Holy Hour: The Power of Three O’Clock

Amid our busy workdays and weekends, it is not unusual for most of us to let the 3 pm hour pass by as any other hour in the day.  Yet after reading the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, Divine Mercy in My Soul, the 3 pm hour has become a deeply significant time for me.   We know 3 pm is significant for us on Good Friday as the hour when Christ breathed his last and died on the cross for our sins and those of the whole world.  We also know it is the hour when his side was pierced with a lance; and whereupon blood and water gushed forth as a fount of mercy for all souls.  But what about all the other days of the year when the 3 pm hour strikes? According to the revelations recorded in Saint Faustina’s Diary, it is during this time each day that Christ calls us to something quite extraordinary.

In 1937, Sister Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938) of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy began receiving divine revelations from Our Lord Jesus Christ.  In these revelations, Jesus asked Sr. Faustina to record these experiences which she compiled into six notebooks, now widely known as Divine Mercy in My Soul.  Contained within the diaries are messages directly from Christ regarding his unfathomable and endless mercy toward all humanity.  Among Christ’s central message to Saint Faustina was his extraordinary invitation to each of us to daily immerse ourselves in his passion during the 3 pm hour while also imploring his mercy for ourselves and for the whole world.  Here are the exact words of Christ to Saint Faustina stating his specific call:

“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… In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion.” (Diary, 1320)

“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.  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)

“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 Most 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)

In this powerful hour, mercy and love itself opens wide his heart to every soul by inviting us to recall and encounter his passion – most particularly his “abandonment at the moment of agony”.   St. Faustina also recorded Christ’s words emphasizing that no one need be afraid to approach his mercy no matter how extensive or grave their sins might be, “Let no soul fear to draw near to me, even though its sins be as scarlet,” (Diary, 699) and “My mercy is greater than your sins and those of the entire world.” (Diary, 1485).   Here Christ invites the greatest sinners (in union with the sacrament of confession) to be embraced by his merciful love in a special way to find redemption, rest and renewal in him.   Like a good physician wishing to spare his patients sufferings bring him also your guilt, your sorrow, your difficulties, your addictions, your physical illness and unite them with his wounds, for as Christ stated to Faustina, “no soul that has called upon My mercy has ever been disappointed or brought to shame.” (Diary, 1541)

Once you begin the practice of Christ’s powerful 3 pm daily call for prayer, you will find it will eventually become second nature to you.  Like anything you wish to do regularly, it will take some time to develop.  You may find it helpful to set your wrist watch or place a reminder on your daily calendar, until it becomes a regular habit for you.  In his messages to Saint Faustina, Jesus also recognizes it might not be possible for us to make the daily stations of the cross or visit an adoration chapel at 3 pm, hence his words, “immerse yourself in prayer there where you happen to be, if only for a brief instant.”  So even if we are in a business meeting, on the freeway, in a plane, a classroom, or wherever “we happen to be” we can certainly if only for a brief moment call to mind his passion and invoke his mercy.  Short prayers associated with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy such as: Oh blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a font of mercy toward us, I trust in you or, For the sake of Your Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world, will allow us to mentally pause and meet Christ at the foot of his cross to implore his mercy if we should be unable to pray the stations or visit a chapel.

So, this Easter as we prepare to celebrate the Risen Christ, let us also resurrect Jesus’ 3 pm call to invoke his divine mercy for the whole world and the conversion of all hearts!  And with all that is occurring in the world at present, is it not crucial to implore his mercy now more than ever?

End Note:  In 2000, Pope John Paul II canonized Sister Faustina, calling her “the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time,” thereby establishing Divine Mercy Sunday as an official Catholic Feast Day occurring the Sunday after Easter.  On this Feast Day Our Lord grants that souls who go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment.  The exact words from Christ regarding the Feast Day are recorded in St. Faustina’s Diary: “The soul that will go to Confession and receive Holy Communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment. On that day all the divine floodgates through which graces flow are opened. Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet…. Mankind will not have peace until it turns to the Fount of My Mercy.” (Diary 699).


Judy Keane


Judy Keane is a Catholic writer and a communications/marketing executive who resides in Washington, D.C. She holds an MBA in International Business and is the author of Single and Catholic, published by Sophia Institute Press.

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  • Bob Allard

    Today, Good Friday, begins the Novena of Chaplets http://divinemercysunday.com/novena.htm that Jesus asked us to pray to help Him save souls in preparation for the Feast of Mercy (Divine Mercy Sunday). Judy, thank you for writing this article, but know that the revelations to St. Faustina started way before 1937.

  • John Robert

    Thank you for this article. The three O’Clock prayer indeed has power and, once begun, will call out to you again and again with its gentle reminder. A powerful habit.

  • JMC

    This year in particular, the Feast of Divine Mercy falls on the day after First Saturday. It seems to me that this will be a time of extraordinary graces, possibly even above and beyond those ordinarily promised to those who observe these two occasions separately. Our Lord makes it so ridiculously easy to meet these conditions, it’s hard to understand why everyone doesn’t take advantage of these divine opportunities. The First Saturday in particular is made even easier by a certain provision that is not well known: If, for any serious reason, such as distance from a church (and in this time of high gas prices, that’s a majorly serious reason!), it’s infeasible for one to make Mass on the First Saturday, then the observation can be observed on the following day, in conjunction with Sunday Mass, provided one meets the other conditions, i.e., confession and communion, the intention of reparation for sin, and praying the Rosary. If one can do this for a mere five months in a row, his entry into Heaven upon death is GUARANTEED by Our Lady herself. Let us all make a particular effort this year to observe these two events.

  • standtall909

    I dearly love this devotion! We have a small group that meets at our parish on Friday for praying of the Chaplet and Holy Hour. I cannot always make it but when I’m free……I GO! What a gift the dear Lord has given us!

  • For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

  • Ramaniew

    Oh How I love this wonderful mercy of my Lord. This 3 o clock Divine Mercy prayer and the chaplet has become second nature as said in the above article. So dear readers try this for this is true. God bless you.

  • Terri T

    Thank you for sharing this! I began the 3:00 hour for Lent and I am so attached to it now that I look forward to it every day as a way to console Jesus and immerse myself and others in his unfathomable mercy! What a gift. I also am devoted the 1st Saturday devotion (communion of reparation). I have seen so many miracles happen through it. I make a prayer list a mile long and offer 5 1st Saturdays in a row for it. At the end of the months I make a new prayer list and begin again. It is an unbelievable spiritual warfare weapon. This year should be very special with Divine Mercy falling on that weekend combined with it being the Year of Faith.

  • OLOF devotee

    Any suggestions for someone who works in a busy office full time? I work until 4:00. I say the Chaplet on my way to work in the morning, for and instead of the 3:00 hour when I can’t, as God is timeless. Any suggestions on what I or someone else who works full time should do at 3:00? Thanks and God Bless all.

  • The whole world needs the pure mercy of God as never before. Thank you for this wonderful article about the Divine Mercy.

  • Bob

    Dear Ms. Keane: Thank you for writing the article concerning the Divine Mercy, St . Faustina and the 3 p.m. hour and bringing it to the attention of your readersr. I have personally performed this act of prayer at the 3 p.m. hour for the past 13 yrs. although, at times,. it was not possible. This was after I read about St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy.. You are totally correct that after you get into the habit, it becomes very natural even to the point that you just look at your watch and bingo…it’s 3 p.m. Also, many times, I find myself waking up at 3 a.m in the morning and saying the prayer. Regarding Divine Mercy Sunday, I wish you had informed the readers that, to my knowledge, you are also required to say the 9 day Divine Mercy Novena , Chaplet etc which commences on Good Friday and ends on the Sat. before Divine Mercy Sunday.. This can be found online and printed out. . I told my local parish priest about it years ago and he did nothing to inform his parishioner’s…sad. This is without a doubt one of the greatest graces that Our Merciful Lord has given us You start with a absolutely CLEAN blackboard with ALL temporal and corporal punishment due for our sin’s…paid in full. God bless and a Blessed Easter..

  • Judy

    Hello, I too work in a busy hospital full time and often find myself at my desk handling a deadline project during this time. However, I simply pause (I have a small image of Jesus as Divine Mercy at my desk, at for the many times I can’t get away, I stop work for a moment, pause and immerse myself in his mercy while saying a few prayers associated with divine mercy. You will find it really is possible! even when working or in a meeting to do this – to mentally and spiritually unite with Christ and implore his mercy, “if only for a brief instant at 3 pm!”

  • Mary Anne

    When I began learning of and participating in the Divine Mercy chaplet and novena (not too long ago), it seemed like so many people didn’t know about it. It is completely awesome how this has taken off…at least in my neck of the woods 🙂 God is AMAZING!!

  • PA

    I have my cell phone set to three o’clock everyday. Each time I reach to turn it off, I pause for a moment to say the three prayers of the DM Chaplet, “Eternal Father…”, “”For the sake”, and Holy God, Holy Mighty One,…” If I am with someone else, I will often inform them that it is a time of prayer for me and ask if they would also like to pray. Otherwise, I say the prayers internally. My children know that when my 3:00 alarm (I have this time set with it’s own unique ring tone) goes off, we stop and pray.

  • Laurie

    Good one. It is THE message for today. We are saved by mercy not good works!!! Thank you for spreading the message. happy Mercy Sunday this weekend.

  • Patty

    Nice challenge. I’ll try. Perhaps it will be the antidote to the terror of 3 AM I’ve had since seeing Emily Rose years ago…

  • Marlene

    One evening, some years ago, I was reading the Diary book of St. Faustina. I was sitting on a stool when I came to a page that referred to confession. All of a sudden, the entire page became illuminated and the text imprinted itself in my mind. At the same time, 3 bright laser lights flashed right in front of me, close to my chest. This happened in about what seemed to be 2 0r 3 seconds. I almost fell off my stool, the book fell to the floor, and I was very startled. After I recovered, and thought about had happened, I realized I had a personal problem believing that after holy confession your sins are not only forgiven, but forgotten. This particular page relayed this fact and I thank Our Lord for showing me this with his supernatural communication. I also thank Saint Sister Faustina. No, it was not my imagination, and now , I do not have any doubt about confession. Please read the book, it is truly from God……