The image of the Divine Mercy originates from a vision that Sister Faustina had in Poland on February 22, 1931. In that vision Christ expressed His desire to have such an image painted and that the words in the signature beneath it be: Jesus, I trust in You.
The image represents the risen Christ, whose hands and feet bear the marks of the crucifixion. From His pierced Heart, not visible in the image, two rays issue forth: red and pale. When asked about their meaning Jesus explained: The pale ray stands for the Water, which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood, which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a lance on the Cross. (299)
In other words, these two rays signify the Sacraments, and also the Holy Church born of the pierced side of Christ, as well as the gifts of the Holy Spirit, of which water is a symbol in Scripture. Happy is the one who will dwell in their shelter, said Jesus, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him. (299) The image then, portrays the great mercy of God, which was fully revealed in the Paschal Mystery of Christ, and is manifested, in the Church most effectively through the Holy Sacraments. The purpose of this image is to serve as a vessel for obtaining graces, and to be a sign, which is to remind the world of the need to trust in God and to show mercy toward our neighbor. The words found in the signature beneath the image", Jesus, I trust in You", speak of an attitude of trust.
The Hour of Mercy (3 p.m.) As often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. (1572) This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. (1320) It is Jesus' desire that the moment of His Death on the Cross (3:00 p.m.) be venerated every day; the hour, which He said was the hour of grace for the whole world - mercy triumphed over justice. (1572) At this hour, He wants us to meditate upon His sorrowful Passion because it reveals most distinctly the love God has for His people. At this time Jesus wants us to worship and glorify the Mercy of God, and, by the merits of His passion, to implore the necessary graces for ourselves and the whole world, especially for sinners. Try your best, Jesus instructed Sister Faustina , to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it; and if you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore, in the Blessed Sacrament, My heart, which is full of mercy; and should you be unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant. (1572) This is the hour, as Jesus promised, on which you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking. (1572). I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion. (1320) The Hour of Mercy is associated explicitly with three o'clock in the afternoon. Our prayers at this time should be directed to Jesus, and our petitions should appeal to the merits of His sorrowful Passion.
How to recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet?
The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades. The Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of saint Faustina and five personal prayers (optional ) for each decade to be said along with the Chaplet followed by a closing prayer :
Opening Prayer (Optional)
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself our upon us (1319) O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You! (84)
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.
THE HAIL MARY
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among 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 our death. Amen.
THE APOSTLES CREED
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day He rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead. I believe in Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of the sins, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting. Amen.
A. Then, on the large bead before each decade:
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.
B. On the 10 small beads of each decade:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.
C. Conclude with (Three times)
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
A and B (five times)
Closing Prayer (Optional)
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion - inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your Holy Will which is love and mercy itself. (950)
Five Personal Prayers
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy as a Novena
According to the Diary of Blessed Faustina Kowalska (476) (on ordinary rosary beads) in addition to the Novena to The Divine Mercy, which Our Lord gave to Blessed Faustina for her own personal use, he revealed to her a powerful prayer that He wanted everyone to say - the Chaplet of Mercy. Blessed Faustina prayed the Chaplet almost constantly, especially for the dying, and the Lord urged her to encourage others to say it too, promising extraordinary graces to those who would recite this special prayer.
The Chaplet can be said anytime, but the Lord specifically asked it to be recited as a novena, especially on the nine days before the Feast of Mercy. And He promised, "By this Novena (of Chaplets) I will grant every possible grace to souls"(796).
We can pray this Novena of Chaplets for our own personal intentions or we can offer it together with the Novena to The Divine Mercy for the daily intentions dedicated by Our Lord to Blessed Faustina.
NOVENA TO THE DIVINE MERCY
According to the Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska (1209-1229) Days of novena:
FIRST DAY - Today bring to me - ALL MANKIND, ESPECIALLY ALL SINNERS
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.
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.
SECOND DAY - Today bring to me - THE SOULS OF PRIESTS AND RELIGIOUS
Most Merciful Jesus, from whom comes all that is good, increase Your grace in men and women consecrated to Your service, that they may perform worthy works of mercy, and that all who see them may glorify the Father of Mercy who is in heaven. 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.
THIRD DAY - Today bring to me - All DEVOUT AND FAITHFUL SOULS
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. 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.
FOURTH DAY - Today bring to me - THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN GOD AND THOSE WHO DO NOT YET KNOW ME
Most Compassionate Jesus, You are the Light of the whole world. Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart the souls of those who do not believe in God and of those 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. Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who do not believe you, 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
FIFTH DAY - Today bring to me - THE SOULS OF THOSE WHO HAVE SEPARATED THEMSELVES FROM MY CHURCH
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 those who have separated themselves from Your Church. 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 glorify the generosity of Your mercy. Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon the souls of those who have separated themselves from Your Church, 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.
SIXTH DAY - Today bring to me -THE MEEK AND HUMBLE SOULS AND THE SOULS OF LITTLE CHILDREN
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. 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.
SEVENTH DAY - Today bring to me - THE SOULS WHO ESPECIALLY VENERATE AND GLORIFY MY MERCY
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. 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 it be accomplished in them the promise of Jesus, who said to them that during their life, but especially at the hour of death, the souls who will venerate this fathomless mercy of His, He, Himself will defend as His glory. Amen.
EIGHTH DAY - Today bring to me - THE SOULS WHO ARE DETAINED IN PURGATORY
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 Purgatory, that there too, the power of Your mercy may be celebrated. 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 but only through the Wounds of Jesus, Your dearly beloved Son; for we firmly believe that there is no limit to your goodness and compassion.
NINTH DAY - Today bring to me - SOULS WHO HAVE BECOME LUKEWARM
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. 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.