise regularly? We all know that we need to do physical exercise on a regular basis to maintain good health. In the same way, we also need to do regular spiritual exercises. These consist mostly of prayer.

A good way to begin is to say the Lord's Prayer before every meal. In this simple way we give thanks to God for his many gifts. For many centuries Catholics have been praying the rosary as a form of meditation that deepens the spiritual devotion to Jesus and His Mother Mary. Another popular devotion that has been shown to be an effective spiritual exercise is the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.

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
greatest sinners.

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
to us.

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
(read more here)

Use a rosary to pray The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy
  • Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 
  • say 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.
  • say Hail Mary 
Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among 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 death.
  • say 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; the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 the last two prayers for all five decades).
  • Conclude with (three times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Here is a portion of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy which has been set to music. An audio CD is available. I suggest purchasing it directly from the Marian Helpers here.

This version of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy was recorded live at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. There is a website for the Shrine here.

I also recommend the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. It is available online here, and can be purchased from the Marian Helpers here.

From the Diary St. M. Faustina Kowalska (378).
"There will come a time when this work, which God is demanding so very much, will be as though utterly undone. And then God will act with great power, which will give evidence of its authenticity. It will be a new splendor for the Church, although it has been dormant in it from long ago. That God is infinitely merciful, no one can deny. He desires everyone to know this before He comes again as Judge."
Jesus, I trust in You!


  1. Blessed be God!

    Thank you Michael. This is a beautiful post! Keep them coming :D There is so much to ask to God and so much to do.

    Are you planning on reviewing some of the Pope's new books? I am so getting a couple of Pope Benedict XVI's books later, I just have so much to read right now.

    Stay strong in Christ!

  2. HI Paco. Yes, we are blessed with many things from God. The greatest of these is the gift of mercy. This is a grace that can be received by anyone. This is what Jesus was referring to when he said "ask and it shall be given." The Divine Mercy is offered to anyone who will open up their heart and ask for it.

    The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy asks us to offer ourselves as intercessors for those who have not come to realize the fullness of God's mercy. And to pray not only for mercy for ourselves, but also for mercy for the whole world.

    I am planning on reading the latest book by Pope Benedict XVI, "The Light of the World", in the next week or two. I'm looking forward to being able to read for myself what the Pope has to say without the filter of the secular press. And I'll certainly have some comments to share here about the book's message.

    Just one last thing. Please pray a rosary for our broken society as the hearings on Proposition 8 continue.