According to our Lord’s directions to St. Faustina Kowalska, Good Friday begins the Divine Mercy Novena. In the 1930s, Jesus appeared repeatedly to Polish nun of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Faustina Kowalska, dictating to her passage after passage on his Divine Mercy, which she obediently recorded in her diary. It was during these visits of Jesus to St. Faustina that he gave her the Divine Mercy Chaplet (to be said at 3pm each day) and the Divine Mercy Novena. It also was during these visits that our Lord called for the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy, to take place the Sunday after Easter. It wasn’t until May 23, 2000 that a decree was issued by Blessed John Paul II, making the date a feast for the Universal Church.
Even before her death on October 5, 1938, devotion to Divine Mercy had begun to spread. Today, faithful worldwide daily say the chaplet and novena. There are countless witnesses to the fruitfulness of this devotion in the conversion and transformation of souls and to miracles granted.
In fact, yesterday, I was told of the miraculous cure of a 31 year-old man who was dying of pneumonia. The man’s condition was so severe that he had had to be put on life support equipment. Sadly, he did not respond, and his body began to shut down. The physicians informed the family that it was time to turn off the machines and let the man go.
His uncle, a priest, pleaded with Divine Mercy for a cure, sitting by his hospital bedside and praying the Divine Mercy chaplet for his recovery. At 3pm – the hour of mercy, according to Jesus’ words to St. Faustina – the man’s condition began to improve. He’s now off the ventilator and had his first “food” – the Precious Blood – given to him by his priest-uncle. The doctors have testified that his recovery could only be the result of a miracle.
If that isn’t enough to make you want to join in this awesome devotion, I don’t know what is. I’ve included the link to the novena’s full text below so that you can pray the novena along with Catholics throughout the world. There’s also a link to the Divine Mercy Chaplet, which you’ll need for the novena and that you may want to memorize and say daily at 3pm.
Blessed John Paul II was an ardent advocate of the Divine Mercy devotion (hence, his institution of the feast day). On Sunday, April 20 – the Feast of Divine Mercy – he will be canonized by Pope Francis, along with Pope John XXIII. I would dare say that, on this year of all years, when he will be raised to the honors of the altar, St. John Paul II will be most generous in interceding for our intentions when we pray the Divine Mercy Novena. We need only ask. And, who knows? Perhaps we’ll receive a miracle, too.