. Faustina is most remembered in connection with the Divine Mercy. Jesus made Faustina an apostle or secretary of his mercy. He commissioned her to tell the world that he did not want to punish the human race but rather to heal it, like a loving parent who draws a child close to his or her heart. Faustina’s mission also included begging mercy for humanity today through the new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy that Jesus was giving to the world. These forms included such practices as veneration of the image of the Divine Mercy, celebrating the Feast of the Divine Mercy, praying the chaplet to the Divine Mercy, and prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3 pm). At the heart of the devotion is the invitation to entrust one’s life entirely to God with childlike trust, which expresses itself in fulfilling his will and to showing mercy toward one’s neighbor.

Jesus told Faustina that his mercy was available to everyone. The more one trusts in that mercy, the more mercy one will receive. We can also trust in God’s mercy for others. In particular Jesus gave her ashort prayer that could be said at the Hour of Mercy for the conversion of sinners. Faustina recorded all this in her diary, which she kept at the request of Jesus and her confessors.

According to Jesus’ wish, the Feast of Divine Mercy is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. On this day God is to be worshipped for his tender mercy to humanity. The readings for the liturgy on this day speak of the mercy that has been available to humanity from the beginning of the world, offered gratuitously to all. However, Jesus also wanted this day to be a day of grace for all people, especially for sinners.

Jesus attached great promises to this feast, especially that those who receive Communion on the Feast of the Divine Mercy will receive complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. Everyone may obtain any grace for the asking, if the request is compatible with God’s will. Saint Faustina recorded in her diary that Jesus told her: “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. On that day are open all the divine floodgates through which graces flow. Let no soul fear to draw near to me, even though its sins be as scarlet.”

The Feast of Divine Mercy devotion was celebrated unofficially in many places for some years. On April 30, 2000 (Divine Mercy Sunday that year), Pope John Paul II canonized Saint Faustina and officially designated the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday. He also decreed that a plenary indulgence may be obtained by those who observe the Feast of Divine Mercy. Today millions of people have taken up the mission of mercy given us by Faustina. Pope John Paul II, who had brought this devotion to the greater awareness and celebration of the Church, died during the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005. We continue to rely on Saint Faustina as a constant reminder of the message to trust in Jesus’ endless mercy, and to live mercifully toward others.