This lesson will discuss some of the many different prayers that can be said on a set of rosary beads. Did you know there are variations on the Rosary, or that your rosary can be used for a variety of different prayers? This lesson will focus on one of these different prayers: the Divine Mercy Chaplet, which is an important part of the Divine Mercy devotion. Finally, this lesson will teach you how to make your own rosary!
Introduction Video and Opening Prayer
Most Catholics probably don’t need to look very far to find a set of rosary beads. Many of us receive rosaries as presents from friends and family to mark important occasions in our life, like our Baptism or our first Communion. Sometimes, when people visit a new place that is important to their faith, they will buy a rosary to remember it.
We learn the prayers of the Rosary from the time we are very little. Do you remember learning the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be? These are the prayers that make up most of the Rosary. Each bead has a different prayer that is said on it. See the picture below for a refresher.
Did you know these aren’t the only prayers you can say on rosary beads? This lesson is going to focus on one of the different prayers you can say on your rosary: the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
So what is a chaplet? A chaplet is a set of prayers that are often said together as a personal devotion.1 And what is a devotion? Devotions are personal prayers we say because they mean a lot to us. They are ways we show God how much we love Him! The US Bishops tell us, “Popular devotions are expressions of love and fidelity that arise from the intersection of one’s own faith, culture and the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”2 The Divine Mercy Chaplet is a prayer we say as part of the Divine Mercy devotion. By praying it, we express our faith and confidence in God’s incredible love and mercy.
In the bible, Jesus tells us the parable of the lost sheep. In the story, there is a man who owns one hundred sheep and one of them gets lost. Rather than staying with the other ninety nine, the man goes out and finds the one that is lost, carrying it back on his shoulders. When he gets home, he is so happy he found the lost sheep, he throws a celebration for his friends and neighbors.
When we sin, we are like the lost sheep, and Jesus is the good shepherd who goes looking for us. We all need Christ’s mercy. Fortunately for us, Jesus loves showing us mercy and forgiveness! After telling the parable, he says:
“There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need of repentance.”Lk 15:7
The devotion to Jesus’ Divine Mercy comes to us from St. Faustina Kowalska. She is this lesson’s featured saint. Jesus appeared to her in a series of visions, and taught her about Divine Mercy. The devotion has several parts:
- The Divine Mercy Image, as seen below.
- The Divine Mercy Chaplet, we are learning how to pray.
- The Hour of Great Mercy, each day at 3pm.
- The Divine Mercy Novena (link to this in “More to Explore.”)
- Divine Mercy Sunday (The first Sunday after Easter.)
- This lesson includes a guide to making your own Divine Mercy Sundae!
This is the image Christ revealed to Saint Faustina. It is called the Divine Mercy Image. In it, we see two rays of light coming from Christ’s heart. They represent the blood and water that flowed from his side on the cross as well as the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet is the second part of the devotion and is the main focus of our lesson. It is a short and easy prayer to say. Over the next two weeks, try to learn it as a family. Have your children memorize some of the easier prayers. If they can’t stay focused for the whole chaplet, try praying just a little bit of it at first, and add to it as you go.
This graphic shows the basic structure of the chaplet. More detailed instructions for praying it, along with videos to guide you, can be found in the “Let us Pray” section of the lesson.
The third part of the devotion is the Hour of Great Mercy. In a vision, Jesus revealed to St. Faustina that he would like her to say a short prayer every day at 3pm, calling to mind His mercy and entrusting the whole world to it, especially sinners.3
Jesus chose 3pm as the Hour of Great Mercy because it was the time at which he died on the cross (Mark 25:34). Every day at 3pm, we are encouraged to remember Christ’s death on the cross. This can seem kind of sad; we don’t like to think about Jesus dying. Remember though, Jesus loves us so much, he died to take away all our sins – it was the ultimate act of mercy! Jesus died so we can live forever in Heaven. The story of the Gospel doesn’t end at 3pm on the cross; three days later, Jesus rose again on the first Easter Morning!
Divine Mercy is so closely tied to Easter, we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday during the Easter Season. The first Sunday after Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday.
If you want to learn more about the rest of the Divine Mercy devotion, you can check out this lesson’s “More to Explore” section. Now that you know the basics, have each member of the family take a page of the Destined Journal and draw something related to Divine Mercy in the center. Around it, write words that describe Jesus’ mercy and how it makes you feel. Jesus offers His mercy to everyone, but it is up to us to respond to it!
Jesus entrusted His message of Divine Mercy to St. Faustina. She was a polish nun who had visions of Jesus and recorded them for the whole world. She overcame many challenges in her life, and changed the world in the process! St. Pope John Paul II was also from Poland and was very devoted to Divine Mercy. He loved the message so much, he made Faustina a saint in 1993.
Let Us Pray!
This lesson’s prayer challenge is to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet as a family. It doesn’t take very long, and it is a great activity to do at your family prayer space. The prayers for the chaplet can be found by clicking on the button below, and printing the webpage.
Once you have printed off the prayers, pray along with one of the following videos. When we are learning a new prayer, it is helpful to have someone lead us. We can’t do it together in class, so we found some great videos to help you!
If you have children in grades 1-5, have them grab their rosaries and pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet along with this video:
This video is great for older children, teens, and parents. Pray along with the friars to learn the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Live It Out Activities
We have covered a lot in this lesson, and it is important to review what we have learned. Choose 2 or 3 of the following activities to do as a family. Post a comment saying which activities your family chose. If you are particularly proud of your work, pictures are always appreciated!
You don’t have to do them all at once. In fact, if you spread them out over the course of the next 2 weeks, it will be a great way to reinforce what we have learned.
Add to your prayer space:
Divine Mercy crafts:
Make your own rosary:
We highly recommend choosing at least one rosary craft. These are very durable and easy to carry with you everywhere!
Make a Divine Mercy Sundae!
Scoop ice cream into a bowl, and create the rays with 2 long squirts of whipped cream. Embellish them with red and blue toppings of your choice. I sprinkled the whipped cream with red and blue kool-aid powder, but you could also use strawberries and blueberries, or make some red and blue sugar. You could also use red, white, and blue sprinkles. Don’t forget the cherry on top!
If you choose this activity, make sure to share a picture of the completed sundaes in the comments!
More to Explore!
Here is a link to a great video on formed.org, which explains the parable of the lost sheep to very young children (pre K – young elementary). You all have access to Formed through the parish. https://watch.formed.org/videos/the-little-lost-sheep