Marrying the Rosary to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

August 12, 2016

When you intersperse your praying of the Rosary with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy you have the ingredients for powerful meditation and transformation. In the Rosary we, like the Apostles in the Upper Room, join Mary in meditating upon the life of her Son, in the light of Scripture (cf. Acts 1:13–20). When we intersperse our meditation on the mysteries with a decade of the Chaplet we not only find our meditation led in exciting directions, but we join Mary at the foot of the Cross. We pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy with her, joining ourselves to Christ’s offering of His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity—the same offering made present in the Eucharist—and intercede for the graces we have just meditated upon. I am sure you can see how this would be true while praying the Sorrowful Mysteries, but I have found it to be true of the other mysteries as well.

First, however, let me explain the mechanics of interspersing the Rosary with the Chaplet. I begin the Rosary as always, with the Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, three Hail Marys, and Glory Be. (Note how the first three prayers are also found at the beginning of the Chaplet, albeit in a different order.) I then pray a decade of the Rosary, followed by the Fatima Prayer:

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

It is here that I interject a decade of the Chaplet:

On the Our Father bead: 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.

On the Hail Mary beads: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

I then pray the Our Father and begin my Rosary meditation for the next mystery. After meditating upon five mysteries in this manner, I conclude with the triple recitation of the Trisagion (Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world) and the Hail Holy Queen.

What I found most exciting about combining these two beautiful devotions was the way the Chaplet colored my meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary. Venerable Fulton J. Sheen said that our Lord’s Cross cast its shadow backward over His entire life; and that is exactly what I have found. I offer the following three short samples from the Luminous Mysteries:

The Wedding Feast of Cana

When Mary approached Jesus about the shortage of wine, He replied, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come” (Jn 2:4). Our Lord then went ahead to grant His Mother’s request, the first of His “signs” (Jn 2:11). The remainder of John’s Gospel makes clear that Jesus’s “hour” refers to His Passion (for example, 16:2, 32; 17:1). Jesus’s turning of water into wine was a sign that pointed ahead that hour—to His sacrificial passage from this world to the Father and the Messianic Age His passage inaugurated.

Isaiah had prophesied that in the Messianic Age God would provide “a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines” (Is. 25:6). It was on the Cross that the grape (Christ’s Body) was crushed, and the new wine (His Blood) flowed; and it is in the Eucharist (the wedding feast of the Lamb, cf. Rev. 19:7-9) that they are given to us as supernatural food and drink.

The Proclamation of the Kingdom

Walking beside the Sea of Galilee, Jesus called Peter, Andrew, John, and James to follow Him and become “fishers of men.” “Immediately they left their nets and followed Him” (Mt 4:20). Where were the four at Jesus’s Crucifixion, though? Only John had the courage to stand before the Lord’s Cross (cf. Jn 19:26). I found myself praying for the grace of final perseverance.

The Transfiguration

There on the mountain the Apostles heard Moses and Elijah speak with Christ about His “exodus” (Lk 9:31), His Passover from this world to the Father. The Apostles heard the Father’s voice, “This is my Son, my Chosen” (Lk 9:35). My mind was led to another mountain, the one scaled by Abraham and his “only son” Isaac (Gn 22:2). Isaac climbed, carrying the wood of sacrifice on his shoulders. Abraham intuited that God would send a “lamb” to take the place of his son upon the altar (Gn 22:8). It was a type of the Passover which, in turn, was a type of Christ’s sacrifice and Eucharist.

Our Lord’s Transfiguration foreshadowed His Resurrection. Before that moment of Transfiguration glory, though, Christ and the Apostles had to climb a mountain. There is no Resurrection without first experiencing the Cross. We must embrace the Cross and petition our Lord for the grace to do so.

By linking my Rosary meditation with the praying of the Chaplet, my meditation was led in unexpected directions. I haven’t given up praying each separately nor am I advocating that anyone else should. I reaped positive fruit from praying the two in tandem, though, and I humbly submit that others may as well: They will not only share Mary’s contemplation of Christ’s life, in the light of His Cross, but unite themselves to Mary’s intercession at the foot of the Cross. “Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son.... For the sake of His sorrowful Passion…”

If you would like to delve more deeply into this manner of uniting the Rosary and Chaplet, and the fruits flowing from it, you may want to pick up Shane’s brand new booklet, Marrying the Rosary to the Divine Mercy Chaplet (En Route Books and Media).

On Monday, August 22, EWTN will air Shane's return visit to The Journey Home, where he will share content from his The Epistle to the Hebrews and The Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics. Tune in at 8PM Eastern/7PM Central!

Shane Kapler

Shane Kapler is a father, blogger, and the author of The Epistle to the Hebrews and the Seven Core Beliefs of Catholics and Through, With, and In Him: The Prayer Life of Jesus and How to Make It Our Own.  more...