Divine Mercy Cenacle

History of the Message
and Devotion to Divine Mercy

The Message of the Divine Mercy that Sr. Faustina received from the Lord was not only directed toward her personal growth in faith but also toward the good of the people. With the command of our Lord to paint an image according to the pattern that Sr. Faustina had seen, came also a request to have this image venerated, first in the Sisters’ chapel, and then throughout the world. The same is true with the revelations of the Chaplet. The Lord requested that this Chaplet be said not only by Sr. Faustina, but by others: “Encourage souls to say the Chaplet that I have given you.”The same is true of the revelation of the Feast of Mercy. “The Feast of Mercy emerged from my very depths of tenderness. It is my desire that it solemnly be celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the fount of My Mercy.”

These requests of the Lord given to Sr. Faustina between 1931 and 1938 can be considered the beginning of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion in the new forms.

Through the efforts of Sr. Faustina’s spiritual directors, Fr. Michael Sopocko, and Fr. Joseph Andrasz, SJ, and others — including the Marians of the Immaculate Conception — this message began to spread throughout the world.

However, it is important to remember that this message of The Divine Mercy, revealed to St. Faustina and to our present generation is not new. It is a powerful reminder of who God is and has been from the very beginning. This truth that God is in His very nature Love and Mercy Itself, is given to us by our Judeo-Christian faith and God’s self-revelation. The veil that has hidden the mystery of God from eternity was lifted by God Himself. In His goodness and love God chose to reveal Himself to us, His creatures, and to make known His eternal plan of salvation. This He had done partly through the Old Testament Patriarchs, Moses and the Prophets, and fully through His only Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. In the person of Jesus Christ, conceived through power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, the unseen God was made visible.

Jesus reveals God as Merciful Father

The Old Testament speaks frequently and with great tenderness about God’s mercy. Yet, it was Jesus, who through His words and actions, revealed to us in an extraordinary way, God as a loving Father, rich in mercy and abounding in great kindness and love. In Jesus’ merciful love and care for the poor, the oppressed, the sick and the sinful, and especially in His freely choosing to take upon Himself the punishment for our sins (a truly horrible suffering and death on the Cross), so that all may be freed from destructive consequences and death, He manifested in a superabundant and radical way the greatness of God’s love and mercy for humanity. In His person as God-Man, one in being with the Father, Jesus both reveals and is God’s Love and Mercy Itself.

The message of God’s Love and Mercy is especially made known by the Gospels.

The good news revealed through Jesus Christ is that God’s love for each person knows no bounds, and no sin or infidelity, no matter how horrible, will separate us from God and His love when we turn to Him in confidence, and seek his mercy. God’s will is our salvation. He has done all on our behalf, but since He made us free, He invites us to choose Him and partake of His divine life. We become partakers of His divine life when we believe in His revealed truth and trust Him, when we love Him and remain true to His word, when we honor Him and seek His Kingdom, when we receive Him in Communion and turn away from sin; when we are mutually caring and forgiving.

“When, on one occasion, my confessor told me to ask the Lord Jesus the meaning of the two rays in the image, I answered, ‘Very well, I will ask the Lord.’

During prayer I heard these words within me:

The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depth of my tender mercy when my agonized heart was opened by a lance on the Cross…”

~ Words of Jesus to Saint Faustina, Diary, Paragraph 299

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska
The Humble Instrument

Sister Faustina was a young, uneducated, nun in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow, Poland during the 1930’s. She came from a very poor family that struggled on their little farm during the years of World War I. She had only three years of very simple education, so hers were the humblest tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or garden. However, she received extraordinary revelations or messages from Our Lord Jesus. Jesus asked Sr. Faustina to record these experiences, which she compiled in notebooks. These notebooks are known today as the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and the words contained within are God’s loving message of Divine Mercy.

Though the Divine Mercy message is not new to the teachings of the Church, Sr. Faustina’s Diary sparked a great movement, and a strong and significant focus on the mercy of Christ. Pope John Paul II canonized Sr. Faustina in 2000 making her the “first saint of the new millennium.” Speaking of Sr. Faustina and the importance of the message contained in her Diary, the Pope call her “the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time.”

Today, we continue to rely of Saint Faustina as a constant reminder of the message to trust in Jesus’ endless mercy, and to live life mercifully toward others. We also turn to her in prayer and request her intercession to our merciful Savior on our behalf. At the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, we include the following in our 3 o’clock prayers:

Saint Faustina,

You told us that your mission would continue after your death and that you would not forget us. Our Lord also granted you a great privilege, telling you to “distribute graces as you will, to who you will, and when you will.” Relying on this, we ask your intercession for the graces we need, especially for the intentions just mentioned. Help us, above all, to trust in Jesus as you did and thus to glorify His mercy every moment of our lives.  Amen

 

 

How to Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

3 O’Clock Prayer to the Divine Mercy

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls
and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world.
O Fountain of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.

O Blood and Water,
which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus
as a fountain of mercy for us,
I trust in You.

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One,
Have mercy on us and on the whole world. (3 times)

JESUS, King of mercy, I trust in You!

Amen

 

The Chaplet of Mercy is recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades. The Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing prayer.

1. Make the Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

2. Optional Opening Prayers

You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!

3. Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.

4. Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.

5. The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

6. The Eternal Father

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.

7. On the Ten Small Beads of Each Decade

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

8. Repeat for the remaining decades

Saying the “Eternal Father” (6) on the “Our Father” bead and then 10 “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion” (7) on the following “Hail Mary” beads.

9. Conclude with Holy God (Repeat three times)

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

10. Optional Closing Prayer

Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion — inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.

Divine Mercy Cenacle at St. Francis Parish

In September 2003, a core group of men and women from the parish assembled at St. Romuald Chapel, Matunuck to form a Chapter of the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, a Lay Outreach Ministry of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception.

The Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, under the patronage of “the Entirely Perfect Virgin, Holy Mary” of Guadalupe, is a Roman Catholic, non-profit lay outreach ministry of the St. Stanislaus Kostka Province of the Congregation of Marians of The Immaculate Conception B.V.M., headquartered in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Our Mission:

  1. To profess and proclaim the truth of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, and to promote, insofar as possible, Perpetual Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the hourly offering of The Divine Mercy Chaplet for the dying;
  2. To bring to a hurting world The Divine Mercy Message and Devotion according to the revelations granted to the Church through Saint Faustina Kowalska;
  3. To form small faith groups, called cenacles, which meet;
    1. To pray for and encourage vocations to the priesthood and the religious life;
    2. To pray and work for an end to the scourge of abortion in the world;
    3. To experience the splendor of our Catholic Faith through the study of Sacred Scripture, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska;
  4. To encourage members in the exercise of the Faith through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, and to help people to become sensitive to the gift and beauty of all life, especially through care for the “lepers” of today – the rejected, the lonely, the disabled, the elderly, and the dying.

May all who need healing come to the Merciful Physician.

As Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy, we learn about God’s message of Divine Mercy to this fallen and hurting world in which we live.  We follow the Formation Guidelines from the Cenacle Formation Manuals, which have weekly lessons and specific readings from which we read and relate them to our own lives, struggles, and spiritual walk. As stated about in the Mission Statement, these include readings from the Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, “Divine Mercy in My Soul,” readings from Scripture, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

We begin our bi-weekly gatherings with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by prayers of Adoration taken from a prayer booklet we’ve created to take us through our holy hour and cenacle time reverently, faithfully and focused on the worship and glory due Our Lord.

After private meditation we are called back to the rear of the Chapel for group discussion where we review the previously assigned lessons.  While we’re in cenacle, someone stays in the main church to sit with Our Lord exposed and offer prayers of intercession for the world.

After 20-30 minutes of group discussion, we return to the main church to finish our praise, worship and Adoration of Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament which includes recitation of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and intercessory prayers for the world.

We meet every 2nd and 4th Monday from 11:00am-12:30pm and every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month from 7-8:30pm at St. Romuald Chapel, Matunuck.

 

Group Cenacle Format and Guidelines (10-15 people)

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Heb 10:23-24, RSV).

  • 15 minutes – Song (praise and worship)
  • 5 minutes – Prayers of gratitude (not petition)
  • 30-45 minutes – Follow the Formation Guidelines from the Formation Book, relating the teaching to our own lives, struggles, and spiritual walk
  • 15 minutes – Prayers of petition
  • 10 minutes – The Divine Mercy Chaplet
  • 30-45 minutes – Social time/Fellowship

Cenacle Members Are Asked To:

  1. Come Prepared! (Do the readings beforehand).
  2. Our lay leader, Bill Harding, will be the main facilitator, encouraging full group discussion and participation. Established group members can alternate in the role as presenters.
  3. Presenters include Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, so members better understand the Faith. The cenacle (usually bi-weekly) discussion should involve dialogue between members, and not be a lecture.
  4. Persevere! Attend the groups regularly. God will reward you for your efforts.
  5. The Prayers of Gratitude following the opening song are prayers of thanksgiving. Prayers of Petition, asking God for certain favors, are to follow the group discussion.
  6. Community is built by calling and meeting members outside of the cenacle meetings, especially when reaching out to others in need.
  7. After three to six months of meetings, pray and discuss with your parish priest about corporal and spiritual works of mercy the group can do to build up your local Church, with a focus on the marginalized of today.

Works of Mercy

Some of our local works of mercy are providing meals for Welcome House, bringing Communion to the sick and homebound, praying with shut-ins, taking sick and elderly to doctor’s appointments, intercessory prayers for the world, praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at the bedside of those dying or with their families in homes, hospital rooms or nursing homes by request.  We’ve also offered to make home visits with shut-ins, volunteer for local flu clinic vaccinations and we’ve helped get other

cenacles off the ground.  We teach on The Divine Mercy of God in our daily lives.

Why Divine Mercy?

“How much need the world has to understand and accept Divine Mercy!”

Pope John Paul II

 

“How many people also in our time are in search of God, in search of Jesus and of his Church, in search of Divine Mercy, and are waiting for a “sign” that will touch their minds and their hearts!”

Pope Benedict XVI

“Why is Divine Mercy so important? … the answer is simple: Through the message of Divine Mercy, our Lord is preparing us for His final coming”

Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC – Vice-Postulator for the canonization of St. Faustina (more info)

 

Why Spread the Message of Divine Mercy

It is the desire of Our Lord Jesus that devotion to His Divine Mercy be spread throughout the world. The Divine Mercy message is very urgent. Jesus said to St. Faustina: “Tell the world about My Mercy and My Love.” (Diary, 1064).  In another message, He told her that “Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My Mercy.” (Diary, 300).

The Wisdom of John Paul II, the Great Mercy Pope

“Right from the beginning of my ministry in St. Peter’s See in Rome, I consider this message [of Divine Mercy] my special task. Providence has assigned it to me in the present situation of man, the Church and the world. It could be said that precisely this situation assigned that message to me as my task before God.”
“The hour has come when the message of Divine Mercy needs to fill the hearts with hope and become the spark of a new civilization: the civilization of love.”

“Apart from the mercy of God, there is no other source of hope for mankind.”

“The limit imposed upon evil is ultimately Divine Mercy.”

“Divine Mercy is the light for the way forward for the people of the third millennium.”

More quotes from Pope John Paul II

For further information: The Association of Marian Helpers in Stockbridge, MA 01263 / Prayers: 1.800.804.3823 / Orders: 1.800.462.7426 www.marian.org
Source: Marians of the Immaculate Conception: http://www.thedivinemercy.org/  DIARY, Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Congregation of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, Stockbridge, MA 01263.  All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission.

Eucharistic Apostles of Divine Mercy Cenacle (EADM) at Saint Francis Church & Saint Romuald Chapel

To learn more about the Divine Mercy message or if you are interested in becoming a Eucharistic Apostle of The Divine Mercy please join us at St. Romuald Chapel in Matunuck, RI on the 2nd and 4th Monday of the month 1:00pm or on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the Month at 6:30pm at St. Romuald Chapel.  Lesson Plans/Reading Assignments & Format are the same whether you attend the Monday or Thursday group and both Cenacle opportunities are led by our facilitator Bill Harding.  All new comers are welcome and we look forward to your joining us.

If you’d like to have someone come to your home, hospital room or nursing home to pray with you, please call the parish office 401.783.4411 and we’ll let Bill Harding know.

Parish contact:

Bill Harding, Director via the parish office at 401.783.4411 or by email at saintfrancis00@aol.com.