Novena to the Divine Mercy – Starting Good Friday

By Harry Baker

Jesus asked that the Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. 

He gave St. Faustina an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:

“These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.’ The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy.”

In her diary, St. Faustina wrote that Jesus told her:

“On each day of the novena you will bring to My heart a different group of souls and you will immerse them in this ocean of My mercy … On each day you will beg My Father, on the strength of My passion, for the graces for these souls.” Different souls are prayed for on each day of the novena.

The Divine Mercy devotion has spread throughout the Church since it was given near the beginning of the 20th century to the Polish nun and visionary St. Faustina Kowalska. The devotion includes many components, including a special image of Jesus to be venerated, a chaplet to be prayed on the beads of a rosary, a novena, and more, all contained in St. Faustina’s diary.

After the Divine Mercy was instituted as a feast for the universal Church by Pope St. John Paul II (the “Divine Mercy Pope”) on the Sunday following Easter, it has become a tradition to pray the Divine Mercy novena during the nine days leading up to the Divine Mercy feast. While it is excellent to pray this novena all throughout the year, it has a special efficacy beginning on Good Friday and ending on the eve of the great “Feast of Mercy” that Jesus requested to take place on the octave day of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday).

Conditions for obtaining the extraordinary grace (complete cleansing of all sins and punishment due to that sin) on the feast of Mercy.

  • The Feast of Mercy is to be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter.
  • The Feast should be preceded by a Novena of Chaplets, starting on Good Friday.
  • The Sermon by the priest on that day should be on the Mercy of God.
  • That we contemplate on the day the Mystery of Redemption as the greatest Revelation of Divine Mercy.
  • The Image of Divine Mercy is to be ceremoniously blessed by the priest that day.
  • The Image should be exposed & publicly venerated.
  • Confession and communion on the day (or as close as possible to the Feast ). The Communion should be a worthy one, accompanied by complete Trust in Divine Mercy. An Act of Mercy should take place in our lives (Mercy in Deed, Word and Prayer – forgiving and comforting, corporal works of mercy, prayers for mercy for the world).

Learn more about the Novena of Divine Mercy Devotion and praying the nine day chaplet starting on Good Friday here