Weekly Grace Archives

What is the Chaplet of Divine Mercy?


As we get on with our Week of Mercy, I’d like to take the opportunity to share the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with you.

I love this prayer, and I pray it every morning (or at least do my best to). I read somewhere – where exactly escapes me – that this is a good way to start the morning as we offer our day to our God, trusting in him and his mercy. After all, to love is to show mercy to others.

The devotion of Divine Mercy was initiated by St. Faustina Kowalska, who experienced a number of private visions and apparitions from and conversations with Jesus Christ, who taught her to teach others to ask for and obtain God’s mercy, trust in Jesus’s abundant mercy, and to be merciful to others as well (which would also be a way of serving as God’s vehicle of mercy for them). The Chaplet is one of the five forms of the devotion, the others being the Divine Mercy image you see at the start of this article, Divine Mercy Sunday, the hour of mercy (3:00 pm, the time Christ died) via the 3:00 Prayer (part of which is mentioned in the Chaplet), and the spreading of mercy to all of humanity.

As a rosary-based prayer, the Chaplet can be prayed on your rosary, although of course you are perfectly free to pray it in your mind without any tools. I personally pray it on my rosary or my rosary bracelet, which I find more suited to the Chaplet than the Holy Rosary. It’s also much shorter than the Holy Rosary, meaning if your time in the morning is more limited, you can devote your morning prayer to the Chaplet.

Best of all, even non-Catholics can pray the Chaplet, because it is a basic tenet of all Christians to trust that only God’s mercy can bridge the infinite gap between him and us, his people – and to accept the invitation from the Father, we are to accept the Son as our Lord and Savior. The fact that is is a rote prayer is irrelevant: if it comes from the heart, then it is a sincere and personal prayer from you.

The Chaplet goes as follows:

1. Cross: Make the sign of your faith by the Sign of the Cross.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

2. Small Bead 1: Pray the words Jesus himself taught us.

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.

3. Small Bead 2: Honor Jesus’s mother and ask her to pray for us.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thee among 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.

4. Small Bead 3: Confess your faith.

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 Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into Heaven, sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, and from then 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 life everlasting. Amen.

5. Centerpiece: Offer our Lord to the Father.

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.

6. 10 Small Beads: Ask for the Father’s mercy (x10).

For the sake of his sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

7. Repeat 5 and 6, four more times.

These constitute the five “decades” of the Chaplet, the same way that the Rosary has five mysteries.

8. Centerpiece: Pray the latter half of the 3:00 Prayer (x3).

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

9. Conclude with the sign of your faith again.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

Because I tend to lose concentration easily, I use a multilingual rosary app to help me in my prayer. If you want a podcast, you can check out Totus2us.com.

Have a purposeful Sunday!

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