In the 1930s, Sr. Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Most Blessed Sacrament, a Sister of Our Lady of Mercy, received a message from the Lord that she was to live her life as a model of Christ’s merciful love and spread Christ’s mercy throughout the world. She proceeded to offer up all of her personal sufferings in atonement for the sins of others. She kept a secret diary in which she wrote of God’s mercy, as well as about her special devotion to Mary Immaculate and to the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation, which gave her strength. Sr. Faustina’s diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, serves as the handbook for the devotion to the Divine Mercy. In it, we read of the message of mercy that she received from Christ.
On April 30, 2000, Sr. Faustina Kowalska was canonized by Pope John Paul II. Then, on May 23, 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship decreed that “throughout the world, the second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that humankind will experience in the years to come.”
On Divine Mercy Sunday — occurring this year on April 3 — all parishioners are encouraged to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, always remembering and practicing the essential “ABCs” of Divine Mercy:
- Ask for mercy
- Be merciful to others
- Completely trust in Jesus
Format of the Divine Mercy Chaplet
“Chaplet” simply refers to the prayers counted on a rosary. The Lord said to St. Faustina, “You will recite this chaplet on the beads of the Rosary in the following Manner:”
One “Our Father,” one “Hail Mary,” and the “I Believe in God.”
On the “Our Father Beads” say:
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 “Hail Mary Beads” say:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
In conclusion, three times recite these words:
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
“I want the whole world to know my infinite mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who trust in my mercy” (Diary, 687).