Today I received in the mail my order of a beautiful Chaplet of the Sacred Heart from UniqueRosaryBeads on Etsy (featured image!). And out of excitement for its arrival, I think it’s appropriate to share a few different variations of the chaplet itself. I have come across several variations of the chaplet, all of which are structured on a foundation of 39 beads, 33 of which are divided into 5 decades, each bead for a year of the life of Our Savior.
There are 5 meditations associated with the chaplet, but one could honestly meditate on any aspect of Christ’s life and associate it with His Sacred Heart. Typically, one mystery is meditated upon for an entire chaplet, since it only takes less than ten minutes to pray. Depending on the graces I have at the time, I may pray more than five decades of the chaplet, like any of these devotions one could alter it however they like. The important thing is to avoid mechanical prayer (just reciting the prayers without much thought) and to meditate on some mystery about Christ while praying it.
The first of these is the variation offered by Fr. John Croiset, S.J. in his excellent book on the devotion to the Sacred Heart, The Devotion of the Sacred Heart (1691). For those who haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it as it was commissioned by Our Blessed Lord through St. Margaret Mary to spread the devotion. It contains a treasury of excellent prayers in the index too.
As there is nothing so ingenious as love, several great saints in their great eagerness to make, each day, numerous acts of their favorite virtues according to the various inspirations of grace, have Invented several kinds of chaplets composed of acts of these virtues. After their example, the beads of the Sacred Heart has been formed. It is composed of five large beads and thirty-three small ones in honor thirty-three years Our Lord spent on earth.
Instead of the Creed the following prayer may be said:
Soul of Jesus Christ, sanctify me.
Heart of Jesus, inflame me with love. Body of Jesus Christ, save me
Blood of Jesus Christ, inebriate me.
Water out of the Side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me. Within Thy Wounds, hide me. Let me not be separated from Thee. Defend me from the malignant enemy. At the hour of death, call me And bid me to come unto Thee That with the Saints, I may praise Thee For all eternity.
Before each large bead say:
Jesus most meek, make my heart like unto Thine.
On each large bead say:
We adore Thee, O Jesus, who hast been afflicted in the Garden of Gethsemani and who still in our time art outraged in the Blessed Sacrament by the impious conduct of men. O most amiable Saviour, we recognize that Thou alone art Holy, Thou alone art Lord, Thou alone art Most High.
On each small bead say:
I adore Thee, O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, inflame my heart with the divine love with which Thine Own is all on fire.
At the end of the beads say an Our Father and a Hail Mary, and the following prayer:
O Lord Jesus Christ, who by an ineffable miracle of love, hast deigned to give Thy Heart to men to serve as their nourishment, in order thereby to gain their hearts, graciously hear our humble prayers, and pardon us for the sins of which we confess ourselves guilty before Thee. Cast an eye of compassion and mercy upon those towards whom Thou dost condescend to direct the affections of Thine amiable Heart. And since we desire to honor Thee in the adorable Mystery of the Altar to the utmost of our power and to render Thee most pleasing homage and for that intention, weep for and detest from the bottom of our hearts all the outrages, contempt, mockery, sacrileges, and other acts of impiety which ungrateful men in every part of the world have committed against Thee, enkindle therefore in our hearts this divine love with which Thine Own is inflamed, and inspire us with sentiments like unto Thine, in order that we may be able worthily to praise for all praise for all eternity the love with which this Sacred Heart burns for us. This is our prayer to Thee who livest and reignest with the Father, in unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever. AmenThe Devotion of the Sacred Heart (1691), Fr. John Croiset, S.J.
The one penned by Fr. Croiset is my go-to form of the chaplet, but there are also alternatives which utilize a standard 5-decade rosary, such as the following from Catholic Doors:
This devotion to the Sacred Heart is prayed on the regular Marian Rosary of 59 beads.
On the Crucifix, say the following prayer:
“Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide.”
On the first bead (normally the “Our Father”), say:
“O Eternal Father,
I offer Thee the Blood,
Passion and death of Our Lord Jesus Christ
and the sorrows of Our Blessed Lady
and St. Joseph in reparation for my sins,
in suffrage for the souls in Purgatory,
for the wants of our Holy Church,
and for the conversion of sinners.”
On the three beads (normally the “Hail Marys”), say:
“My God, I believe in Thee.
My God, I hope in Thee.
My God, I love Thee with my whole heart,
and for Thy sake I love my neighbor as myself.”
On each of the single beads of the five decades, (normally “Our Father”):
“Jesus meek and humble of heart,
make my heart like unto Thine.
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for me.”
On the five decades (normally the “Hail Marys”), say:
“Sweetest Heart of Jesus,
I implore, that I may love Thee more and more.
Sweet Heart of Mary, be thou my salvation.”
When you have concluded, say:
“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
I give you my heart and soul.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
assist me now and in my last agony.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,
May I breathe forth my soul in peace with you. Amen.”
The final variation that I would like to share was sent along with my new Sacred Heart chaplet, it utilizes the 39 beads of this unique chaplet but I’m sure it could be stretched out for a standard rosary as well. It follows:
On the medal or cross:
“Soul of Christ, be my sanctification
Body of Christ, be my salvation
Blood of Christ, fill all my veins
Water from Christ’s side, wash out my stains
Passion of Christ, my comfort be
O good Jesus, listen to me
In Thy wounds I fain would hide
Ne’er to be parted from Thy side
Guard me should the foe assail me
Call me when my life shall fail me
Bid me come to Thee above
With Thy saints to sing Thy love
World without end. Amen”
On each large bead pray:
“Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.”
On each small bead pray:
“Sweet Heart of Jesus, be Thou my love!”
At the end of each ‘decade’ pray:
“Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!”
At the conclusion pray:
“Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us. May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised, glorified, loved and preserved throughout the world now and forever more. Amen.”
Finally, I will briefly list the five meditations associated with this chaplet as offered by the Order of Carmelites:
1. The Entry into Jerusalem in which out Savior, meek and humble of heart and riding on a donkey, entered triumphantly into the City of David and his people sang Hosanna.
2. The Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane in which Christ suffered affliction out of love for sinful and disobedient humanity and asked his disciples to remain, pray and keep vigil with him.
3. The Road to Emmaus in which Christ accompanied his disciples and interpreted the scriptures for them. Their hearts burned within them, and he revealed himself in the breaking of the bread.
4. The Blessed Sacrament, which is given to humanity through the Mystery of the Alter, reposed in the tabernacle, and exposed for Eucharistic Adoration, within which God is really, truly and substantially present.
5. The Image of the Sacred heart, which represents Christ’s Sacred Humanity, the interior life of his soul, and his affection of merciful love for humanity.
In conclusion, dear reader, I hope that you have been inspired to pick up this devotion and meditate on the mysteries of Our Lord’s Most Sacred Heart. If you enjoy the rosary or chaplets as much as I do, I’m certain that you will reap wonderful graces through praying this chaplet. God bless!