The Day the Chaplet of Divine Mercy Was Given to the World

The Little Known Connection between the Killing of Infants, the Destruction of Warsaw, and the Divine Mercy Revelations

The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a prayer that Jesus dictated to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, a young Polish mystic, in the 1930’s.  He directed this humble nun to pray it unceasingly and to encourage others to do the same, attaching to its prayerful recitation a myriad of extraordinary promises.

The Chaplet is prayed on the beads of an ordinary rosary and may be recited in about ten minutes or sung using various melodies in about twenty (see how to pray the Chaplet below).  With the permission of her spiritual director and Mother Superior, the sisters and young women they nurtured in the convent began to recite the Chaplet as the Lord had requested.

Instructions on how to pray this prayer were included on the back of Divine Mercy holy cards printed under the direction of St. Faustina’s spiritual director, Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko, and they began to be distributed to the delight of the young nun.  Since her death in 1938, knowledge of and devotion to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy has spread throughout the world.  Thousands upon thousands attest to its power, which has assuredly contributed to the consensus that the recitation or singing of the Chaplet of Mercy has become one of the most popular pious practices in the Church today.

The Sacrifice of the Body and Blood

Yet, despite its efficaciousness and popularity, many are not aware of the circumstances in which St. Faustina received this prayer and, thus, its significance for current generations.  Many are unaware that the Lord originally requested this prayer, in which we offer the Heavenly Father the Body and Blood of Jesus, be recited as a means to appease God’s wrath, especially for the sacrifice of the body and blood of the unborn child in the womb.

Early in her Diary, St. Faustina recorded that the Lord instructed her to offer herself, together with Him, to God the Father, repeating words similar to those that He would later dictate as the Chaplet of Mercy.  This was to be done to atone for sins being committed in “the most beautiful city” in Poland and to avert a chastisement due there for these sins.

Diary entry 39 reads as follows:

One day Jesus told me that He would cause a chastisement to fall upon the most beautiful city in our country.  This chastisement would be that with which God had punished Sodom and Gomorrah.  I saw the great wrath of God and a shudder pierced my heart. I prayed in silence.  After a moment Jesus said to me, My child, unite yourself closely to Me during the Sacrifice and offer My Blood and My Wounds to My Father in expiation for the sins of that city. Repeat this without interruption throughout the entire Holy Mass. Do this for seven days.

Upon obediently fulfilling this request, Jesus appeared again and in response to St. Faustina’s entreaties, blessed the city and country.  The Diary entry continues:

On the seventh day I saw Jesus in a bright cloud and began to beg Him to look upon the city and upon our whole country.  Jesus looked down graciously.  When I saw the kindness of Jesus, I began to beg His blessing. Immediately Jesus said, For your sake I bless the entire country.  And He made a big sign of the cross over our country.  Seeing the goodness of God, a great joy filled my soul.

St. Faustina receives the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Friday, September 13, 1935

A little later in the Diary, St. Faustina records another harrowing experience and a vision of destruction that is about to strike the world, and in particular, a certain place.  Her prayers were powerless until she heard and prayed the words we now recite in the Chaplet of Mercy:

In the evening, when I was in my cell, I saw an Angel, the executor of divine wrath.  He was clothed in a dazzling robe, his face gloriously bright, a cloud beneath his feet. From the cloud, bolts of thunder and flashes of lightning were springing into his hands; and from his hand they were going forth, and only then were they striking the earth.  When I saw this sign of divine wrath which was about to strike the earth, and in particular a certain place, which for good reasons I cannot name, I began to implore the Angel to hold off for a few moments, and the world would do penance.  But my plea was a mere nothing in the face of the divine anger.  (474, italics added for emphasis)

It is at this time that St. Faustina encounters the Holy Trinity and the “greatness of Its majesty.”  She begins to plead with God in words heard interiorly.  The saint continues:

As I was praying in this manner, I saw the Angel’s helplessness:  he could not carry out the just punishment which was rightly due for sins.  Never before had I prayed with such inner power as I did then.  [italics added for emphasis]

The words with which I entreated God are these:  Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ for our sins and those of the whole world; for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us.  (475)

In both cases, St. Faustina mentions the wrath of God and destruction that would be unleashed upon the world for its sinfulness, and in particular upon a certain city.  Prophesy of a chastisement likened to Sodom and Gomorrah caught the attention of St. Faustina’s spiritual director, Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko.  He questioned St. Faustina carefully about it and recorded her response in his Summarium:

She wrote in her diary that Jesus Himself said that He was about to destroy one of the most beautiful cities of our country like Sodom was destroyed on account of the crimes perpetrated there.  Having read about these things in the Diary I asked her what does the prophecy mean?  She answered confirming what she wrote and replying to a further question of mine, on account of what kind of sins God was going to inflict these punishments.  She answered: especially for the killing of infants not yet born, the most grievous crime of all.

The Most Grievous Crime of All

This crime against unborn children and women was already growing, seeping in from the Soviet Union, which in 1920 became the first country in the world to legalize abortion.  Available upon request and often for no cost, by the mid-1920s, hospitals there were so severely congested by abortion procedures that special clinics had to be opened to free up beds, and many doctors began to become concerned.

Abortion was banned in Poland without exceptions until 1932.  In that year, restrictions were loosened, and the new Penal Code legalized abortion when there were medical reasons and, for the first time in Europe when the pregnancy resulted from a criminal act. Warsaw, the cosmopolitan capital of Poland, now comes to be known as “the place to go” if one “needs” an abortion. It is reported that as much as one out of every three pregnancies was terminated there between the two world wars.

Toward the end of 1937, less than 12 months before her death, St. Faustina again mentions God’s anger with her country, recording in Diary entry 1533:

I saw the anger of God hanging heavy over Poland.  And now I see that if God were to visit our country with the greatest chastisements, that would still be great mercy because, for such grave transgressions, He could punish us with eternal annihilation.  I was paralyzed with fear when the Lord lifted the veil a little for me.  Now I see clearly that chosen souls keep the world in existence to fulfill the measure of justice.

Chosen Souls Save Souls

This particular “chosen soul,” Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska, died on the 5th of October, 1938.  Within one year, Poland was invaded and divided in the middle between Nazi Germany and Communist Russia.  Toward the end of the war, Warsaw, the beautiful capital city of Poland, filled with architectural splendors from the late 17th and 18th centuries, was systematically destroyed by Nazi bomb crews, leveling 85% of all buildings, including 90% of its monuments.

Warsaw Ghetto 1945

Gripped by Communism, Poland’s abortion regulations continued to be liberalized. Under the Soviet “health care” program, the killing of infants in the womb became available on request in the late 1950’s.  An average of 250,000 abortions were performed each year throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Remarkably, beloved homeland son Cardinal Karol Wojtyla was elected pope in 1978.  Upon his return visit to Poland on June 2, 1979, the Feast of Pentecost, he powerfully called down the Holy Spirit upon the land. During his nine-day visit, he travels throughout the country building solidarity, hope, and trust in the Lord, constantly proclaiming, “Be not afraid. Be not afraid.”

Life in Poland is No Longer the Same

Early in the 1980s, the Solidarity Movement was born, as well as more babies.  The abortion rate drastically dropped by nearly half and continued to decline rapidly for the next several years.  In 1989, Poland became the first Warsaw Pact country to break free of Soviet domination, and in 1993, abortion on demand was outlawed by a Peoples Referendum.  By the year 2000, the year Sister Faustina was beatified, there were only 138 abortions performed in the country.  By 2011, statistics indicated Poland to be one of the most pro-life countries in the world, with 76% of Poles aged 15–24 favoring a total ban on abortion.  (See blog)

Appeasing God’s Wrath

And so we learn that there is a strong link between the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the sin of abortion.  We learn that the Chaplet is a powerful prayer, appeasing the just anger of God and holding back the destruction of the Angel of Wrath.  And when we look at the long history of Poland and the extraordinary events of recent years, it is obvious that God can turn utterly dark situations into experiences of hope.

Very near the end of her life, St. Faustina writes:

As I was praying for Poland, I heard the words:  I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming.  (1732)

Instructions from Jesus  –  How to Pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy

Saturday, September 14, 1935 – Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross:

The next morning, when I entered chapel, I heard these words interiorly:  Every time you enter the chapel, immediately recite the prayer which I taught you yesterday.  When I had said the prayer, in my soul I heard these words:  This prayer will serve to appease My wrath.

You will recite it for nine days, on the beads of the rosary, in the following manner:  First of all, you will say one OUR FATHER and HAIL MARY and the I BELIEVE IN GOD.  Then on the OUR FATHER beads you will say the following words:  “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 you will say the following words:  “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.”

In conclusion, three times you will recite these words:  “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.”  (476)

The Spark From Poland

A spark has many facets.  This ‘spark from Poland,’ the Chaplet of Mercy, has been called the antidote for abortion and indeed for all the ills of the world.  As it continues to spread in popularity and understanding, may it kindle in all hearts the fire of God’s love for each and every soul, especially the baby in the womb.  May it ignite a flame that exposes all evil and lights the way to the ocean of mercy and eternal life with God.

All references to Diary: Diary of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul © 1987 Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception of the B.V.M, Stockbridge, MA 01263. All rights reserved.

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