Chaplet of Divine Mercy
"I have opened my Heart as a living fountain of mercy. Let all souls draw life from it. Let them approach this sea of mercy with great trust. Sinners will attain justification, and the just will be confirmed in good. Whoever places his trust in My mercy will be filled with My divine peace at the hour of death."
Our Lord said to Saint Faustina:
Encourage souls to say the Chaplet which I have given you ... Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death ... When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between my Father and the dying person, not as the Just Judge but as the Merciful Savior ... Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from my infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy ... Through the Chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.
What is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy?
Saint Faustina was born Helena Kowalska in the village of Glogowiec west of Lodz, Poland, on August 25, 1905. She was the third of ten children.
When she was almost twenty, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, whose members devote themselves to the care and education of troubled young women. The following year she received her religious habit and was given the name Sister Maria Faustina, to which she added "of the Most Blessed Sacrament," as was permitted by her Congregation's custom.
In the 1930s, Sister Faustina received from the Lord a message of mercy that she was told to spread throughout the world. She was asked to become the apostle and secretary of God's mercy, a model of how to be merciful to others, and an instrument for reemphasizing God's plan of mercy for the world. The message of mercy that Sister Faustina received is now being spread throughout the world; she has been recognized by the Church as a "Saint"; and her diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, has become the handbook for devotion to The Divine Mercy.
She would not have been surprised, for she had been told that the message of God's mercy would spread through her writings for the great benefit of souls. Through Saint Faustina, Jesus also revealed special ways to live out the response to His mercy â€œone of which is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, as both a novena and a prayer for the three o'clock hour the hour of His death."
The Chaplet of Divine Mercy as a Novena
The Chaplet can be said anytime, but the Lord specifically asked that it be recited as a novena. He promised, "By this Novena (of Chaplets), I will grant every possible grace to souls."
For each of the nine days, our Lord gave Saint Faustina a different intention:
1. all mankind, especially sinners;
2.the souls of priests and religious;
3.all devout and faithful souls;
4.those who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know Jesus;
5. the souls who have separated themselves from the Church;
6. the meek and humble souls and the souls of little children;
7. the souls who especially venerate and glorify His mercy;
8. the souls detained in purgatory;
9. and souls who have become lukewarm.
"I desire that during these nine days you bring souls to the fountain of My mercy, that they may draw therefrom strength and refreshment and whatever grace they have need of in the hardships of life, and especially at the hour of death."
We, too, can make a novena of prayer for these intentions and others, especially by praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy.
How to Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy
The Chaplet of Mercy can be recited using ordinary rosary beads of five decades, or on the Divine Mercy beads.
At the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts the Chaplet is preceded by two opening prayers from the Diary of Saint Faustina and followed by a closing prayer.
Optional Opening Prayers
You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth for souls, and the ocean of mercy opened up for the whole world. O Fount of Life, unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us. O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
Begin with the Our Father, the Hail Mary and the Apostle's Creed:
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
The Apostle's Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified; died, and was buried. He descended into Hell; third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.
Then, on the large bead before each decade:
Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
On the ten small beads of each decade, say:
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Conclude with (Say 3 Times):
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Optional Closing Prayer
Eternal God, in whom mercy is endless and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments we might not despair nor become despondent, but with great confidence submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy itself.