Devotion to Divine Mercy is widespread and growing. Pope St. John Paul II was definitely an instrument in promoting the message of mercy because he both canonized St. Faustina, the messenger of Mercy, and declared the Sunday after Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday in the Church calendar. But, there is so much rich history surrounding this incredible devotion that so many don’t know about.
What’s So Unique about Divine Mercy?
To a person who isn’t Catholic, talking about Divine Mercy might seem like a no-brainer. “It’s God’s mercy and love, right?” Yes, but as Catholics, there is a history and tradition behind the term “Divine Mercy”. Of course it does mean, in simple terms, that God loves us so incredibly much and that His mercy is so strong, and that this message isn’t a new one. But, there’s much more hidden in the writings of St. Faustina Kowalska.
This devotion is based on St. Faustina’s writings in her diary. She was a 20th century Polish nun who wrote down all the revelations she had received in her diary, after being urged to do so by her spiritual director. She received visions from 1931-1938. You can get to know her on the blog here.
Devotions to Divine Mercy
In addition to her diary, she also commissioned a painting of Jesus, which the Lord asked her to paint. This image has been reproduced and venerated around the world, always with the words “Jesus, I trust in You” written at the bottom. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy and Divine Mercy Sunday also began from Faustina’s visions with the Lord. Jesus asked that the chaplet be said by Faustina and others, and that Divine Mercy Sunday be celebrated after Easter so that mankind would turn to His mercy.
One of the most interesting things about St. Faustina’s visions is the devotion grew while she was still alive. This seems to be in part because she had very wise spiritual directors (Fr. Michael Sopocko & Fr. Andrasz, SJ) and she was very obedient to Jesus and the commands he gave her in the visions.
St. Faustina’s spiritual directors and the Marians of the Immaculate Conception committed to spread the message of Mercy after St. Faustina’s death in 1938 all around the world. Interestingly, Divine Mercy devotion was banned by the Church in 1959, but the ban was lifted in 1978 and popularized soon after by Pope St. John Paul II (who was elected the same year and had a strong devotion to Divine Mercy).
Some of the Messages of Mercy
St. Faustina was able to spread and communicate the message of God’s mercy through her visions. Here are some beautiful and important quotes from her diary:
“Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My Mercy.” (St. Faustina’s Diary, 300)
“My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, and especially for poor sinners. If only they could understand that I am the best of Fathers to them and that it is for them that the Blood and Water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy.” (Diary, 367)
“Tell [all people], My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.” (Diary, 1074)
“Suffering is a great grace; through suffering the soul becomes like the Savior; in suffering love becomes crystallized; the greater the suffering, the purer the love.” (Diary, 57)
“I will not allow myself to be so absorbed in the whirlwind of work as to forget about God. I will spend all my free moments at the feet of the Master hidden in the Blessed Sacrament.” (Diary, 82)
“My child, know that the greatest obstacles to holiness are discouragement and an exaggerated anxiety. These will deprive you of the ability to practice virtue.” (Diary, 1488)
These are just a few of the many amazing quotes from St. Faustina’s diary and I encourage you to pick up a copy to receive all that the visions have to offer.
Special Graces & Divine Mercy
There are now special graces and indulgences attached to devotions to Divine Mercy. Read more details about that here. Devotions include:
- The Image
- The Chaplet of Divine Mercy
- Divine Mercy Sunday (Sunday after Easter)
- The Novena
- Prayer at 3:00 p.m. – the Hour of Mercy
For more information about Divine Mercy, check out the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, who are based in Stockbridge, MA.
In Our Shop!
We now have the Divine Mercy medal available in our shop! You can also spread the message of God’s mercy by wearing St. Faustina and Pope St. John Paul II, great messengers of Mercy, who are also available in the shop.