Thursday, April 17, 2014

Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet Begins On Good Friday

A photo of Pope John Paul II in a cell with his assassin, Mehmet Ali Agca
Pope John Paul II at Rome’s Rebibbia Prison on December 27, 1983, visiting Mehmet Ali Agca,
the man who tried to assassinate him on May 13, 1981, in St. Peter's Square.

If you have not been following my blog or if you have not visited it in quite some time, today's post continues with a series of posts on Divine Mercy Sunday, a feast that is celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.

Jesus requested the establishment of this feast to a Polish nun, Sister Faustina Kowalska, who published a diary several hundred pages long documenting all that Jesus communicated to her. The core message of Divine Mercy Sunday is nothing new, as it has been taught by the Church through scripture and tradition: that God is merciful and we too must be merciful. Divine Mercy Sunday emphasizes this in a greater way, calling people to a deeper understanding that God's love is unlimited and available to everyone, even the greatest sinners. 

Prior to the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, Jesus asked that it be preceded by a Novena to The Divine Mercy, to begin on Good Friday. Jesus gave a specific intention to Sister Faustina for each day of the novena, with the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent souls. Sister Faustina had made note of this in her diary, "These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy." 

Each day of the novena, we bring to Jesus' heart a different group of souls to be immersed in his ocean of mercy as is noted in Sister Faustina's diary, "On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy...On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls." Below are the different groups of souls prayed for each day of the novena:
  1. DAY 1 (Good Friday) - All mankind, especially sinners
  2. DAY 2 (Holy Saturday) - The souls of priests and religious
  3. DAY 3 (Easter Sunday) - All devout and faithful souls
  4. DAY 4 (Easter Monday) - Those who do not believe in and do not yet know Jesus 
  5. DAY 5 (Easter Tuesday) - The souls of separated brethren
  6. DAY 6 (Easter Wednesday) - The meek and humble souls and the souls of children
  7. DAY 7 (Easter Thursday) - The souls who especially venerate and glorify Jesus' mercy
  8. DAY 8 (Easter Friday) - The souls who are detained in purgatory; 
  9. DAY 9 (Easter Saturday) - The souls who have become lukewarm.
During the Solemn Novena leading to Divine Mercy Sunday, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, should be offered each day for the above noted daily intentions; that is, on Day One in addition to the novena prayer, recite the chaplet for that day's same intention. This would mean that for Day One, both sets of prayers (novena and chaplet) would be offered up for "All mankind, especially sinners." On Day Two, the prayers would be offered up for "The souls of priests and religious" and so forth. This pattern would continue until all the intentions for the novena were completed. It is important to note that a proper spirit of prayer must accompany the recitation of the novena and chaplet. It would not suffice to mechanically recite the prayers, content on completing them without true devotion. 

Here is what Jesus told Sister Faustina about the importance and significance of the Divine Mercy Chaplet:
Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this Chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I desire that the whole world know My Infinite Mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those who trust in My Mercy.... (Diary 687)

....When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior.
An end note regarding the selected photo associated with today's post. As the caption mentions, it is Pope John Paul II visiting the Turkish assassin who tried to kill him. What the photo further spotlights about the Divine Mercy Devotion, that Pope John Paul clearly demonstrated, as followers of Christ we must be merciful. This is a requirement of the Divine Mercy Devotion. Jesus stated to Sister Faustina, "...[T]here must also be deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to our neighbours always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to absolve yourself from it. (Diary 742)

Jesus, have mercy on us. Our Lady Queen of Peace, pray for us.

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