“At noon darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Some of the bystanders who heard it said, “Look, he is calling Elijah.” One of them ran, soaked a sponge with wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see if Elijah comes to take him down.” Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.” (Mark 15, 33-37)
According to the Gospel, Jesus Christ died at the ninth hour of the day, that is, at three in the afternoon. Therefore, 3 p.m. is a special hour. It is the hour at which the Lord Jesus gave His life for us on the Cross and the work of our redemption was carried out. At this hour, we should give our thanks and express gratitude to our Lord Jesus Christ for all that He suffered for us, for His sorrowful Passion and Death in terrible torments for our salvation.
The Lord Jesus asks us to meditate on His sorrowful Passion and the moment of His death at this hour (i.e. exactly at 3 p.m.), especially on His sorrow and abandonment at the time of His death. He asks us to make the Stations of the Cross (if our duties allow to do it) or visit and adore the Blessed Sacrament, or pray where we are.
“I remind you, My daughter, that as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul (…) My daughter, try your best to make the Stations of the Cross in this hour, provided that your duties permit it; and if you are not able to make the Stations of the Cross, then at least step into the chapel for a moment and adore, in the Blessed Sacrament, My heart, which is full of mercy; and should you be unable to step into the chapel, immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a very brief instant. “ (Diary 1572)
According to the wishes of the Lord Jesus, we should at least for a short moment, move in spirit to Golgotha to contemplate at the foot of the Cross the painful death of the Savior and His abandonment, praise the Divine Mercy and ask for graces for all people.
“At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners, and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. “ (Diary 1320)
The hour of Christ’s death is time of great mercy for all people and for the whole world, especially for hardened sinners. At 3 p.m. we can all experience the magnitude of God’s Mercy for the merits and death of Jesus Christ. Therefore, at three in the afternoon, we should beg for mercy, especially for people who live in sins far away from God.
The Lord Jesus attached great promises to the hour of His death. At the Hour of Mercy, our prayers will be heard if we ask according to God’s will. Jesus said to St. Faustina: “In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of me in virtue of my Passion .” (Diary 1320) In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world – mercy triumphed over justice.” Diary 1572)
The prayer at the Hour of Mercy should meet the following conditions:
1.The prayer is to take place exactly at three o’clock in the afternoon (the moment of death of Jesus Christ)
2.The prayer is to be addressed directly to the Lord Jesus (not to God the Father, Holy Mother, Saint Faustina or the Saints)
3.In the prayer we are to refer to the values and merits of the sorrowful Passion of Jesus Christ (“For the merits of Your sorrowful Passion, we ask You, Lord …”)
4.When practicing the Hour of Mercy, let us remember that the conditions of devotion to the Divine Mercy must also be met, i.e. the prayer full of trust and the attitude of mercy towards neighbours (works of mercy).
The Hour of Mercy should be for a Christian the most important hour of the day.
Diary of Saint Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul, Marian Press, Stockbridge, 2005