These are excerpts from the Diary of St. Faustina, which I am reading prior to writing an icon patterned after the image of Divine Mercy that she saw in a vision.
Feb 22, 1931:
47 In the evening, when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand (was) raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me, Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and (then) throughout the world.
48 I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. . . . I Myself will defend it as My own glory.
49 I desire that there be a Feast of Mercy. I want this image, which you will paint with a brush, to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy.
326 Once Jesus said to me, My gaze from this image is like My gaze from the cross.
327 Jesus reminded me of what He had told me the first time; namely, that these three words must be clearly in evidence: “Jesus, I trust in You.” (“Jezu, Ufam Tobie.”). . . I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: “Jesus, I trust in You.”
299 Then, on one occasion, my confessor told me to ask the Lord Jesus the meaning of the two rays in the image. I answered, “Very well, I will ask the Lord.”
During prayer I heard these words within me: The two rays denote Blood and Water. The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the very depths of My tender mercy when My agonized heart was opened by a lance on the Cross.
Reading these words and more from the diaries, calls me to write an icon of this image for my parish community. I pray that I might be guided by the Holy Spirit to do it well, and that it might be acceptable to the pastor and people of my church.
Several artists in the past and present have painted the image, some being directly guided by St. Faustina herself in Poland. None of the paintings totally satisfied the saint, but nevertheless devotion to the image, and a prayer called the Divine Mercy Chaplet, have spread throughout the world. St. Faustina was born in 1905 and died in 1938. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II on April 30, 2000. He officially declared the 2nd Sunday after Easter to be Divine Mercy Sunday.