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'
 favorite child.
	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."