** The Miracle-Famous Image **
ABOUT THE DIARY AND THE CHAPLET
“In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world” (Diary 1588). Sister Faustina was chosen by God to remind the world of the mystery of His mercy. The historical context in which God sent her with the prophetic mission of Mercy is not without significance. For in the twentieth century ideologies of evil were created and developed: Nazism and communism. This was and still is a time of unprecedented development in terms of civilization and technology; a time of deep moral decline and departure of man from God; and life “as if God did not exist” on a hitherto unprecedented scale. In this context, it becomes clear that in such times, God gives us a great gift, by sending prophets, to remind us of the truth of His merciful love. This great gift to His people is ‘a sign of the times’, or ‘light’, intended to illuminate our path in the third millennium and inspire hope in our hearts.
In the privacy of the convent and obedient to the monastic rule, Sister Faustina pondered, at first alone, on what God did for man at his creation, how much the Son of God suffered for the redemption, what He left for man in the Church and what He has prepared for man in the glory of heaven. This getting to know the merciful love of God, based on considerations of the word of God, the Church’s liturgy, prayers and daily search for its manifestations in her own life was strengthened by the gift of infused contemplation, as a result of which, she entered deeply into this mystery of our faith, enabling her to proclaim it with a new power to the modern world. At the command of Jesus and her confessors she kept a diary in which she wrote down everything that God let her know and what He told her about His mercy in her mystical experiences. As Pope John Paul II stated, this Diary – “appears as a particular Gospel of Divine Mercy, written from a twentieth-century perspective.” (John Paul II, Memory and Identity).
It is a unique work, not only because it sprang from a mystical experience of Divine Mercy, but also because it contains original thoughts related to this mystery of faith. In the Diary there are no quotes from or comments relating to the texts of Holy Scripture, but the truth it reveals concerning Divine and human mercy – as Bishop Kazimierz Romaniuk noted – “can be regarded as a kind of additional source for (…) theology, which clearly enriches theology”. What strikes everyone in the Diary, is a fascination with the merciful love of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, showing this to be the greatest attribute of the Creator and Redeemer; also her desire to pass this message on to the world. Having so great an understanding of the mystery of Divine Mercy – St. Faustina defines mercy very briefly, yet expresses its essence in very profound terms when she writes that “Mercy is the flower of love. God is love, and mercy is His deed. In love it is conceived; in mercy it is revealed.” (Diary 651).
At first, the Devotion to the Divine Mercy was spread the way other devotions were: litanies, chaplets and novenas were popular parts of them and Sister Faustina’s confessor from Vilnius, the blessed Rev. Michał Sopoćko, spread the Devotion to the Divine Mercy by popularizing these forms. It was only the Rev. Professor Ignacy Różycki who laid the theological foundations for this Devotion in the forms conveyed by Saint Faustina – for the needs of the beatification process of the Apostle of the Divine Mercy he analyzed her ‘Diary’ fully. The analysis shows that the attitude of trust in the Lord God is the very essence of the Devotion. This is the biblical attitude of faith, trust in God. In practice, it consists in fulfilling His will expressed by the Commandments, obligations of one’s state in life, the Beatitudes, the evangelical counsels or discerned inspirations of the Holy Spirit. The attitude of mercy towards neighbour is the other essential condition for this Devotion. Thanks to it, the Devotion to the Divine Mercy does not consists only in prayers but it demands that we shape the evangelical attitude of active love of people in ourselves. Only trust in God and mercy towards neighbour provide the foundation for the new forms of the Devotion, which the Lord Jesus conveyed to Sister Faustina: Christ’s image with the words Jesus, I trust in You at its bottom, the Feast of Mercy on the first Sunday after Easter, the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy, the Hour of Mercy and spreading honour of the Divine Mercy. As regards the new forms of the Devotion, the promises attached to them pertain to all people that will practise the forms. This is what differentiates them from other prayers noted down in Saint Faustina’s ‘Diary’ – promises attached to the latter, for instance, to the act ‘O Blood and Water’ or the Novena to the Divine Mercy, pertain to Sister Faustina only. In order to benefit from the great promises it is necessary to practise these forms of worship in the spirit of the Devotion – that is, what is needed is the attitude of trust in God and mercy towards neighbour.
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.
Hail Mary, full of grace. Our 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.
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day, He rose again. He ascended to 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 the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.
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. (3x)
O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
Jesus, I trust in You. (3x)