The devotion to the Divine Mercy is based on the writings and revelations of St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun in the 1930s. The revelations from Jesus Christ were recorded in notebooks that were compiled as “The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska.”
In the revelations, Christ asked for acts of mercy arising out of love for him, through deed, word and prayer.
St. Faustina’s diary includes a passage in which Christ asked people to say a novena of the Divine Mercy Chaplet in preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy. The novena is to begin on Good Friday. In one vision, Christ gave St. Faustina the words of the Divine Mercy chaplet and instructions on how it should be prayed, using the beads of a rosary.
According to her diary: “First of all, you will say one ‘Our Father’ and ‘Hail Mary’ and the ‘I Believe in God’ (the Apostles’ Creed). Then on the Our Father beads you will say the following words, ‘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 you will say the following words, ‘For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.’ In conclusion, three times you will recite these words: ‘Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.’”
“By this novena (of Chaplets) I will grant every possible grace to souls,” Christ told St. Faustina.
In another vision, Christ asked St. Faustina to have his image painted as he appeared to her. In the Divine Mercy image, Jesus is shown with his right hand raised in blessing and his left hand touching his chest. Two rays of light emanate from his heart, one red and the other white, representing the blood and water that poured from his side on the Cross. At the bottom of the image are the words, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
In 2000, St. John Paul II proclaimed that the Second Sunday of Easter should be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday to draw the clear connection between the merciful love of God and the Paschal Mystery.
For more information about the Divine Mercy devotion, visit www.divinemercy.org.
Churches that will be hosting Divine Mercy services on Sunday, April 24, include:
- Immaculate Conception Church, 709 Franklin St. Clarksville, 3 p.m.
- Church of the Nativity, 2793 Buckner Lane, Thompsons Station, 3 p.m.
- Our Lady of the Lake Church, 1729 Stop 30 Road, Hendersonville, 3 p.m.
- Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 103 Golf Club Lane, Springfield, 3 p.m.
- St. Anthony Church, 1900 Huntsville Highway, Fayetteville, 3 p.m.
- St. Catherine of Alexandria Church, 1024 Faulkner Springs Road, McMinnville. The Divine Mercy Chaplet will be prayed at 3 p.m. on Good Friday, April 15, and followed by the Living Stations of the Cross at 4 p.m.
- St. John Vianney Church, 449 North Water St., Gallatin. After the Veneration of the Cross on Good Friday, April 15, the parish will begin the nine-day Divine Mercy Novena. On Sunday, April 24, at 3 p.m. there will be a Divine Mercy Service to end this novena in the Small Church.
- St. Matthew Church, 535 Sneed Road West, Franklin. The Divine Mercy novena will begin on Good Friday, April 15, after the Stations of the Cross in the Chapel at 3 p.m. The novena will conclude on Sunday, April 24, with a Divine Mercy service at 3 p.m. in the chapel.
- St. Paul the Apostle Church, 304 W. Grizzard St., Tullahoma, 3:30-4:30 p.m.
- St. Philip the Apostle Church, 113 Second Ave. South, Franklin. Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3 p.m., Rosary and Veneration of the Divine Mercy image, 3:15 p.m., Confessions from 3:45 p.m. until the 5 p.m. Mass.
- St. Pius X Church, 2800 Tucker Road, Nashville. Confession at 2 p.m., Divine Mercy service at 3 p.m. Light refreshments to follow the service.
- St. Vincent de Paul Church, 1700 Heiman St., Nashville. The Divine Mercy chaplet is prayed every Friday before Stations of the Cross at 5 p.m.