A women's group at a Catholic parish in the Archdiocese of Boston had been gathering to grow closer to Christ. In Lent during the Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy, they commited to watching a series of Ven. Fulton Sheen's talks. In his talk on confession, he emphasized the effect of guilt and sin on our souls. He made the comment "Just think how many mentally disturbed women we are going to have in the United States ... when the guilt of abortion begins to attack the mind and soul... Years from now, the guilt will come out in a peculiar way, though at present there may not be any."
The women were struck deeply by his comment. Look at all the evils in our world today, especially with regard to the family. How many of these are because of the unacknowledged sins of abortion? An end to abortion isn't enough to save our world! There are millions upon millions of women, men, doctors, nurses, and families crying out under the burden of the guilt of abortion. Until they are converted and healed, our world cannot know peace. It takes such courage and fortitude to face what you have done; to face it without despair takes the abundant grace of God.
Prayer is the channel to bring down the flood of grace. God placed this need for healing prayers particularly on the hearts of Helen Syski and Mary Burton, and it became clear in their subsequent conversations that He desired this apostolate of mercy. With the simplicity and Holy Daring of St. Therese of Lisieux, a simple kiss of love could be the salvation of a soul.
In need of spiritual direction from a priest to confirm God's will, they went to Fr. Gregory Staab, OMV. After prayerful reflection he agreed that it was of God and would console the Heart of Jesus. He recalled St. Faustina had asked Jesus to save a soul for every stitch as she was crocheting, echoing an earlier conversation with a friend. St. Faustina was knocking at the door to be a part of this apostolate, as is only appropriate for the messenger of Divine Mercy.
Fr. Greg stated the need for a prayer to accompany the Kiss. Everything in this apostolate is grounded in simplicity and trust in Our Lady's intercession. It begins, "Jesus, I trust in You," St. Faustina's statement of confidence in Our Lord. Then one states the grace asked for and prays a Hail Mary. Mary is after all the Mother of Mercy, and what a powerful prayer to accompany the little Kiss!
While with Fr. Greg, the decision was made to invoke our Lady under the title Undoer of Knots; if there ever was a Gordian knot, it is abortion, but she can untie it.
All of this took place within one week's time; the women then waited for the Feast of St. Joseph to begin the apostolate because he is the protector of families and the unborn. Louis and Zelie Martin, as the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux, whose Little Way is so central to this apostolate, as well as being exemplary models of the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, are additional Patron Saints.
Imprimatur: Our prayer card with the Kiss of Mercy Prayer received an Imprimatur (NOT including this website) on January 25, 2017. Nihil Obstat: Arthur L. Kennedy, S.T.L., Ph.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Boston. Permission: Sean P. Cardinal O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Boston.
The Prayer of Entrustment to Mary was prayed for the Kiss of Mercy Apostolate in 2016 at the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Fatima, Portugal and at the Parish Church of the Sacred Heart in Lourdes, France, the site of St. Bernadette's baptismal font. In 2017, it was prayed at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City during Mass at the tomb of St. John Paul II and in 2019 at the Basilica of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Mexico.