Jesus Christ gave the Divine Mercy Chaplet and prayers to Saint Faustina Kowlaska, a polish nun, in a vision in order to encourage participation in His Mercy. Jesus asks that mercy be exercised as proof of love for Him.
There are three ways to practice mercy: by deed, by word, and by prayer. The Corporeal and Spiritual Works of Mercy are commonly accepted list of deeds and words of mercy to imitate. Their origins are found throughout the Scriptures and from innate human every day decency:
Corporeal Works of Mercy: feed the hungry; give drink to the thirsty; clothe the naked; shelter the homeless; comfort the prisoners; visit the sick; bury the dead.
Spiritual Works of Mercy: teach the ignorant; pray for the living & dead; correct sinners; counsel those in doubt; console the sorrowful; bear wrongs patiently; forgive wrongs willingly.
The Chaplet is a beautiful way to practice the third exercise of mercy, prayer. In fact, praying it at 3:00pm every day is a good way to honor the Passion and death of Jesus. He Himself asked this to be done:
“At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion.” (Diary, 1320)
Here is how to pray the Chaplet using Rosary beads:
- Make the Sign of the Cross
- Optional Opening Prayer: 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. (Repeat three times) O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You!
- Say an Our Father, Hail Mary, and The Apostle's Creed.
Pray on the five big beads of the Rosary:
- Eternal 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.”
Pray on the five sets of ten small beads of the Rosary:
- “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
Conclude by repeating three times:
- Holy God: “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
- Optional Additional 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.”