Chaplet Graces from Afar

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of St. Faustina’s Diary, and you’ll find spiritual gems, like this one: 

It sometimes happens that the dying person is in the second or third building away, yet for the spirit, space does not exist. It sometimes happens that I know about a death occurring several hundred kilometers away. (Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, 835)

As a result of the global pandemic, tragically more people than ever are dying alone — "several hundred kilometers away," or further — without family, friends, or even a priest to administer the Sacrament of the Sick. Saint Faustina shares the good news that we can still pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet for those who are dying alone. We don’t need to be physically by their bedside for them to attain the graces.

When we pray the Chaplet for the dying, Jesus promises to stand between the Father and the person dying, not as a just Judge, but as the merciful Savior (see Diary, 1541). It doesn’t matter where in the world we are: Prayer reaches across space, even time.

The hour of death can be the most sacred moment of our lives. That's why in every Hail Mary, we ask the Blessed Mother to pray for us "at the hour of our death." So, pray the Chaplet for those who are dying, even if you can’t be there yourself. Jesus promises that your prayers will help those who are dying enter into God’s mercy at the moment of their death. 

At the start of the pandemic, Pope Francis prayed for the elderly who live in fear of contracting the coronavirus and dying alone. He said, “They are our roots, our history. They have given us the faith, traditions, the sense of belonging to a homeland. Let us pray for them so that the Lord may be close to them in this moment.”

Perhaps this is part of the reason Pope Francis declared a “Year of St. Joseph,” which began on Dec. 8 and lasts through Dec. 8, 2021. Saint Joseph has long been known as the Patron of a Happy Death, because, as tradition tells us, he died accompanied by Jesus and the Blessed Mother. So, when you’re praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for someone who is dying, you ought to invoke St. Joseph’s intercession, too. He'll make sure that even if no family can be present, the Holy Family will be there to make sure no one dies alone. 


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Photo by Daan Stevens on Unsplash

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