The message and devotion to The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of St. Faustina Kowalska, a Polish nun of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. In 1931, Christ appeared to Faustina and through her the Lord Jesus communicates to the world the great message of God's mercy.
In obedience to her spiritual director she wrote a diary recording the message she received. Here are excerpts from her diary:
"In the evening, when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me:
Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU.
I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel,
and [then] throughout the world." (Diary, 47)
Words of Jesus to St. Faustina about the image
I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and throughout the world.
I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I myself will defend it as My own glory.
By means of this image I shall grant many graces to souls. It is to be a reminder of the demands of My mercy, because even the strongest faith is of no avail without works. (Diary 742)
By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so let every soul have access to it." (Diary, 570)
"I desire that this image be displayed in public on the first Sunday after Easter. That Sunday is the Feast of Mercy. Through the Word Incarnate I make known the bottomless depth of My mercy." (Diary, 88)
An artist was commissioned to paint the image with the guidance of Sr. Faustina.
"Once, when I was visiting the artist who was painting the image, and saw that it was not as beautiful as Jesus is, I felt very sad about it, but I hid this in my heart.
When we had left the artist's house, Mother Superior stayed in town to attend to some matters while I returned home alone. I went immediately to the chapel and wept a good deal. I said to the Lord, Who will paint You as beautiful as You are?
Then I heard these words:
“Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace.” (Diary, 313)
THE ORIGINAL PAINTING
To read the biography of St. Fautina published by the Vatican please click the link below. The
Link will take you to the Vatican's official website:
Read the HOMILY OF POPE JOHN PAUL II for the canonization of St. Faustina of Sunday, April 30, 2000: