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The Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, also called the Divine Mercy Chaplet, is a Catholic devotion to the Divine Mercy,[1] based on the Christological apparitions of Jesus reported by Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938), known as "the Apostle of Mercy".[2][3] She was a Polish religious sister of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and canonized as a Catholic saint in 2000.[4]

Kowalska stated that she received the prayer through visions and conversations with Jesus, who made specific promises regarding the recitation of the prayers.[2] Her Vatican biography quotes some of these conversations.[4]

As a Roman Catholic devotion, the chaplet is often said as a rosary-based prayer with the same set of rosary beads used for reciting the Rosary or the Chaplet of Holy Wounds. As an Anglican devotion, the Divine Mercy Society of the Anglican Church states that the chaplet can also be recited on Anglican prayer beads.[5] The chaplet may also be said without beads, usually by counting prayers on the fingertips,[2] and may be accompanied by the veneration of the Divine Mercy image.[6][7]


Main article: Divine Mercy (Catholic devotion)

On September 13, 1935, while Kowalska was in Vilnius, she wrote of a vision of Jesus about the chaplet in her diary (Notebook 1 item 476).[8][9] Kowalska stated that Jesus asked her to pray the chaplet and instruct others to do so. Although the chaplet is said on beads like the Rosary, it is about a third of the length of the Rosary, and unlike the Rosary that has evolved over the years, the form and structure of the chaplet has remained unchanged since Kowalska attributed it to a message from Jesus.[9][10]

According to Kowalska's visions, written in her diary, the chaplet's prayers for mercy are threefold: to obtain mercy, to trust in Christ's mercy, and to show mercy to others.[6][11][12] Kowalska wrote that Jesus promised that all who recite this chaplet at the hour of death or in the presence of the dying will receive great mercy. She wrote that Jesus said:

...When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior.

Kowalska stated that Jesus also promised that anything can be obtained with this prayer if it is compatible with his will. In her diary Kowalska recounted a vision on September 13, 1935 in which she saw an angel sent to a city to destroy it. Kowalska began to pray for God's mercy on the city and felt the strong presence of the Holy Trinity.[12][13] After she prayed the internally instructed prayers, the angel was powerless to harm the city. In subsequent visions, Kowalska learned that the prayers she spoke were to be taught to all the people of the world.[14]

Pope John Paul II was instrumental in the formal establishment of the Divine Mercy devotion and acknowledged the efforts of the Marian Fathers in its promotion in a Papal Blessing in 2001, the 70th anniversary of the revelation of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion. Although the prayers said on the beads of the rosary chain share specific similarities between the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Chaplet of Holy Wounds, these are distinct chaplets and were introduced over 20 years apart, one in Poland, the other in France.[15]


According to Roman Catholic tradition, the chaplet may be said at any time, but it is said especially on Divine Mercy Sunday and Fridays at 3:00 p.m. The chaplet is prayed daily at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and on the National Shrine in Krakow and Vilinus respectively at the shared time.

In the Philippines, the opening portion of the chaplet known as the "3 O'Clock Habit" (Filipino: Panalangin Para Sa Ika-tatlo Ng Hapon) is broadcast on radio stations and television networks[a] daily at 3:00 p.m., beginning June 16, 1985.[16] In 2000, Pope John Paul II ordained the Sunday after Easter as the Divine Mercy Sunday, where Roman Catholics remember the institution of the Sacrament of Penance. The hour Jesus died by crucifixion, 3:00 p.m., is called the Hour of Mercy. In a novena, the chaplet is usually said each of the nine days from Good Friday to Divine Mercy Sunday.



The chaplet contains several unique prayers. The rosary may be used to move through the prayers.

First opening prayer

The first prayer is prayed on the first large bead where the Our Father is normally prayed and may be used to begin the chaplet:

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.[17]

Second opening prayer

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The second prayer is O Blood and Water (Polish: O krwi i wodo), also known as conversion prayer. It is repeated three times in succession, while remaining on the first large bead, and may be used along with the first opening prayer to begin the chaplet. Its full text, as reported in the Diary, is:

O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in You![17]

It may be regarded as an extension of the ejaculatory prayer Jezu, ufam tobie ("Jesus, I trust in You"), set under the Divine Mercy image (according to Diary 47).

It is given three times in the Diary (84, 187, 309), for the first time under the date of August 2, 1934. Jesus himself promised to Faustina Kowalska: "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" (186).

This prayer is often said in the Hour of Mercy (3:00 p.m.), when someone has no time for a longer prayer, like the entire Chaplet, because of the duties (as recommended in Diary 1320, 1572). It is also applied in various other situations, especially when someone meets a sinner (as Jesus requires passim in the Diary).

It invokes the Divine Mercy that is given to the humanity from the cross of Jesus. Blood and water from his side pierced by a spear (John 19:34) symbolizes the grace of sacraments: help and forgiveness (cf. Diary 299). This is also the meaning of the red and white ray in the Divine Mercy image.

Eternal Father

The Eternal Father prayer opens each decade of the chaplet and is prayed on the single beads separating the decades where the Our Father is normally prayed:

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.[17]

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion

The "For the sake of His sorrowful Passion" prayer, repeated 10 times in succession, forms the body of each decade of the chaplet, using the beads where the Hail Marys are normally recited:

For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.[17]

Holy God

The Holy God prayer, repeated three times in succession, concludes the chaplet, recited where the Hail Holy Queen is normally prayed:

Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.[17]

Closing prayer

The closing prayer is used after the Holy God to end the chaplet:

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.[17][18]


The chaplet is often recited on beads as a rosary-based prayer
The Divine Mercy image devoted with the Chaplet

The chaplet is prayed on ordinary rosary beads that are also used to pray the Dominican Rosary.[17][12] The structure of the chaplet is as follows:[17][12]

The chaplet is begun on the short strand of the rosary beads:

The praying of the decades then follows, repeating this cycle for each:

To conclude:

In Poland, the second opening prayer is used as a closing prayer instead, followed by Jesus, I trust in you three times, and Saint Faustina, Apostle of Mercy, save us three times.[citation needed]


The chaplet may be repeated over a period of nine days as part of a novena. According to Kowalska's Diary, Jesus himself in a vision asked that the Divine Mercy Novena be prayed as a preparation for the Feast of the Divine Mercy, celebrated each year on first Sunday after Easter.[19] The novena should begin on Good Friday. There is a prayer intention for specific group of people on each of the nine days. The novena intentions for each day are:[20]

  1. All mankind, in particular, all sinners.
  2. The souls of Catholic priests and religious.
  3. All devout and faithful souls.
  4. Those who do not believe in God and those who do not yet know him.
  5. The souls of those separated from the Catholic Church.
  6. Meek and humble of heart, and children.
  7. People who especially venerate and glorify Christ's mercy.
  8. The souls in Purgatory.
  9. The souls of those who have become lukewarm.

See also


  1. ^ Some radio and television stations (with the exception of ABS-CBN television network and ABS-CBN's DZMM radio station) dropped the practice in 1990s and 2000s, but it is currently[when?] only shown on ABS-CBN's Kapamilya Channel.


  1. ^ Roesch, Joe (2014). "Is Divine Mercy for All Christians?". Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. Retrieved 27 April 2014. However, all Christians can agree that we are redeemed through the death of Christ on the cross. There is no reason, therefore, why all Christians could not pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, since it focuses on our redemption in Christ.
  2. ^ a b c Ann Ball, 2003 "Encyclopedia of Catholic Devotions and Practices". ISBN 0-87973-910-X page 174
  3. ^ Pope John Paul II. "Homily for Faustina at Vatican website".
  4. ^ a b Vatican Biography of Faustina Kowalska Archived March 3, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "The Chaplet". The Divine Mercy Society of the Anglican Church. Archived from the original on September 22, 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2014. The Chaplet below is the Universal Anglican Church version and may be recited using either the Universal Anglican Church prayer beads or the Roman Catholic rosary.
  6. ^ a b Tim Drake, 2002, Saints of the Jubilee, Authorhouse ISBN 978-1-4033-1009-5 pages 85-95
  7. ^ Sourcebook for Sundays and Seasons 2008 by D. Todd Williamson 2007 ISBN 1-56854-617-3 page 195
  8. ^ "Chaplet of Divine Mercy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  9. ^ a b A Divine Mercy Resource by Richard Torretto 2010 ISBN 1-4502-3236-1 pages 63-79
  10. ^ Catholic Chaplaincy: The Promises of Jesus to Those Who Pray The Chaplet
  11. ^ Catherine M. Odell, 1998, Faustina: Apostle of Divine Mercy OSV Press ISBN 978-0-87973-923-2
  12. ^ a b c d "EWTN description of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy". Archived from the original on 2013-07-08. Retrieved 2011-05-03.
  13. ^ Kazimierz Lijka, Nabożeństwo do Miłosierdzia Bożego, „Teologia Praktyczna", 17, 2016, s. 161–177
  14. ^ Alan Butler and Paul Burns, 2005, Butler's Lives of the Saints, Burns and Oats ISBN 0-86012-383-9 page 251
  15. ^ G. P. Geoghegan, 2006, "A Collection of My Favorite Prayers". ISBN 978-1-4116-9457-6
  16. ^ Divine Mercy in the Philippines
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M. (2012). Divine Mercy Novena and Chaplet. Stockbridge, Massachusetts: Marian Press. ISBN 978-1-59614-036-3.
  18. ^ St. Faustina Kowalska Diary - Divine Mercy in My Soul - 950
  19. ^ "Divine Mercy Sunday | USCCB". Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  20. ^ "Chaplet of Divine Mercy | Diocese of Portland". Retrieved 2022-03-29.

Further reading