The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Most often, saying the chaplet can help us to ask for abundant graces for ourselves and others.


The words of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, transmitted by Jesus Himself, seem simple enough, but it is worth studying them deeply in order to speak not only with our lips, but also with our hearts.

Praying The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

On 13th of September 1935, when Sister Faustina saw an angel in her monastery cell, the Executor of God’s wrath, she began asking him to wait and not yet carry out the punishment for sins, so that the world might repent and God’s wrath might not touch the world. However, in the presence of the majesty of the Blessed Trinity, Sister Faustina did not dare to repeat her prayer. “Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved son, Our Lord Jesus Christ for our sins and those of the whole world; for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us.” (Diary, 475) These words formed the basis of the Divine Mercy Chaplet.

On the morning of 14th September 1935, on the way to the chapel of the Antakalnis monastery in Vilnius, Jesus dictated to Sister Faustina the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and again invited her to say the prayer that He had dictated to her: “Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you.” (Diary, 687)

By saying the chaplet often, we can ask for abundant graces for ourselves and others. Thanks to the care of Pope Francis, since 2018 the faithful living in Lithuania have been given an exceptional opportunity to receive plenery indulgence. These are available under normal conditions to all those who devoutly pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet before the Blessed Sacrament in a church or chapel in Lithuania, or in their own homes if they are unable to leave for a serious reason.

Theological meaning of the Divine Mercy Chaplet

By giving her the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Jesus promises to St. Faustina: “Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet; the very depths of My tender mercy are stirred for the sake of those who say the chaplet” (Diary, 848), and assures her that “Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for is compatible with My will.” (Diary, 1731). Jesus gives the chaplet prayer as a powerful weapon in the struggle against the powers of darkness and for the conversion of souls, and as a final anchor in the hour of death.
The words of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, transmitted by Jesus Himself, seem simple enough, but it is worth studying them deeply in order to speak not only with our lips, but also with our hearts.

The opening words, “Eternal Father…”, show that this prayer is addressed to God, the Father of mercy, through Jesus Christ, the only mediator between God and people. “I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ…” – we confess Jesus as our Lord, as well as him as a real Person, his true deity and his true humanity.

In the two Gospel accounts of the events of Jesus’ life – His baptism in the Jordan and His transfiguration on Mount Tabor – the same words of God the Father come from heaven: “This is my beloved Son.” (Matt. 3:17; Mark 9:7) Not only do they reveal the deity of Jesus, but through Baptism, Jesus, identifying Himself with all humanity, gives these words of the Father to each one of us who is baptized, so that each one of us becomes God’s most beloved child. By saying this, we not only confess Jesus as the Son of God, but our heavenly adoption is confirmed each time. The prayer of the chaplet reminds us of this wonderful exchange – the Lord Jesus bending down to a human, accepting our misery and inviting us to unite ourselves with His atoning sacrifice. Then together with St. Paul, we may announce: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church…” (Col. 1:24) We literally become His Mystical Body on earth, and He fills us with His Spirit (see 1 Cor. 12). Thus, by offering Jesus to the Father, we offer ourselves with Him, and in this way we can more easily bear and make sense of our sufferings. The words “I offer” also emphasize the union of the one praying with the sacrifice of Christ. The universal priesthood of all believers allows making such spiritual sacrifices. Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church “a kingdom, priests for his God and Father.” The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are “consecrated to be a holy priesthood. (CCC, 1546) Thus, by praying the chaplet, we are actually participating in this universal priesthood of the whole Church, of all believers, and we are asking for the atonement not only for our sins, but also for the sins of the whole world, because this is the desire of Jesus himself.

Sister Faustina has written in her Diary some words that can also help us to understand the prayer of the Chaplet of Mercy: “I unite myself closely with Jesus and stand before Him as an atoning sacrifice on behalf of the world. God will refuse me nothing when I entreat Him with the voice of his son. My sacrifice is nothing in itself, but when I join it to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, it becomes all-powerful and has the power to appease divine wrath. God loves us in His Son; the painful Passion of the Son of God constantly turns aside the wrath of God.” (Diary, 482)

With the words “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world” we join the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross and invoke the love of God the Father for his suffering Son and, at the same time, his merciful love for every person. We hope in God’s mercy not because of our own merits, but because actions of Jesus, and this mercy is only given to us through Jesus’ work of redemption. By repeating these words we learn to trust Jesus more deeply. At the end of the chaplet we repeat three times the prayer: “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world” – with these words we confess God’s power and reign, and we finally acknowledge our own weakness, our dependence on Him and our great need for God’s mercy.

The words that Jesus gave to Faustina separately are added to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy as a powerful prayer for the sinners whose conversion He so desires: “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You!” (Diary, 84)

Jesus assures us: “When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion.” (Diary, 186). And He exhorts: “While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them.” (Diary, 848).

The blood and the water connect us to the most painful and fruitful moment of Jesus’ suffering on the cross. From the pierced side of Jesus the Church is born. This is also a reference to the image of the Merciful Jesus, which the Lord also entrusts as a vessel of grace to those who will pray in trust. The blood and water in the painting, which are transformed into rays of God’s mercy, remind us again and again of the purifying and life-giving power of the sacraments of Baptism, Penance and the Eucharist.