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What is Divine Mercy?   
 

BIOGRAPHY

Born in 1905 in the village of Glogowiec near Lodz, Sister Faustina was the third of ten children. From a very tender age, Faustina was notable in her habits of prayer, her fastidious work, obedience, and her concern for the poor.

For her schooling, she received not quite three years of elementary school and later became a domestic servant as a teenager.

At the age of 20, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in which, as Sister Maria Faustina, she spent 13 years. While a seemingly simple and monotonous life, Sister Faustina had an exceptionally profound union with God. Even from her earliest childhood, she desired to become a saint, and she consistently worked with Jesus for the salvation of lost souls, even to the extent of offering her life as a sacrifice for poor sinners. As such, she was given the grace of much suffering, as well as numerous mystical graces. To Sister Faustina, Jesus said, "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. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart." This simple, though trusting religious, was to be trusted with one of God's most amazing declarations.

Racked and broken by tuberculosis, and from the many sufferings that she bore in the sacrifice for sinners, Sister Faustina died October 5, 1938 at the young age of 33, the same age as our Lord when He died.

She was beatified in 1993 and canonized on April 30, 2000.

THE ESSENCE OF THE DIVINE MERCY

Trust expresses the disposition we should have towards God. It includes not only the virtue of hope, but also a lively faith, humility, perseverance and remorse for sins committed. It is simply the attitude of a child who trusts boundlessly in the merciful love and omnipotence of the Heavenly Father in every situation.

Trust is so essential to the Divine Mercy devotion that without it the devotion cannot exist; this is because out worship of the Divine Mercy is first and foremost an expression of trust. An attitude of trust alone (even without the practice of other forms of devotion) already assures the trusting soul of grace that it will receive God's mercy. I desire, Jesus promised, to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. Sinners will attain justification, and the just will be confirmed in good. Whoever places his trust in My mercy will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death.

Trust is not only the essence or soul of this devotion, but also the condition for obtaining graces. The graces of My mercy, Jesus told Sister Faustina, are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are a great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them. I rejoice that they ask for much, because it is my desire to give them much, very much. The soul that will trust in My mercy is most fortunate, because I Myself will take care of it. No soul that has called upon My mercy has been disappointed or brought to shame. I delight particularly in a soul which has placed its trust in My goodness.

Mercy expresses the disposition we should have towards every human being, Jesus told Sister Faustina, I demand deeds of mercy, which arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbours always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it. I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbour: the first — by deed, the second, by word, and the third, by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy.

This attitude of an active love of neighbour is also a condition for obtaining graces. Jesus recalled the Gospel maxim when He said, If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain mercy on the day of judgment. Oh if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasure for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgment with their mercy.

The Lord desires that those who worship Him perform at least one act of mercy every day. My daughter, He told Sister Faustina, know that My Heart is mercy itself. From this sea of mercy graces flow out upon the world…I desire that your heart be an abiding place of My mercy. I desire that this mercy flow out upon the whole world through your heart. Let no one who approaches you go away without that trust in My mercy which I so ardently desire for souls.

To learn more, go to EWTN on The Divine Mercy Devotion

 

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