Why We Pray the Chaplet for the Sick and Dying

An ancient Christian writer wrote that, "of all divine things, the most divine is to share with God in the saving of souls."

Interestingly, God and Souls was the motto of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, whose revelations in the 1930s led to the modern Divine Mercy movement.

Our Lord asked St. Faustina to pray and offer the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy for sinners and the dying, saying:

Pray as much as you can for the dying. By your entreaties [that is, insistent prayers], obtain for them trust in My mercy, because they have most need of trust, and have it the least. Be assured that the grace of eternal salvation for certain souls in their final moment depends on your prayer. You know the whole abyss of My mercy, so draw upon it for yourself and especially for poor sinners. Sooner would heaven and earth turn into nothingness than would My mercy not embrace a trusting soul." (Diary of St. Faustina, 1777)



Saint Faustina was often given the grace to know when a certain dying person desired or needed prayer; she would be alerted to the moment, by her Guardian Angel or by our Lord Himself. At those times she would pray until she no longer felt the need to pray, or a sense of peace came upon her, or she learned that the person had died, or heard the soul say, "Thank You!" She wrote: "Oh, dying souls are in such great need of prayer! O Jesus, inspire souls to pray often for the dying" (Diary, 1015).

One of the best means of assisting the dying is the one that Jesus revealed to St. Faustina and insisted that she use often, even continuously: The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Jesus said, "My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet. ... Write that when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior" (Diary, 1541).

Earlier, our Lord said to her, "At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same" (Diary, 811).

What if the person prays from a distance? Saint Faustina had a love for the sick and dying, and she prayed for them with great fervor. The following experiences recorded in her Diary make it clear that one does not have to be at the bedside physically. She wrote, "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. This has happened several times with regard to my family and relatives and also sisters in religion, and even souls whom I have not known during their lifetime" (Diary, 835).

Our Lord said to St. Faustina, "'My daughter, help Me to save a certain dying sinner. Say the chaplet that I have taught you for him.' When I began to say the chaplet, I saw the man dying in the midst of terrible torment and struggle. His Guardian Angel was defending him, but he was, as it were, powerless against the enormity of the soul's misery. A multitude of devils was waiting for the soul. But while I was saying the chaplet, I saw Jesus just as He is depicted in the image. The rays which issued from Jesus' Heart enveloped the sick man, and the powers of darkness fled in panic. The sick man peacefully breathed his last. When I came to myself, I understood how very important the chaplet was for the dying. It appeases the anger of God" (Diary, 1565).

These words are particularly relevant for members of the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM) and all Eucharistic adorers. In chapels throughout the world, they are reciting or praying the chaplet for the sick and dying, and are part of an international registry established by the ministry.

We currently have more than 400 chapels worldwide praying the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy hourly during Eucharistic Adoration for the sick and dying. This includes 14 cloistered convents of Poor Clares in India and Bangladesh. Moreover, on the occasion of the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, by a personally signed parchment, imparted a Special Apostolic Blessing "to all the faithful, who during Adoration of Our Most Merciful Savior in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the altar will be praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the sick and for those throughout the world who will be dying in that hour." A copy of the blessing is available for chapels whose adorers pray for the sick and dying.

In addition, on the Feast of the Incarnation in 2003, Pope John Paul II imparted a Special Apostolic Blessing to all the faithful worldwide who pray the chaplet at any time and any place for pro-life causes: for mothers contemplating abortion; for infants dying in the womb; for victims of stem cell research, genetic manipulation, euthanasia; and for all elected officials that they promote a culture of life. So it is most appropriate that people worldwide pray a chaplet for all those dying, as well as for all the pro-life causes.

For more information, call the Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM) at 1-877-380-0727.

Dr. Bryan Thatcher, MD, is the founder and director of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy (EADM). He travels the world promoting the Eucharist, prayer cenacles, and the message of Divine Mercy as a "way of life." Learn more about EADM.

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