What the Saints Can Teach Us About Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy Sunday falls on the Sunday after Easter each year, concluding the Octave of Easter.  Our understanding of Divine Mercy and the reason for the feast day are derived from the revelations recorded in the 1930s by Polish nun, St. Faustina Kowalska, in her Diary.  Just days after St. Faustina was canonized in the year 2000, the Vatican declared that the Second Sunday of Easter would now be called Divine Mercy Sunday. 

But what is mercy? More specifically, what is Divine Mercy?

The Oxford English Dictionary describes mercy as kindness or compassion shown toward an undeserving subject.  An older understanding of the term was the act of offering pardon or forgiveness. Broken down, the Latin term “misericordia” from which the word mercy is derived means “misery” and “heart,” reflecting the idea that mercy comes from feeling compassion or pity for another.  

Divine Mercy, though impossible for us to fully comprehend, encompasses all of these things.  It is God’s love and compassion for us, his unworthy creations.  It is his ability to love us though all of our failings and offenses against him and to offer pardon and forgiveness to us again and again and again. 

Pope Francis says in Misericordiae Vultus, “In short, the mercy of God is not an abstract idea, but a concrete reality through which he reveals his love as that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child.”

The saints have a lot of wisdom for us on the topic of Divine Mercy and forgiveness, and we wanted to share their words with you for your own reflection on this important day.  Here are 7 quotes from the saints on mercy:


“All grace flows from mercy, and the last hour abounds with mercy for us.  Let no one doubt concerning the goodness of God; even if a person’s sins were as dark as night, God’s mercy is stronger than our misery.  One thing alone is necessary; that the sinner set ajar the door of his heart, be it ever so little, to let in a ray of God’s merciful grace, and then God will do the rest” (No. 1507). - St. Faustina

“Father of mercy and God of all consolation, graciously look upon me and impart to me the blessing which flows from this holy Sacrament. Overshadow me with Your loving kindness, and let this divine Mystery bear fruit in me.” — St. Blaise

“If a man finds it very hard to forgive injuries, let him look at a Crucifix, and think that Christ shed all His Blood for him, and not only forgave His enemies, but even prayed His Heavenly Father to forgive them also. Let him remember that when he says the ‘Our Father’, every day, instead of asking pardon for his sins, he is calling down vengeance on himself” - Saint Philip Neri

“You heard me, only Friend whom I love. To ravish my heart, you became man. You shed your blood, what a supreme mystery!... And you still live for me on the Altar. If I cannot see the brilliance of your Face Or hear your sweet voice, O my God, I can live by your grace, I can rest on your Sacred Heart!” — St. Therese of Lisieux

“As a gift to humanity, which sometimes seems bewildered and overwhelmed by the power of evil, selfishness, and fear, the Risen Lord offers His love that pardons, reconciles, and reopens hearts to love. It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy! Lord, who reveals the Father’s love by Your death and Resurrection, we believe in You and confidently repeat to You today: Jesus, I trust in You, have mercy upon us and upon the whole world.” — St. Pope John Paul II

“Do not let the past disturb you, just leave everything in the Sacred Heart and begin again with joy.” — Mother Teresa

Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave” — St. John Chrysostom


We can only scratch the surface of the topic of Divine Mercy in a blog post, but we hope that this gives you even a small glimpse of God’s endless love and compassion for you.  To explore this topic further, check out these titles: Real Mercy: Mary, Forgiveness, and Trust, a book about the example of mercy in Mary and the saints, and A Man Who Knew How to Forgive on the life of St. Josemaria.