Saint John Paul II’s Ways of Divine Mercy

1. Speak of the mercy of God to family, friends, and co-workers who are worried or fretful.

2. Practice works of mercy — and in this instance the Church gives us a practical list of spiritual and corporal works of mercy we can perform.

3. Pray to obtain mercy. Pray for yourself, of course, but pray for others as well. Naturally, the people you know and love will be at the top of your list, but pray for strangers, too. Pray for the world as a whole, which is so desperately in need of God’s mercy. You might select someone who is especially notorious and pray that that person will turn away from a life of evil and experience the mercy of Jesus Christ. St. Thérèse the Little Flower did so: she prayed fervently for a convicted murderer. All the while he was in prison, he had rebuffed the Catholic chaplain, but moments before he was to be executed, the convict asked the chaplain for a crucifix, took it in his hands, and kissed it.

4. Call upon the Blessed Virgin Mary to guide you in living a life of mercy. Saint John Paul called her “the Mother of Divine Mercy.” Through Mary’s prayers you can receive God’s mercy and learn to be merciful to others.

5. Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily (see below).

6. Deepen your love for Jesus and increase your trust in his Divine Mercy. Father George W. Kosicki, C.S.B., author of A Pocket Guide to Living the Divine Mercy, suggests frequent attendance at Mass — daily, if possible; regular confession — at least monthly — because in this sacrament especially we experience the mercy of God; Eucharistic Adoration where possible, or daily spiritual communion, when you stop your work for one minute and turn your heart and mind to Jesus.

Finally, Father Kosicki recommends “living the ABCs of mercy”: Ask for Jesus’ mercy; Be merciful to others; Completely trust in Jesus. Devotion to the Divine Mercy can transform your life. With the help of God’s grace, you will learn to place all your confidence in Jesus, while growing closer to him and showing more patience, compassion, and mercy to everyone you encounter in daily life.

How to Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

In 1935, an inner voice taught this devotion to St. Faustina Kowalska. It is customary to recite this prayer at 3 p.m., the hour when Jesus died on the cross.

Take your rosary and make the Sign of the Cross. Then pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Apostles’ Creed.

On the Our Father beads, say the following: “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 ten Hail Mary beads, say the following: “For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

When you have recited these prayers on all five decades, recite the following prayer three times:

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

From the OSV pamphlet "John Paul II: The Pope of Divine Mercy"