The Archdiocese of Birmingham - The Parish of the Immaculate Conception

Divine Mercy Chaplet

Devotion to the Divine Mercy came about following a number of visions of the Lord Jesus Christ by a Polish nun Sr. Faustina Kowalska (left). She was born on the 25th of August 1905 in the village of Glogowiec near Łódz in Poland. Aged just fourteen and without completing elementary school she went to work. By the time she was fifteen she had made it know to her parents that it was her desire to enter a convent. Accordingly, on the 1st  August 1925 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and served her postulancy in Warsaw and her novitiate in Cracow. It was there, during her investiture that she was given the name of Sister Mary Faustina. After a two year novitiate, she made her first profession of vows on the 30th April 1928. As a temporarily professed sister she worked in various houses belonging to the congregation taking her perpetual vows on the 1st of May 1933. However, after only a few weeks of convent life her health began to deteriorate and she began to suffer from consumption. In August 1934 she suffered a violent attack of asthma for the first time. This was, in all likelihood, tuberculosis which progressed to such an extent that in 1936 and again in 1938 she was forced to spend several months in a sanatotium in Pradnik, near Cracow. In 1938 she spent the last five months of her life in the same hospital and passed away on the 5th of October.

St. Faustyna KowalskaIn the 1920s St. Faustina began to receive heavenly visions. She visited Purgatory; she saw and spoke to The Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin Mary several times. At last the Lord Jesus Christ revealed to her the work for which she had been created: to spread the devotion to the Mercy of God. On 22nd of February 1931, He appeared to her as King of Divine Mercy (right), "wearing a white garment. One hand was raised in a sign of blessing; the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment . . . emanated two large rays, one red, the other pale." The Lord Jesus Christ asked St. Faustina to have an image painted of Him as she saw Him, but her superiors hesitated. At last, God sent her a new spiritual director, Father Michael Sopocko, who helped her to promulgate devotion to the Mercy of God. It was Fr. Sopocko also who ordered her to write a diary of the graces she received, even though she had a hard time writing and spelling because of her scanty education. The diary was later published under the title Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of St. Faustina.

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is recited every Tuesday in the church at 2.00 p.m.