The revelation of Divine Mercy was a series of messages and visions that Jesus Christ gave to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska in the 1930s. These messages were recorded in Faustina’s diary. In these messages, Jesus revealed to Faustina His great love for humanity and His desire to forgive our sins. He also asked her to spread the message of Divine Mercy to the world.
One of the most important messages that Jesus gave Faustina is that He is a God of mercy. He said, “I am Love and Mercy itself” (Diary od Saint Faustina, 1059). Jesus also said He is “patient and long-suffering” (Diary, 1060).
Another important message that Jesus gave Faustina is that He wants us to trust His mercy. He said, “My daughter, trust in My mercy, and I will save you” (Diary, 1572). Jesus also said, “I am the God of mercy, and I act according to My mercy” (Diary, 1065). We can always rely on God’s mercy, even when we don’t feel worthy.
In 2000, during the canonization of Sr. Faustina, Pope John Paul II established the feast of “Divine Mercy Sunday” to be celebrated annually on the second Sunday of Easter in the universal Church. This declaration did not change the readings established for the second Sunday of Easter or the importance for the date being the final day of the octave of Easter. It merely emphasizes the great depth of Jesus’ saving actions of His passion, death and resurrection for mankind. In his homily on Divine Mercy Sunday in 2001, Pope John Paul II called the revelations given to St. Faustina “the appropriate and incisive answer that God wanted to offer to the questions and expectations of human beings in our time, … Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity at the dawn of the third millennium.”
There are many ways to experience God’s Divine Mercy. One way is to pray to Jesus and ask Him to forgive your sins. You can also pray for others who need God’s mercy.
Jesus told St. Faustina, “I demand from you deeds of mercy, you must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it. I give you three ways of exercising mercy, the first by deed, the second by word, and the third by prayer. In these three degrees are contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By these means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy.” (Diary, 742.)
Here at St. John the Evangelist Parish we follow Jesus’ instructions through the works of our Apostolate of Divine Mercy pray group which was established by Anne Durocher in 2020. Late last year Anne moved away from Jackson to be closer to her son and I have taken over the leading of the Apostolate. I recently spoke with Anne to ask her how she came to start the Apostolate.
In June of 2019, as her husband John lay dying, Anne Durocher prayed the chaplet for John and promised God that she would devote the rest of her life to His Divine Mercy. Later that night Anne was called back to his bedside. By the time she arrive as the hospice facility, John was already gone. The nurse, named Julie, said she had had to ask Anne something and proceeded to tell her the following story.
Julie said that as she was in John’s room two other nurses saw two bucks come up to the hallway window and look in at the nurses. The bucks moved on to the first patient room window, looked in for a moment and moved on to the next window, repeating the same movements and finally moved on to the third patient room which was John’s window. Julie looked out the window and the two deer came very close to the window all the time looking at John. Julie carefully moved out of the room not wanting to frighten the deer, but they didn’t take their gaze from John. In the hallway, Julie encountered the other two nurses and told them what she had seen. The first two nurses shared their part of the story and that they had also seen the two deer back away slowly from John’s window turn walk towards the woods and “poof” disappeared! Julie said to Anne, “I am not Catholic, do you know what this means?” Anne told Julie that she believed that the two deer were sent by God to take John’s soul to heaven.
Since John’s passing, Anne has devoted herself to the Divine Mercy and continues to do so at her new parish.
There are now nearly 50 prayer warriors who belong to the prayer group here at St John Parish. The members of the Apostolate pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet daily for the our list of souls who are gravely or terminally ill, dying or recently deceased. Our list of those we pray for are known only to those who make a prayer request and our membership; the list is not made public.
For further information on Divine Mercy,
I recommend the following books and papers:
1. Divine Mercy In My Soul, The Diary of Sister M. Faustina Kowalska
2. Dives in Misericordia (Rich in Mercy); Encyclical dedicated to Divine Mercy by Pope Saint John Paul II
3. Understanding Divine Mercy, by Fr. Chris Alar, MIC
You can also learn about Divine Mercy from the website of The Marians of the Immaculate Conception, also known as the Marian Fathers at thedivinemercy.org.
The Marian Fathers have a Divine Mercy in a Year Podcast available on YouTube. The entire Diary will be presented by Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC. Each episode is no more than 10 minutes long. The podcast is currently on day 102.
Jesus, I trust in You!