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Works of mercy (sometimes known as acts of mercy) are practices considered meritorious in Christian ethics.
The practice is popular in the Catholic Church as an act of both penance and charity. In addition, the Methodist church teaches that the works of mercy are a means of grace which lead to holiness and aid in sanctification.
- "Corporal works of mercy" which concern the material and physical needs of others.
- "Spiritual works of mercy" which concern the spiritual needs of others.
Pope John Paul II issued a papal encyclical "Dives in misericordia" on 30 November 1980 declaring that "Jesus Christ taught that man not only receives and experiences the mercy of God, but that he is also called 'to practice mercy' towards others." Another notable devotion associated with the works of mercy is the Divine Mercy, which derives from apparitions of Jesus Christ to Saint Faustina Kowalska.
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