Special to The Hays Daily News

The Heartland Parishes, a cluster of eight parishes in and around Hays, will celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday with a solemn hour of prayer and benediction at 3 p.m. Sunday at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, 500 E. 19th.

 The service will include adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the Divine Mercy Chaplet in song, as well as prayers, music and meditation. The Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus will stand as honor guard, and the St. Mary K of C will assist Father Kevin Weber in providing the service.

 Devotion for Divine Mercy began in the 1930s when St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, an uneducated Polish nun, received special communications with Jesus in which he asked her to have this image painted to spread the message of his mercy.

 Under the instructions of a spiritual director, St. Faustina, as she is known, wrote down her revelations with Jesus, which is now contained in her 600-page diary. In these writings, Faustina said we are to call upon Jesus with trust, receive his mercy and let it flow through us to others.

 This mercy fulfills the message in Matthew's gospel that states, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy."