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``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D


Devotion to His Divine Mercy

 
 
This devotion, focused on Christ's limitless mercy and love for mankind, is a relatively new one, as such, and is and based on the 1930s-era writings of Sister St. Faustina Kowalska (above), a Polish nun of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, canonized in 2000. The point of the devotion is mercy -- begging His mercy, trusting in His mercy, and showing mercy to those around us. In 2000, the Holy Father made it known that Low Sunday (the Sunday after Easter), a day when the Gospel readings concern Christ's merciful institution of the Sacrament of Penance, will also be known as "Divine Mercy Sunday" (this official designation doesn't affect the liturgy at all).


The devotion is practiced by praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novenas to the Divine Mercy (see below) -- both of which may be prayed at any time, but especially at "The Hour of Great Mercy" -- 3:00 PM, the hour our Lord died, and in conjunction with Divine Mercy Sunday.

On Divine Mercy Sunday, a plenary indulgence may be gained, under the usual conditions, if one trusts in the Divine Mercy and reflects the Divine Mercy in his life, prays the Divine Mercy Novena from Good Friday to Low Sunday, goes to Confession on Low Sunday (or in the 7 days preceding), venerates the image of the Divine Mercy (see below) on Low Sunday, and attends Mass and receives Communion on Low Sunday.

The devotion to His Divine Mercy is also associated with the image below, painted, by an artist named Hyla, as Jesus wished and based on descriptions by Saint Faustina. The words that accompany the image are "Jesus, I trust in Thee" ("Jezu, Ufam Tobie" in the Polish). The rays coming from Jesus' body represent the Blood and water that poured forth from the wound He suffered when pierced by the lance.

 


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The Divine Mercy Chaplet
Novena to the Divine Mercy


The Divine Mercy Chaplet

Prayers are usually counted on a standard Rosary, but it isn't necessary -- and the most proper times to pray it are at "The Hour" (3:00 PM, the hour Our Lord died), on Divine Mercy Sunday (Low Sunday), and also at one's own hour of death or in the presence of a dying person. It can be prayed, though, at any time.

The three main prayers, the one that begins "Eternal Father," the Response that begins "For the sake of His sorrowful passion," and "Holy God" (which comes from the Good Friday liturgy's Adoration of the Cross), are often sung, as is the thrice-said concluding prayer; this isn't the original way, though it is a perfectly fine way to pray it. To hear commonly-heard melodies for the Divine Mercy prayers, click here to hear the Chaplet sung (hosted by EWTN). You can also get a free CD of both the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet from the Mary Foundation (will open in a new browser window). Both offerings from EWTN and the Mary Foundation use a modern wording for the prayers and a different concluding prayer entirely. On this page, I use the more traditionally-worded versions, their Latin versions, including an optional concluding prayer, as prayed by the Transalpine Redemptorists (the prayers in their original Polish are in the footnotes).


How to Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet

(the words to the prayers are below)
 

Start

Kiss the Cross and make the Sign of the Cross
Say 1 Our Father
Say 1 Hail Mary
Say the Apostles' Creed

EF

Say the Eternal Father prayer on each large bead

R

Say the Response on each small bead
Holy God Say the "Holy God" prayer three times
Optional concluding prayer

The Prayers

I.

When Making The Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. (said while touching forehead, breast, left shoulder, then right shoulder)

Latin Version: Signum Crucis
In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.

II.

The 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.

Latin Version: Pater Noster (Oratio Dominica)
Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur Nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo.

III.

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 death. Amen.

Latin Version: Ave Maria (or Salutatio Angelica)
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, ora pro nobis peccatoribus, nunc, et in hora mortis nostrae. Amen.

IV.

The Apostles' Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into Hell. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into Heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Latin Version: Symbolum Apostolorum
Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Creatorem caeli et terrae. Et in Iesum Christum, Filium eius unicum, Dominum nostrum, qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine, passus sub Pontio Pilato, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, descendit ad inferos, tertia die resurrexit a mortuis, ascendit ad caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis, inde venturus est iudicare vivos et mortuos. Credo in Spiritum Sanctum, sanctam Ecclesiam Catholicam, sanctorum communionem, remissionem peccatorum, carnis resurrectionem, vitam aeternam. Amen.

V.

Eternal Father
Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Thy dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and for the sins of the whole world.

Latin Version: Pater aeterne
Pater aeterne, offero tibi Corpus et Sanguinem, animam et divinitatem dilectissimi Filii Tui, Domini nostri, Iesu Christi, in propitiatione pro peccatis nostris et totius mundi.

VI.

Response
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Latin Version:
Pro dolorosa Eius passione, miserere nobis et totius mundi.

VII.

Holy God
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy upon us and on the whole world.

Latin version: Sanctus Deus
Sanctus Deus, Sanctus Fortis, Sanctus Immortalis, miserere nobis et totius mundi.

VIII.

Optional Concluding Prayer (The "Three O'Clock Prayer")
O Blood and Water, which hast gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy for us, we trust in Thee.

O Blood and Water, which hast gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy for us, we trust in Thee.

O Blood and Water, which hast gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a Fount of Mercy for us, we trust in Thee.


Novena to the Divine Mercy

The Novena may be prayed any time, but Jesus asked that it especially be prayed beginning on Good Friday and ending on what is now known as Divine Mercy Sunday. Each day of the Chaplet, we pray for a different group in response to Jesus' requests (in italics below) which He made known to St. Faustina. We pray for: all mankind -- especially sinners, priests and religious, the devout and faithful, pagans, heretics and schismatics, the meek and children, those who venerate His mercy, the souls in Purgatory, and, finally, the lukewarm.

Jesus' words (italicized) aren't to be prayed, but are included here so you may know what the prayers respond to.

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 the 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.

O omnipotence of Divine Mercy, salvation of sinful man, You are a sea of mercy and compassion. You aid him who entreats You with humility.

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 forever and ever. Amen.

Recite The Chaplet

Second Day

Today bring to Me the souls of priests and religious, and immerse them in My unfathomable mercy. It was they who gave Me the strength to endure My bitter Passion. Through them, as through channels, My mercy flows out upon mankind.

Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in us, that we may perform worthy works of mercy, and that all who see us may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven.

The fountain of God's love dwells in pure hearts, bathed in the Sea of Mercy, radiant as stars, bright as the dawn.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the company of chosen ones in Your vineyard upon the souls of priests and religious; and endow them with the strength of Your blessing. For the love of the Heart of Your Son, in which they are enfolded, impart to them Your power and light, that they may be able to guide others in the way of salvation, and with one voice sing praise to Your boundless mercy for ages without end. Amen.

Recite The Chaplet

Third Day

Today bring to Me all devout and faithful souls, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. These souls brought Me consolation on the Way of the Cross. They were that drop of consolation in the midst of an ocean of bitterness.

Most Merciful Jesus, from the treasury of Your mercy, You impart Your graces in great abundance to each and all. Receive us into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart and never let us escape from It. We beg this of You by that most wondrous love for the heavenly Father with which Your Heart burns so fiercely.

The miracles of mercy are impenetrable. Neither the sinner nor just one will fathom them. When You cast upon us an eye of pity, You draw us all closer to Your love.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon faithful souls, as upon the inheritance of Your Son. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, grant them Your blessing and surround them with Your constant protection. Thus may they never fail in love or lose the treasure of the holy faith, but rather, with all the hosts of Angels and Saints, may they glorify Your boundless mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Recite The Chaplet

Fourth Day

Today bring to Me the pagans and those who do not yet know me. I was thinking also of them during My bitter Passion, and their future zeal comforted My Heart. Immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.

Most Compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of pagans who as yet do not know You. Let the rays of Your grace enlighten them that they, too, together with us, may extol Your wonderful mercy; and do not let them escape from the abode which is Your Most Compassionate Heart.

May the light of Your love enlighten the souls in darkness; Grant that these souls will know You and, together with us, praise Your mercy.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of pagans and of those who as yet do not know You, but who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Draw them to the light of the Gospel. These souls do not know what great happiness it is to love You. Grant that they, too, may extol the generosity of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Recite The Chaplet

Fifth Day

Today bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics, and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy. During my bitter Passion they tore at My Body and Heart; that is, My Church. As they return to unity with the Church, My wounds heal, and in this way they alleviate My Passion.

Most Merciful Jesus, Goodness Itself, You do not refuse light to those who seek it of You. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of heretics and schismatics. Draw them by Your light into the unity of the Church, and do not let them escape from the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart; but bring it about that they, too, come to adore the generosity of Your mercy.

Even for those who have torn the garment of Your unity, a fount of mercy flows from Your Heart. The omnipotence of Your mercy, O God, can lead these souls also out of error.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of heretics and schismatics, who have squandered Your blessings and misused Your graces by obstinately persisting in their errors. Do not look upon their errors, but upon the love of Your own Son and upon His bitter Passion, which He underwent for their sake, since they, too, are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Bring it about that they also may glorify Your great mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Recite The Chaplet

Sixth Day

Today bring to Me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who would keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is able to receive My grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.

Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, "Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart." Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy, and they are the heavenly Father's favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.

A truly gentle and humble soul already here on earth the air of paradise breathes, and in the fragrance of her humble heart the Creator Himself delights.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek and humble souls, and upon the souls of little children, who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.

Recite The Chaplet

Seventh Day

Today bring to Me the souls who especially venerate and glorify My mercy, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls sorrowed most over My Passion and entered most deeply into My Spirit. They are living images of My Compassionate Heart. These souls will shine with a special brightness in the next life. Not one of them will go into the fire of hell. I shall particularly defend each one of them at the hour of death.

Most Merciful Jesus, whose Heart is Love Itself, receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who particularly extol and venerate the greatness of Your mercy. These souls are mighty with the very power of God Himself. In the midst of all afflictions and adversities they go forward, confident of Your mercy. These souls are united to Jesus and carry all mankind on their shoulders. These souls will not be judged severely, but Your mercy will embrace them as they depart from this life.

A soul who praises the goodness of her Lord; she is always close to the living fountain and draws graces from Mercy Divine.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls who glorify and venerate Your greatest attribute, that of Your fathomless mercy, and who are enclosed in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls are a living Gospel; their hands are full of deeds of mercy, and their spirit, overflowing with joy, sings a canticle of mercy to You, O Most High! I beg You O God: Show them Your mercy according to the hope and trust they have placed in You. Let there be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them, I Myself will defend as My own glory, during their lifetime, and especially at the hour of their death, those souls who will venerate My fathomless mercy. Amen.

Recite The Chaplet

Eighth Day

Today bring to Me the souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is in your power to bring them relief. Draw all the indulgences from the treasury of My Church and offer them on their behalf. Oh, if you only knew the torments they suffer, you would continually offer for them the alms of the spirit and pay off their debt to My justice.

Most Merciful Jesus, You Yourself have said that You desire mercy; so I bring into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls in Purgatory, souls who are very dear to You, and yet, who must make retribution to Your justice. May the streams of Blood and Water which gushed forth from Your Heart put out the flames of the purifying fire, that in that place, too, the power of Your mercy may be praised.

From the terrible heat of the cleansing fire rises a plaint to Your mercy, and they receive comfort, refreshment, relief in the stream of mingled Blood and Water.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls suffering in Purgatory, who are enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. I beg You, by the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Your Son, and by all the bitterness with which His most sacred Soul was flooded, manifest Your mercy to the souls who are under Your just scrutiny. Look upon them in no other way than through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to Your goodness and compassion. Amen.

Recite The Chaplet

Ninth Day

Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: "Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will." For them, the last hope of salvation is to flee to My mercy.

Most compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love; and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.

Fire and ice cannot be joined; Either the fire dies, or the ice melts. But by Your mercy, O God, You can make up for all that is lacking.

Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls, who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: Let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen.

Recite The Chaplet


Footnotes:
The prayers in their original Polish:

Eternal Father:
Ojcze Przedwieczny, ofiaruje Ci Cialo i Krew,
Dusze i Bóstwo najmilszego Syna Twojego,
a Pana naszego Jezusa Chrystusa,
na przeblaganie za grzechy nasze i calego swiata.

Response:
Dla Jego bolesnej Meki miej milosierdzie dla nas i calego swiata.

Holy God:
Swiety Boze, Swiety Mocny, Swiety Niesmiertelny, zmiluj sie nad nami i nad calym swiatem.


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