This article was published at the Pax Sinica column on The BC Catholic (April 12)
Last Sunday was Divine Mercy Sunday. Devotion to the Divine Mercy was proclaimed by St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), a Polish nun who received private revelations from Our Lord. These revelations were written down in the saint's personal diary.
They can be summed up with "ABC": A: ask for mercy; B: be merciful; and C: completely trust in Jesus. In these few weeks, we are going to explore each of these three elements.
A powerful prayer
On Sept. 14, 1935, the Lord Jesus taught St. Faustina a powerful prayer, the chaplet of Divine Mercy.
Here are the instructions given by Our Lord: "First of all, you will say one Our Father and Hail Mary and the I Believe in God. Then on the Our Father beads you will say the following words: '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.'
"On the Hail Mary beads you will say the following words: 'For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.' In conclusion, three times you will recite these words: 'Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.'"
Hope for sinners
The chaplet is a source of hope for sinners. Jesus said, "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."
Our Lord told St. Faustina that He would grant great graces to souls who say the chaplet, and that it pleases Him to grant everything people ask of Him by saying the chaplet.
Comfort of the dying
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a wonderful prayer for the dying. Jesus promised that those who pray the chaplet would be embraced by His mercy at the hour of death.
God the Father once said to St. Faustina, "At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same. When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God's anger is placated, and unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender mercy will be moved for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of My Son."
Jesus Himself said, "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 Saviour."
St. Faustina experienced firsthand the power of the chaplet for the salvation of the dying. In the afternoon of Dec. 12, 1936, St. Faustina entered the ward of a dying person whose agony had begun at midnight. The saint heard a voice telling her to pray the chaplet. She prayed and the dying person suddenly opened her eyes and looked at the saint. Then she died with extraordinary peace.
A similar incident took place in the evening of March 22, 1937. A dying young man was in terrible agony. St. Faustina again heard a voice telling her to say the chaplet. Feeling the majesty and justice of God, the saint kept on begging for mercy for the young man.
She prayed God to grant him the grace of a happy death. Finally, his suffering ceased and he died peacefully. On some occasions the saint was able to see demons around the dying person, but while she prayed the chaplet the evil spirits fled and the dying died in the Lord with great trust and peace.
上主日我們剛渡過了復活節第八天慶期，也就是眾所熟悉的「神聖慈悲主日」。神聖慈悲敬禮是由一位波蘭修女聖瑪利亞.傅天娜St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)，得到主耶穌私人啓示後，向世界公告。私人啓示的詳情，均記載在聖人的日記中。整體而言，有關啟示可分三個部份：一、祈求慈悲；二、憐憫；三、信賴耶穌。我們就按次序，分週探討這三部份。