Exceptional Devotion: Divine Mercy Novena

Original image of Jesus the Divine Mercy in Vilnius
Original image of Jesus the Divine Mercy in Vilnius (photo: Courtesy of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy)

Divine Mercy is the unmistakable and unbreakable connection that begins during the Triduum and continues uninterrupted through Easter, straight to Divine Mercy Sunday.

In fact, Our Lord gave us an exceptionally powerful connection to what he did on Calvary and Easter Sunday, and the mercy he wants to pour out to us on Divine Mercy Sunday — the Chaplet of Divine Mercy said as a novena.

A novena, of course, is nine days of prayer.

St. Faustina tells us the Lord directed her to say this chaplet for nine days before the feast of Mercy, and it is to begin on Good Friday (Diary, 796).

Jesus told her: “By this novena, I will grant every possible grace to souls.”

If we haven’t done so yet, now is surely the time to take this great promise to heart: “Do whatever he tells you,” as our Blessed Mother told us centuries ago.

We can pray it alone, of course. But what a beautiful way to bring families together with their children, no matter their age.

Jesus also gave Faustina a short prayer to add each day to the chaplet for specific intentions on that particular day.

For the sixth day, Jesus directed: “Today, bring to me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls most closely resemble my Heart. They strengthened me during my bitter agony. I saw them as earthly angels. … I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. Only the humble soul is capable of receiving my grace.”

Jesus named the other specific groups, telling St. Faustina, "I desire that, during these nine days, you bring souls to the fountain of my mercy, that they may draw ... strength and refreshment and whatever grace they need in the hardships of life and especially at the hour of death (Diary, 1209).”

The other groups are all mankind, especially all sinners; the souls of priests and religious; all devout and faithful souls; those who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know him; the souls of those who have separated themselves from his Church; souls who especially venerate and glorify his mercy; souls detained in purgatory; and souls who have become lukewarm, to “immerse them in the ocean of my mercy.”

You can find those prayers here.

So begin the novena of chaplets this Good Friday, April 3, and pray it for the nine days leading up to Divine Mercy Sunday on April 12.

Some days you might even want to pray along with the video recorded at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy. The shrine also invites people to pray along with them in this way.

If you are able, pray at 3pm, the "Hour of Great Mercy.”

Not sure how to pray the chaplet? Learn quickly here. And learn more about the chaplet here.

The promises connected with the novena are spectacular.

As Faustina was praying the chaplet, she heard Jesus say, “Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet; the very depths of my tender mercy are stirred for the sake of those who say the chaplet (Diary, 848).”

Jesus also said: “I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart. Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy (Diary, 1588).

Why wait? It is time to pick up our rosary beads and begin the novena of chaplets!

Pope St. John Paul II, who canonized St. Faustina and loved Divine Mercy, would be pleased, too. Here is a touching photo of the saint who died 10 years ago on April 2, 2005, blessing the Divine Mercy image with Marian priest Father Filipiec (on left), provided by the Association of Marian Helpers.


Jesus, we trust in you!