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What is the meaning of Divine Mercy Sunday?

Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, which is the last day of the Easter Octave. In 2022, the feast is on April 24. During the course of Jesus’ revelations to Saint Faustina on the Divine Mercy He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. The liturgical texts of that day, the 2nd Sunday of Easter, concern the institution of the Sacrament of Penance, the Tribunal of the Divine Mercy, and are thus already suited to the request of Our Lord. This Feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on 30 April 2000. (continued below)


What is the meaning of Divine Mercy Sunday? (continued from above)

In a decree dated 23 May 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated 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 mankind will experience in the years to come.” Concerning the Feast of Mercy, Jesus said: Whoever approaches the Fountain of Life on this day will be granted complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. (Diary, 300) I want the image solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it. (Diary, 341) This Feast emerged from the very depths of My mercy, and it is confirmed in the vast depths of my tender mercies. (Diary, 420)

“Be apostles of Divine Mercy under the maternal and loving guidance of Mary.” - Pope St. John Paul II to the Marians, June 22, 1993

When should the Divine Mercy be prayed?

Just as the Image can serve as a reminder of the “ocean of Divine Mercy,” as well as its price, so can the daily remembrance of the Divine Mercy at the hour of Christ’s death. Jesus asked Saint Faustina, and through her us, to celebrate the Hour of Great Mercy, promising tremendous graces for those who do so, both for themselves and for others. At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy ... In this hour I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (Diary, 1320)

Why is 3 o’clock so important for practicing a devotion to Divine Mercy?

In the Gospels we are told that Jesus died at the ninth hour (cf. Mt. 27:46-50) on the Day of Preparation before Passover (cf. Mt. 27:62, John 19:14), which was also a Sabbath that year (cf. John 19:31). This sets the time of His Death as the ninth hour, (according to Sun time), or 3 p.m., on a Friday (since the Jewish Sabbath is Saturday). This is the Hour of Great Mercy, and the time which under the old covenant the Passover Lamb was slaughtered.

Can the Divine Mercy prayer be said at any time?

While 3:00 p.m. is the best time to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, the faithful can say this prayer any time of day and on any day of the week.

“I am not only the Queen of Heaven, but also the Mother of Mercy.” - Our Lady (Diary, 330)

What are the promises of the Divine Mercy Chaplet?

Among the requests made by Our Lord of St. Faustina was the Divine Mercy Chaplet, promising, “The souls that say this chaplet will be embraced by My mercy during their lifetime and especially at the hour of their death.” A chaplet is a devotional form which uses beads to count out the prayers as they are being prayed. The Marian Rosary is the most famous example. Many chaplets, including this one, simply use the rosary beads for this purpose.

What happens when you pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet?

Jesus told St. Faustina the following: Say unceasingly the Chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it, they will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. (Diary, 687)

Why is the Divine Mercy Chaplet so powerful?

Jesus’ Mercy is incomparable. He wants—more than anything—for us to come to Him, to live with Him in Heaven. His Love, manifested on the Cross, is the reason that the Chaplet is so powerful.

What is the difference between the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet?

These devotions, both prayed on Rosary beads, are important to Catholics. The Holy Rosary meditates on different events from the life of Christ and His Mother; whereas, the Divine Mercy Chaplet focuses on Jesus’ Sacrifice and the depth of the Divine Mercy.

“He who knows how to forgive prepares for himself many graces from God. As often as I look upon the cross, so often will I forgive with all my heart.” - St. Faustina (Diary, 390)

How do you recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet?

Using the Marian Rosary,

  1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross on the Crucifix, then on the group of three beads, the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Apostles’ Creed.

On the beads of the five decades, say the following:

  1. On the Our Father beads, 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.

  2. On the ten Hail Mary Beads, For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades.

  1. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

There are optional prayers for the Three O’clock Hour that may be added and are found in devotional books on the Divine Mercy.

What does the Divine Mercy prayer mean?

Here are the three main prayers of the Divine Mercy Chaplet: 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. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world. With all three of these prayers, we are admitting to God that we are all unworthy. It is only through Jesus’ sacrifice, only through God’s power, only through His Mercy that we can ask for anything. Do we offer ourselves? No, we offer Jesus. Do we ask for our “sake”? No, we say “for the sake of His sorrowful Passion”? Through this prayer, we are asking God to grant us our intentions due to His Greatness.

When should I start the Divine Mercy Novena?

Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said: “These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.’ The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.” In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her: “On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy ... On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls.”

“My daughter, let nothing frighten or disconcert you. Remain deeply at peace. Everything is in My hands.” - Jesus to St. Faustina (Diary, 219)