Corporal and Spiritual works of mercy

Corporal Works of Mercy:

  • feed the hungry
  • give drink to the thirsty
  • clothe the naked
  • shelter the homeless
  • visit the sick
  • visit the imprisoned
  • bury the dead

Spiritual Works of Mercy:

  • counsel the doubtful
  • instruct the ignorant
  • admonish sinners
  • comfort the afflicted
  • forgive offenses
  • bear wrongs patiently
  • pray for the living and the dead


scripture passages for meditation

The following scripture passages were mentioned by Pope Francis in Misericordiae Vultus as particular points of meditation for the Year of Mercy. Pray with these passages, study them, and share them with others!

  • Ephesians 2:4 - The Father is "rich in mercy"
  • Psalm 136 - Mercy of God throughout salvation history - "for his mercy endures forever"
  • Matthew 9:36 - The compassion of Jesus for the crowd who were like sheep without a shepherd
  • Matthew 9:9-13 - The call of Matthew, on which Pope Francis' motto is based
  • Luke 15:1-32 - Three parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, the father with two sons
  • Matthew 18:21-35 - The need to forgive in order to be forgiven
  • Matthew 5:7 - "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy
  • Luke 6:27 - "Be merciful just as your Father is merciful," the phrase from which the year's theme is taken
  • Matthew 25:31-45 - Works of mercy
  • Isaiah 58:6-11 - Works of mercy
  • Hosea 11:5-9 - God's mercy in the face of our unfaithfulness


mercy in the mass

The mercy of God is mentioned numerous times throughout the Order of the Mass. The supreme prayer of the Church can become a powerful means of proclaiming the message of mercy. Consider preaching a homily on "Mercy in the Mass" during this Year of Mercy.

Penitential Act
“Have mercy on us, O Lord. / For we have sinned against you.
Show us, O Lord, your mercy. / And grant us your salvation” (Form B, no. 5).
“[invocation], Lord, have mercy. / Lord, have mercy.
[invocation], Christ, have mercy. / Christ, have mercy.
[invocation], Lord, have mercy. / Christ, have mercy” (Form C, no. 6).
“May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and bring us to everlasting life” (Priest’s concluding prayer, nos. 4-6).

Kyrie eleison
“Lord, have mercy. / Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy. / Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy. / Christ, have mercy.”
or “Kyrie, eleison. / Kyrie, eleison.
Christe, eleison. / Christe, eleison.
Kyrie, eleison. / Kyrie, eleison” (no. 7).

Rite for the Blessing and Sprinkling of Water
“Grant, O Lord, in your mercy, that living waters may always spring up for our salvation, and so we may approach you with a pure heart and avoid all danger to body and soul” (Appendix II, no. 2 [second option]).

“Lord our God, in your mercy be present to your people’s prayers… You also made water the instrument of your mercy: for through water you freed your people from slavery and quenched their thirst in the desert…” (no. 2 [third option]). 19

Gloria in excelsis Deo
“…you take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us” (no. 8).

Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon)
“To you, therefore, most merciful Father, we make humble prayer and petition through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord…” (no. 84).

“To us, also, your servants, who, though sinners, hope in your abundant mercies, graciously grant some share and fellowship with your holy Apostles and Martyrs…” (no. 96).

Eucharistic Prayer II
“Remember also our brothers and sisters who have fallen asleep in the hope of the resurrection and all who have died in your mercy: welcome them into the light of your face. Have mercy on us all, we pray, that with the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with blessed Joseph, her Spouse, with the blessed Apostles, and all the Saints who have pleased you throughout the ages, we may merit to be co-heirs to eternal life, and may praise and glorify you through your Son, Jesus Christ” (no. 105).

Eucharistic Prayer III
“…in your compassion, O merciful Father, gather to yourself all your children scattered throughout the world” (no. 113).

Eucharistic Prayer IV
“For you came in mercy to the aid of all, so that those who seek might find you” (no. 117).

“To all of us, your children, grant, O merciful Father, that we may enter into a heavenly inheritance with the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with blessed Joseph, her Spouse, and with your Apostles and Saints in your kingdom” (no. 122).

Eucharistic Prayer I for Reconciliation
“For you do not cease to spur us on to possess a more abundant life and, being rich in mercy, you constantly offer pardon and call on sinners to trust in your forgiveness alone” (Appendix to the Order of Mass [AOM], Eucharistic Prayer I for Reconciliation, no. 1).

“…we offer you, who are our faithful and merciful God, this sacrificial Victim who reconciles to you the human race” (no. 7).

“Help us to work together for the coming of your Kingdom, until the hour when we stand before you, Saints among the Saints in the halls of heaven, with the blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, the blessed Apostles and all the Saints, and with our deceased brothers and sisters, whom we humbly commend to your mercy” (no. 7).

Eucharistic Prayer II for Reconciliation
“In a similar way, on that same evening, he took the chalice of blessing in his hands, confessing your mercy, and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying…” (AOM, Eucharistic Prayer II for Reconciliation, no. 5).

Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs
“Therefore, Father most merciful, we ask that you send forth your Holy Spirit to sanctify these gifts of bread and wine, that they may become for us the Body and X Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ” (AOM, Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs, no. 3 [I-IV]).

Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs (IV)
“It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Father of mercies and faithful God” (AOM, Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs IV, no. 1).

Embolism after the Lord’s Prayer
“Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ” (no. 125).

Agnus Dei
“Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world: grant us peace” (no. 130).

Priest’s Prayer before Communion
“May the receiving of your Body and Blood, Lord Jesus Christ, not bring me to condemnation, but through your loving mercy be for me protection in mind and body and a healing remedy” (no. 131 [second option]).