Background for the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy

Helen Kowalska was born in Glogowiek, Poland in 1905.  At an early age she acquired a love for the Blessed Sacrament. When Helen was 7 years old, during one of her devotional visits to the Blessed Sacrament, Helen heard Jesus speak to her. It was at this early age when the Lord began to give her life a direction and purpose.

Despite very little schooling and while helping her parents raise a family of ten children, our Lord directed her to embrace the the religious life as a nun.  In 1925 she entered the convent of the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw, and in 1926 she was given her religious name:  Sister Maria Faustina.  

The Image of the Divine Mercy:  Sister Faustina dedicated her life to prayer and the Holy Eucharist, and as part of her fervent devotion she received numerous visions and visits from Jesus.  He requested that Faustina keep a diary recording all these visits.  He showed her an image of Himself that He wanted painted which would represent his Divine Mercy.  That image is shown at the right.  The image is venerated and has special meaning to trust in God and love one's neighbor.  It is of such importance that Jesus had Faustina sign it with the words, "Jesus, I trust in You".  Jesus stated to her, "This image is to be a reminder of the demands of my mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without words." (Diary, 570).  He continues, "By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it." (Diary, 570)

The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy:  Jesus let Sr. Faustina know all about His unconditional Mercy.  He told her that she was His chosen disciple and that she was to spread His Word of Mercy.  Her diary consists of all the conversations she had with Jesus.  Possibly the greatest and most important contribution found in the diary is a special prayer called the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy.  Jesus promises wonderful graces and salvation to those who recite this prayer.  He also says that a person can receive these wonderful graces along with salvation if the Chaplet is said by someone else for the person in need.  The Lord said, "Whoever will recite it (the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy) will receive great mercy at the hour of death ... I desire that the whole world know My infinite mercy.  I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy."  (Diary, 687)

In another visit, Jesus states, "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, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of My Son." (Diary, 811)

Sister Maria Faustina was canonized by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000.

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