The Chaplet of Mercy
April 26th, 1992
Brother John Raymond
Sister Mary Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament was born in
Glogowiec, Poland in 1905. Her father was a carpenter during the day
and attended to the 12 acre family farm in the evening. As busy as
he was her father would rise early to pray because as he said "our
first duty is to God."
As a child Helenka (Sister Faustina) was especially graced by
God. At 5 years old she dreamed that she "was walking hand in hand
with the Mother of God in a beautiful garden." Many times Helenka
would wake up in the middle of the night to pray. Because of her
mild character, obedience and charity she soon became her parents'
Children were attracted to Helenka by her natural goodness. While
tending the cows in the fields Helenka would recount to her
following of children her father's stories from the Bible,
missionary magazines and biographies of the saints.
With the outbreak of World War I all of Poland suffered
destruction,great famine and poverty. The family was almost
destitute. Because of the Russian occupation of Poland schools were
closed. Helenka attained only a second-grade education. At the age
of twenty Helenka entered the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and
received for her religious name Sister Mary Faustina of the Blessed
Sister Faustina had a difficult road to walk. One day the
superior told her, "Sister, along your path sufferings just spring
up out of the ground. I look upon you, Sister, as one crucified. Be
faithful to the Lord."
On February 22,1931, Sister Faustina received the first of many
revelations pertaining to her mission in life: to be the messenger
of the Divine Mercy to all Mankind. Jesus appeared to her with two
rays of light streaming from Him, one red and the other white. He
said, "Have painted an image according to the pattern you see, with
the words: Jesus, I trust in You. . . . I promise that the soul that
will venerate this image will not perish."
On May 1st, 1933 Sister Faustina made her perpetual vows. Almost
one year later Sister worked with an artist to paint the image Jesus
had requested. At the request of her spiritual director, she asked
Jesus about the meaning of the rays on the image. He replied, "The
two rays denote Blood and Water. The white ray stands for the Water
which makes souls righteous. The red ray stands for the Blood which
is the life of souls... These two rays issued forth from the very
depths of My tender mercy when My agonized Heart was opened by a
lance on the Cross. I desire that the first Sunday after Easter be
the Feast of Mercy. The soul that will go to Confession (Eight days
before or after) and receive Holy Communion (on that Sunday) shall
obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment... Let no soul
fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet."
On June 9th, 1935 Our Lord asked Sister Faustina to start a
congregation that would proclaim His Mercy to the world and by
prayer obtain that mercy for the world.
Soon after Jesus told Sister Faustina, "three ways of exercising
mercy toward your neighbor: the first - by deed, the second - by
word, the third - by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the
fullness of mercy. It is unquestionable proof of love for Me... even
the strongest faith is of no avail without works." About this same
time Sister suffered from the invisible stigmata every Friday and
sometimes also when meeting a soul not in the state of grace.
In 1936 Sister Faustina was diagnosed as having tuberculosis
which would eventually lead to her death. On August 24th, 1925 her
condition worsened. Several days before her death a Sister asked
her, "Are you afraid of death Sister?" She answered, "Why? All my
sins and imperfections will be consumed like straw in the fire of
the Divine Mercy." On October 5th Sister Faustina told another
sister, "The Lord will take me today." At 10:45 p.m. she raised her
eyes Heavenward, as if in ecstasy, and quietly and peacefully died.
She was canonized on April 30th, 2000 by Pope John Paul II.
On Friday, September 13th, 1935 Our Lord revealed to Sister
Faustina the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. He promised that those who
pray this chaplet will be embraced by His Mercy in life and at
death. When recited in the presence of the dying mercy will be
obtained for them.
How to recite the Chaplet: Begin with one Our Father, one Hail
Mary and the Apostles' Creed. Then on the large beads of the rosary
say, "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 small
beads say, "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us
and on the whole world." Continue through the five decades of the
beads. At the conclusion say three times, "Holy God, Holy Mighty
One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world."