We explain what mercy is and in what forms of action it can manifest itself. In addition, we tell you what divine mercy is.

A family feels sorry for a dog and adopts it.
Mercy leads to trying to help or alleviate the pain of another.

What is mercy?

The mercy It is a feeling of sympathy and compassion experienced in the face of the suffering and misery of others.and which leads to forgiveness, showing kindness and benevolence, and trying to help or alleviate the pain of another, especially when it comes to a rival or an enemy.

The word “mercy” comes from Latin, and is made up of the words “miser” (“unfortunate”) and “cordis” (“heart”), which can be understood as “having a heart for the unfortunate”, that is, acting with compassion. So the people merciful They are those who feel compassion for the suffering of others, regardless of who it is. For example, a merciful person is able to voluntarily share his money with a thief who has tried to steal it, upon learning that the thief is desperate to bring money to his family.

However, pity should not be confused with mercy. The first is a much more fleeting and less intense emotion, which emphasizes the poignancy of the harm suffered by a third party (for example: “what a pity you couldn’t attend!”), while mercy or compassion emphasizes the person who suffers That is, pity focuses on the painful nature of the episode, while mercy is identified with the suffering of the other human being.

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Besides, mercy is a religious virtue, especially for Christianity, which considers it one of the main attributes of God. Therefore, a merciful attitude is encouraged by the Christian Church among its faithful, under the motto of loving one’s neighbor as oneself. In fact, in the New Testament the phrase is attributed to Jesus of Nazareth: “Blessed are the merciful, since mercy will be shown to them” (Matthew 5:7).

In this tradition, two forms of merciful action are distinguished:

  • The gifts of mercy. They are gifts or handouts given for the benefit of those in need or those who suffer. That is, material goods, such as money, clothing, food.
  • works of mercy. They are charitable or compassionate actions that help others when they are in need. That is, comfort, company, help.

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divine mercy

According to the Judeo-Christian tradition, divine mercy or divine mercy It is the compassion that the creator exhibits with human beings when they are immersed in sufferingbut only if they first deserved it.

That is, they themselves are expected to have been merciful throughout their lives, to demonstrate fear of God and respect for His moral standards, and to ask for divine mercy with sincere repentance in their hearts. According to this doctrine, divine mercy is so great that there is no sin that God is not able to forgive.

Other uses of the word “mercy”

In addition to those already detailed, there are other meanings of the word mercy, such as:

  • It was called “mercy” a dagger or knife worn by Christian knights in ancient times, with which they gave the touch of grace to their suffering enemies.
  • In the churches, it was called “mercy” a piece of wood in the choir seatswhich allowed people to rest secretly, reclining on it, when it was impossible to sit down.
  • Figuratively, “mercy” is called a small portion of somethinga small favor or something that is done free of charge for the other.
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Continue with: Kindness


  • “Mercy” on Wikipedia.
  • “Mercy” in the Language Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy.
  • “Etymology of Mercy” in the Online Spanish Etymological Dictionary.