The picture of the Merciful Jesus has been one of the most well-known images of the crucified and risen Christ in the history of the Church and in the contemporary world. This is an unusual picture not only because of the fact that it is the most popular one but, above all, because the Lord Jesus Himself is its coauthor.
On the 22nd February 1931, in a cell of the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Płock, He appeared to Sister Faustina – she saw Him just as He is represented in the image and He commanded her to paint His picture according to the vision.
She wrote about this in her ‚Diary’: In the evening, when I was in my cell I saw he Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale (…) After a while, Jesus said to me: ‚Paint an image according to the pattern you see: with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You’. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel and [then]throughout the world (Diary 47).
Thus, the image was painted because Jesus Himself had desired that. The picture is both a sign and a visual synthesis of the whole Divine Mercy message, which He conveyed by Sister Faustina: on the one hand, it reminds us of the mystery of God’s merciful love for man revealed in the Holy Scriptures, it exhorts us to form the Christian attitude of trust towards Him and mercy towards neighbor and, on the other hand, it is a vessel for drawing graces to which He attached many promises.
Jesus I trust in You
I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is the image with the signature: ‚Jesus, I trust in You’ (Diary 327).
By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls; so, let every soul have access to it (Diary 570).
Sister Faustina wrote in her diary: “Today I saw the glory of God which flows from the image. Many souls are receiving graces, although they do not speak of it openly. Even though it has met up with all sorts of vicissitudes, God is receiving glory because of it; and the efforts of Satan and of evil men are shattered and come to naught. In spite of Satan’s anger, the Divine Mercy will triumph over the whole world and will be worshiped by all souls.” (1789).
The most frequent mistake about the Image of Divine Mercy
The soul that will venerate this image will not perish (or other promises quoted without the conditions). This promise as well as other promises of the Lord Jesus will be fulfilled if a man meets certain conditions and, as regards the Devotion to the Divine Mercy, the conditions are the following: trust in the Lord God and the attitude of an active love towards neighbors.
The soul that will venerate this image … that is, the soul who prays with trust before it and also performs acts of mercy; it is not a person who, for instance, has the image in the wallet.
A general promise of all possible graces and rewards in this world (provided that they are in accordance with God’s will) as well as specific promises: the grace of eternal salvation, great progress on the path of Christian perfection, and the grace of peaceful death – these are the promises Jesus attached to a prayer said in front of the image on condition that it is said with trust and that it is conjoined to deeds of mercy towards the neighbor.
Source of St. Faustina website content from the official site: Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady Mercy – www.faustyna.pl