PITTSBURG — In Highland Park Cemetery stands a symbol of mercy and compassion.

It was placed there by a handful of people who would like to share, the “Image of Divine Mercy” and the mercy and compassion which it symbolizes in Sept. 2017.

“The picture is a universal symbol,” Pittsburg resident Joanne Wenzl said. “When people see the image, it is a visible reminder of compassion and mercy.”

Wenzl said she and her faith group Divine Mercy Messengers would like to spread this message across the world.

The sign was placed in a section of the cemetery owned by the diocese, next to the Knights of Columbus memorial stone which reads “In Memory of the Unborn Child.”

The “Image of Divine Mercy” is not related to the stone, but does present the message of “whatever they have in their heart — should be done with compassion and is merciful,” Wenzl said.

Each part of the image has symbolism, from Jesus’ “gaze” to the light rays which shine down from his hand. At the bottom reads “Jesus, I Trust in You.”

The image became popular after Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, who was a nun which Jesus appeared to, Wenzl said. The saint wrote her experience in her diary, which was then shared.

This particular sign was placed after Wenzl’s nephew Richard Wenzl, from Chicago, visited Joplin after the 2011 tornado. He helped out with various tasks and also placed the image on the side of a building as a symbol of “divine mercy.”

Richard Wenzl, who creates shelving for businesses for a living, decided to begin making “Image of Divine Mercy” signs and selling them to continue to share the message.

In various parts of Chicago, people can find the sign in front of churches and other areas easily visible to the public —  along with garden sized signs.

Joanne Wenzl said “we ought to have one of these in our area.”

She began to think of areas in Pittsburg which had high visibility and that spot was on the south end of the Highland Park Cemetery.

— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at spotter@morningsun.net or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun.