Special to The Message
Editor’s note: Divine Mercy Sunday is the Sunday after Easter. This year, Divine Mercy Sunday is April 11.
To prepare for Divine Mercy Sunday, Catholics can pray a novena beginning on Good Friday, nine days before the feast of mercy. This year, the novena begins on April 2.
St. Faustina Kowalska recorded a mystical experience in her diary, "Divine Mercy in My Soul," where Christ first told her to spread this devotion. "By this novena, I will grant every possible grace to souls," he said.
During the novena, the chaplet of the divine mercy is prayed using the beads of a rosary; and there are additional prayers specific to the intention of each of the nine days.
"All mankind, especially all sinners" is the focus of the first day. "The souls of priests and religious" is the intention of the second.
The third day, prayers are directed to "all devout and faithful souls," while the prayers for the fourth day focus on "those who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know (Christ)."
Catholics pray for those who have "separated themselves" from the church on the fifth day of the novena.
Christ told Faustina to "bring to me the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children" in prayer on the sixth day.
On the seventh day, Catholics pray for those who "especially venerate and glorify (Christ's) mercy."
The eighth day focuses on the souls in purgatory, and the ninth day has prayers for those "who have become lukewarm" in their faith.
Find the novena here: http://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena.php