Skip to main content


Fountain of Mercy


By Barbara Kralis

©Barbara Kralis 2004
Catholic Online.org

What does the Church mean when she uses this theological phrase, ‘Fons Misericordiae’ or ‘Fountain of Mercy’?

Let us first look at the Church’s definition of mercy: "A moral virtue that prompts its owner to have compassion for and to succour those in spiritual or temporal want."

Mercy is the one distinctive virtue of being a Christian – to be a Christian is to be merciful.

Furthermore, Clemency (mercy) together with charity is a requirement to perform the necessary Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy.  Without works, our faith is dead. [1]

The theology of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Confession as a ‘fountain of mercy’ is found often in Church teaching. [2] 

In the ‘Catechism of the Council of Trent,’ pastors are instructed to teach and compare  "…the Eucharist to a fountain, the other Sacraments to rivulets" (n.2).

St. Bernard writes on the ‘Fountains of the Savior,’ as ‘waters of pardon from the Fountain of Mercy to wash away our sins.’[3]

The Byzantines pray in the ‘Kontakion of the Protection – Tone 3’ to the ‘Fountain of Mercy,’ the Mother of God, "We believe and profess that you are truly the Mother of God, and that in your deep love for us, you are a Fountain of Mercy…"

Moreover, the Church teaches that of the Seven Sacraments, the other six Sacraments draw souls to the Sacrament of the Eucharist.  "The Church of the new Advent…must be the Church of the Eucharist and of Penance."[4]

Jesus is Divine Mercy.  He loved the sinful world enough to suffer and die for our redemption – ‘debitum amoris.’[5]

He made it possible for sinners to be restored through the Sacrament of Confession to their former righteousness. [6]

Since Confession is the only way for sinners to attain salvation, the successors of St. Peter have made it their chief concern to summon all men to this ‘Fountain of Mercy’ by encouraging sinners by every means to seek remission.[7]

Most everyone is familiar with the writing of Saint Faustina[8] in her Diary, ‘Divine Mercy.’  Saint Faustina writes of seeing Jesus in a miraculous apparition in the year 1931 A.D.

As a young Polish nun, Sister Faustina saw Jesus dressed in white garments with red and white rays radiating from the Eucharistic host placed on His heart.[9]  Faustina said that Jesus said to her: "The Blessed Sacrament is the Throne of Mercy."

Jesus told Sister Faustina:

"Paint an image according to the pattern you see with the signature:  ‘Jesus I trust in you.’  I promise that the soul that venerates this image will not perish…I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the Fountain of Mercy."

Recorded three times in the Diary of Saint Faustina, Jesus told Sister Faustina about the Sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion:  "I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy." [10] 

Is not our Lord emphasizing the infinite value of receiving Holy Communion, the Fountain of Mercy, worthily?

We, too, should see in every Holy Communion worthily received the merciful Savior pouring His Blood out as a ‘Fountain of Mercy’ for us.

Here is a beautiful preparation to recite before receiving Holy Communion, the Fountain of Mercy:

"Oratio Sancti Abrosii ante Missam"

(Prayer of St. Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church)[11]

Lord Jesus Christ, I approach Thy banquet table in fear and trembling, for I am a sinner and dare not rely on my own worth but only on ...

1 | 2  Next Page

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

0 Comments

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment


Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 44:1, 10-15
Next let us praise illustrious men, our ancestors in their ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 132:11, 13-14, 17-18
Yahweh has sworn to David, and will always remain true to his ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:16-17
'But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because ... Read More

Saint of the Day

July 26 Saint of the Day

Sts. Joachim and Anne
July 26: By tradition Joachim and Anne are considered to be the names of ... Read More