Issues with Divine Mercy Devotion


Last Sunday I attended service about the whole Divine Mercy Devotion, and there are some parts of it I have a real issue with. I was wondering if anyone else had these concerns:

  1. The business of going to confession on that day (or close to it) was described as like a second Baptism in that it washes away all sin. It seems to me that it sort of devalues normal confession, and we don’t need another sacrament added - a second Baptism.
  2. In the video there was an explanation that the Chaplet had to be said with the exact words and such prayers would be particularly effective. I thought it was the state of the heart that mattered, not the exact words. It sounded a bit like a magic formula.

There were parts I did like:
3. I liked the image and the concept of entrusting oneself to Christ, which is what we should do anyway.
4. I liked the focus on the mercy of God, but I think it’s always there, not just on one day.

Anyone else have this reaction?
Or am I not allowed to ask about this?


If you go to Confession and Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday, it grants you a pleinary indulgence, which means if you recieve one, and then die, you will go straight to heaven. There are other ways to recieve one, but this is just onf of them. It in no way is supposed to override or lessen the importance of regular confession.

If you pray the rosary, you use the formula right? This is no different. It’s just a prayer. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to say it.



You are always allowed to question what you do not understand. You may not always understand or be willing to accept the answers given for your questions; this is often in degree, related to how serious you are about wanting the truth as it relates to the question. Not all can immediately understand the depths of the mysteries as they relate to our Lord and his ways.

The following was taken from the EWTN site and are excerpts from the diary of Sister Faustina.

In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy,
Sister tells us:
"I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it.
Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross
and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to
look through Our Lord’s wounds and I understood that God blessed
the earth for the sake of Jesus."
Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:
"I saw an Angel, the executor of God’s wrath… about to strike
the earth…I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words
which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the
Angel’s helplessness, and he could not carry out the just
The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on
ordinary rosary beads:
"First say one ‘Our Father’, ‘Hail Mary’, and ‘I believe’. Then on
the large beads 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 smaller beads you are to say the following words:
'For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the
whole world.'
In conclusion you are to say these words three times:
‘Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us
and on the whole world’.
And again, for those who do the Divine Mercy Novena, Our Lord dictated the words to be used.
So you see, it is the Lord himself that requires the words to be said as He instructed.
Sister Faustina further states:

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.

The Church has since indicated that going to confession on or very near to Divine Mercy Sunday (within 20 days, no more) will meet our Lord’s requirement.

The confession serves three purposes. First, we humble ourselves to by telling our faults and asking “with a humble and contrite heart,” for forgiveness. This prepares us mentally and spiritually to receive the great “gift” that our Lord offers to us. Secondly, we receive forgiveness, and our soul is again pure before the Lord. Third, it is this purity that we must take before the Lord along with humility, as we receive him in Holy Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday.

And please note, it is not only the going to confession, but also the reception of the Eucharist that fulfills our Lord’s requirement.

Do you understand what our Lord if offering to you here? Not only forgiveness of sins, but remission for all punishment for our sin. When we make a good confession, our sins are forgiven, but we still owe God reparation for those sins. Our Lord Himself, enlightens us as part of the eighth day prayers of the Novena of Divine Mercy:
"Today bring to Me the Souls who are in the prison of Purgatory, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. Let the torrents of My Blood cool down their scorching flames. All these souls are greatly loved by Me. They are making retribution to My justice. It is the remission of this retribution that he offers to us, along with forgiveness of our sins.
So, when you can, pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, exactly as indicated, and next year, starting on Good Friday, begin the Divine Mercy Novena, saying the prayers exactly as indicated. It not man who has dictated the format but Our Lord Himself. Go and make a good confession, humble yourself before the Lord. Then receive the Eucharist on Divine Mercy Sunday. Is this too much to ask in return for the immense gift the Lord offers you in return?


Hello there!

There are many devotions you can associate yourself with in your life that will help and make eternal life easier to obtain. Each one of these devotions are grounded by Jesus or Mary or through God. Each devotion has a “way of doin” it. Each devotion offers different rewards. Some find these helpful in there daily prays.

Divine Mercy is not a once a year devotion. It is a daily devotion. It is essentally offered for others, so they may live in Christ. Whether this be people who are in purgatory or still alive and need His Mercy. This Mercy is unlimited. It requires just one thing-Belief in the Mercy and the chaplet to be said daily. The time that Jesus requested for the chaplet was at 3 o’clock in the afternon, it marks the time when he died. He said also if you can not pray the chaplet then, just take a minute and immerse yourself in His Passion and Death. This is all He required. The words are His words and how it is said is how He said to say it. Cna’t argue with Him over it. So, yes, exact words are required by Jesus, Himself.

Like any other devotion, if you chose to practice it, it requires commitment on your part to do it.

If you have never read the Diary of St Faustina (1905-1938), who co-authored the diary with Jesus, it is an expierence you will not want to forget. Her life was dedicated to the Divine Mercy, as instructed by Jesus. She did not live to see the completion of Divine Mercy Sunday. She spent much of her life doing as Jesus told her and people rejecting her and what she said. Please come join us for a visit at the Divine Mercy Group and learn more about Divine Mercy and daily life. We are also going through the Diary and discussing what we read. It may give you a more substanial view of how truly amazing the chaplet is, why it is and how it can be used even today. Please join us!

God Bless!

Doing the butterfly in the unfathomable Ocean of Mercy!


You have two valid concerns here. Confession really shouldn’t be described as a second baptism, even a confession that is the last requirement in gaining a plenary indulgence. An important distinction is the intent that is required. Baptism is efficacious in wiping away all sins by intending to do what the Church does. A plenary indulgence is only obtained if you are free from all attachment to sin. In all charity, I can presume someone was using “purple prose”, but I would be more in favour of using more restrained language.
Secondly, about using the exact words, the words that are commonly used should be used, particularly if you are praying in community. But of course, if you can’t remember the exact words, something else could suffice.


And the Sacrament of Reconciliation is required to gain any plenary indulgence. (It is part of “the usual conditions”)



Thanks for your replies, all.
I think that for now, the devotion is just not for me. From what I understand, that’s not an issue, since there are other devotions and we can follow the ones we are called to.

The part about remembering the Passion of Christ daily is good advice.
Praying for mercy for the whole world is also good, and I don’t have an issue with that.
I personally get the feeling that the Devotion paints the picture of a God of wrath with the business about the making retribution to justice, the angel coming in wrath, etc.

For those who are drawn to it, that’s fine, I can’t assume they aren’t doing as they are supposed to. Any prayers said for the benefit of others I doubt God discounts.


Well, I’m not sure everyone is on the same page about baptism and plenary indulgences, but be that as it may, going to confession is good, showing mercy is good, and if the devotion doesn’t appeal to someone it seems that’s fine.

The presentation was from the Shrine in Stockbridge. I went to their site and found this very first post about the difference between a plenary indulgance and the special graces of Divine Mercy Sunday:
"4) The most special grace promised by our Lord for Divine Mercy Sunday is nothing less than the equivalent of a complete renewal of baptismal grace in the soul: “complete forgiveness (remission) of sins and punishment.” Such a measure of grace can only be received otherwise through baptism itself, or through making a sacramental confession as an act of perfect contrition for sin, out of pure love for God."
from this link:

However, on the plus side, they also say no Catholic is required to believe this as a matter of faith.

"This week, a Mr. Dwyer asked: What is the difference between the special graces promised by Jesus for devout communicants on Divine Mercy Sunday, and the plenary indulgence for Divine Mercy Sunday devotions that was instituted several years ago by Pope John Paul II? Are they the same thing? Or are they different?

Simply put: They are NOT the same thing!

The main difference, of course, is that an “indulgence” is something offered to the faithful by the Church, as the keeper of the keys of the kingdom, with authority to “bind and loose” (see Mt 16:17-19). The special graces of Divine Mercy Sunday, on the other hand, were promised directly by our Lord, through a prophetic revelation given to St. Faustina (see Diary of St. Faustina, 699). The Church has not officially ruled that this particular promise was an authentic supernatural revelation (and no Catholic is required to believe it as a matter of faith), but the Church has discerned, in various ways, that there is nothing that violates Catholic doctrine in this promise."

I hope it is OK to post those quote since I reference the link where they are.

If the Church said it’s not harmful, then that’s good.


Ok, this is mostly correct. Any plenary indulgence provides the same grace.


The O.P and others hopefully are familiar with this site that explains the special graces that ‘are equivalent’ to a new baptism and how the Eucharist Is the source of the graces.

True , the related truths are what we have heard often , yet may be have not truly ’ taken in’ , into the depth of our hearts as it ought to be - the reason our Lord asked for this Feast .

Accepting God’s mercy into all areas of our lives and being able to offer that mercy to every person and experience in our lives - may be something that is given lot more lip service than real practice .

History of even Churches, let alone persons , to this day , bearing evidence of the lingering holdouts and its catastrophic effects !

The misery of hell is said to be the repeated , obsessive accusing thoughts and guilt .

Unforgiveness is pointed out as the underlying cause and agent of even much physical ailments ; yet often many persons find hard to truly root out from their lives !

A special devotion to mercy and its celebration - our Lord had seen what these times need .

And it would help us to partake of every Eucharist , being more aware of the graces and learning to be more grateful for His mercy , thus in turn for the joy of being merciful ourselves !

As to the guidelines that the Public recitaion of The Chaplet be in such and such a format may be a reminder that this is a devotion that The Church has been given, not of our own making and us showing the trust (and gratitude ) to follow that guidleine could help us in developing more trust in our Lord and His Ways in all other areas too !

It might take repeated participation in the devotion as well as efforts to be faithful to its message before one is able to take its meaning better . :slight_smile:

Peace !


Both your questions have been well-answered by so many already. Remember, the plenary indulgence rule/requirements regarding confession and Communion on Divine Mercy Sunday - is something that was established by one of our recent Popes - for an indulgence - not to replace another Sacrament.

Reading this thread - and already loving recital of the Divine Mercy Chaplet - I can’t help but think how wonderful ! We are more accustomed to reading the account of Our Lord’s Life on earth and His Passion or about the apparitions/messages of Our Lady afterwards. But to have Our Lord Himself come to someone on earth - giving a Divine Message/Prayer - it makes the heart tremble with love and astonishment. How fortunate we are - as was St. Faustina.


If you don’t feel called to practice the Divine Mercy devotion, then it’s not for you at this time and maybe it never will be “your thing”. This devotion was revealed to St. Faustina through private revelation and the Church does not even require you to believe her private revelation. The Church allows it and many people find this a useful devotion, but it’s not required. I happen to like it, but I’m not you. Find a devotion you like and enjoy your freedom in Christ and the Church!


Personally, I love the Divine Mercy devotion :slight_smile: I really believe that on that day, we receive special graces. It’s not “another” Baptism, but it is a plenary indulgence. I think the reason why the chaplet has to be said with specific words, is just because the meaning of it is so specific… we’re praying to the Father to show mercy to us and the whole world for the sake of His Son’s sorrowful Passion. If it’s put another way, it might lose this meaning.

I personally get the feeling that the Devotion paints the picture of a God of wrath with the business about the making retribution to justice, the angel coming in wrath, etc.

oh - no, that is not true :slight_smile: I think that maybe you got that impression from the explanations and the video, but if you read St Faustina’s diary, it’s all about God’s mercy. Jesus told her, that mercy is God’s greatest attribute, that He even longs to show us mercy, only many reject it.

Well the reason I like this devotion is because it really helped me to trust in His mercy :slight_smile:

God bless


It occurs to me: This specification may also be in reaction to (as I understand the history of the devotion) the situation that the Divine Mercy message was suppressed for a number of years, due to a poor translation of St Faustina’s writings. If that is the case, I can certainly understand the emphasis You must use these words (Not some other words from of dubious pedigree).



Why is mercy God’s greatest attribute? Why does there have to be a greatest one?
I thought mercy is one of the manifestations of God’s love, but I don’t follow why it would be the greatest.


I think because it shows the most who God is, that He is love.


You all are most patient with me, and I thank you for that.
I have nagging concerns but I don’t want to undermine something that means something profound to others - but actually, I don’t think I could if that is what someone has.

I recalled another thing that bothered me:

  • There was a claim by a nun on the video that this devotion was evidence that these are the last days, before God comes back to judge (to that effect - I don’t recall the exact words). Any time anyone says they know these are the last days, I become suspicious, because I have an overall negative opinion of getting preoccupied about that subject. Haven’t any of you seen this same video?

But really, if it increases someone’s faith, makes them grow closer to Christ, then great! Praying for the world is great, and I love the image, so I’ll just let it go at that and follow God as I feel called.


I don’t think it says anywhere in the book when the ‘last days’ are coming specifically, or if we are living in them… :slight_smile:

it does however say that this time we have now, before the Last Judgement, is the time we get to choose God, and that this is the time of Mercy. (not just this time in specific, but from the Crucifixion to the Last Judgement).


btw, here’s the book if you’re ever interested :slight_smile:
it’s available online.
But yea, it’s a private revelation and not necessary to believe to be a Catholic.


In so far as we are concerned, it is his greatest attribute. Why, because God didn’t need us when He created us, and He doesn’t need us now. He offers us the free gift of eternal life. All we have to do is live our lives in accordance with his commandments. But what does mankind do? Just look around you! But despite man’s considerable lack of love for our fellows and for God himself, God still offers us salvation This is his mercy; his love for us. If God were anyone else but Himself, He would have destroyed the human race long ago, once and for all, just the way he did in Noah’s time. He could still send most of us to Hell, right now, this very second! But He doesn’t. He keeps holding out for reconciliation with His creation. Only a God of love would do this; only a God whose love is infinite would do this.

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