Devotion to the Divine Mercy: The Novena
On one occasion, I heard these words: My daughter, tell the whole world about My Inconceivable mercy. I desire that the Feast of Mercy be a refuge and shelter for all souls, and especially for poor sinners. On that day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy. The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which grace flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet. My mercy is so great that no mind, be it of man or of angel, will be able to fathom it throughout all eternity. Everything that exists has come forth from the very depths of My most tender mercy. Every soul in its relation to Me will I contemplate My love and mercy throughout eternity. The Feast of Mercy emerged from My very depths of tenderness. It is My desire that it be solemnly celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy. (Diary 699)
This is the primary paragraph in the diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska that testifies to our Lord's desire that all sinners should come to him confident of his Mercy. While all people should feel confident to approach him, he especially wanted each person to observe the solemn celebration of his Mercy on the Sunday following Easter, the Feast of Divine Mercy.
St. Faustina's life and diary were carefully examined in Rome. The devotion to the Divine Mercy was encouraged by the late Holy Father, John Paul II while he was still a cardinal. Finally, on May 23, 2000 a decreed was issued by the Church formally establishing the second Sunday after Easter as the Feast of Divine Mercy.
The novena, which may be prayed anytime, was dictated by Our Lord to St. Faustina in special preparation for the Feast of Divine Mercy. It is prayed starting on Good Friday and continues for the nine days leading up to the feast day. The chaplet is often prayed with the novena prayer for the day. For further information concerning the devotion to the Divine Mercy please visit the Marians of the Immaculate Conception website. [downloadable copy]