Today the Church invites the faithful worldwide to join in praying the Divine Mercy Novena each day, beginning on Good Friday, today, and ending on Divine Mercy Sunday. That’s the Sunday following Easter, April 7 to 15. But why pray the Divine Mercy Novena? Here’s a a very personal article by Lisa Kutas, Chief of Staff of the Diocese of Lansing, on why she has a particular love for this powerful devotion. Lisa writes:
About a dozen or so years ago, a good friend of mine told me about the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Saint Faustina’s visions. I had never heard of this saint or the chaplet, but I was intrigued by this message of mercy from Jesus.
I was moved by the message, especially coming to learn that Jesus offers so much mercy to us at the time of our deaths. I found myself praying the chaplet regularly for various intercessions and especially when I knew someone was very ill or near death. The more I prayed the chaplet, the more I began to realize the graces from God associated with it. My devotion grew over time.
In June 2020 my dad, who had suffered from Alzheimer’s for the prior six years or so, was put under hospice care as he approached his death. My mom, sister, and I were there with him in his final days.
While he was raised Catholic, my dad wasn’t a religious man. He had a rough childhood that he never healed from and he never had a close relationship with our Lord. I found myself terribly worried about his eternal rest.
I called a close priest friend who came right over to anoint my dad, which made me feel better. But as the days passed and dad slipped into an unconscious state, I found myself praying rosaries for him, but I was still unsettled. I sensed a very strong urge to pray the Divine Mercy chaplet over him.
Except for praying before meals, my family didn’t pray together. The thought of bringing this up made me uncomfortable, but I pushed through the discomfort and late in the afternoon I told my mom and sister about the Divine Mercy chaplet. They had never heard of it. I explained that it is a prayer of mercy that is ideal for people as they are dying. They both agreed to join me in the prayer.
The three of us knelt at my dad’s bedside, touching his arms and hands. I laid an image of the Divine Mercy from the app on my phone on the blanket covering his legs and I began to pray: “You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world”.
When I got to the part of the chaplet begging for mercy, I inserted “dad” into the prayer: “For the sake of his sorrowful passion, have mercy on dad and on the whole world.” As the chaplet goes, I uttered that prayer 50 times.
When we completed the chaplet, uttering “Jesus I trust in you” three times, I then felt compelled to call upon his patron saints: Saint Lawrence, Saint Joseph, and Saint Ambrose to pray for him.
Immediately after I uttered this request his breathing slowed as he took a couple of breaths, then he stopped breathing. My mom and my sister looked at me wide-eyed. We sat quietly for a little while. My eyes filled with tears, but I didn’t feel sad. I felt happy – it was strange! I felt a tremendous sense of peace come over me.
I am certain that Jesus offered His mercy to my dad who was able to die peacefully, which is all I wanted for him. His funeral prayer cards had the Divine Mercy image and the prayer on them. I hope that more people will come to know the graces our Lord has for us through this very special chaplet.
• To know more about how to pray the Divine Mercy Novena, go to: https://divinemercy.life/