After the recitation of the Angelus to the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, November 17, 2013, Pope Francis recommended a mysterious medicine, and 25,000 small boxes were distributed to the faithful:
“Now I would like to recommend a medicine to you. Some of you will say: ‘Has the Pope become a pharmacist?’ It is a special medicine which will help you to benefit from the Year of Faith, as it soon will come to an end. It is a medicine that consists of 59 ‘heart granules’, a ‘spiritual medicine’ called Misericordina. A small box containing 59 beads on a string. This little box contains the medicine, and will be distributed to you by volunteers as you leave the Square. Take them! There is a rosary, with which you can pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, spiritual help for our souls and for spreading love, forgiveness and brotherhood everywhere. Do not forget to take it, because it is good for you. It is good for the heart, the soul, and for life in general!”
The Holy Father was referring to little cardboard “medicine” boxes, distributed by volunteers after the Angelus. The boxes of “Misericordina” – a play on the Latin word misericordia, or mercy – contained “59 heart granules” (Rosary beads), a holy card with the image of the Divine Mercy, and a leaflet in four languages (Italian, Spanish, English, Polish) with instructions on how to administer the “medicine”.
The instruction leaflet states “the medicine brings mercy to the soul, felt as widespread tranquility in the heart. Its efficacy is guaranteed by the words of Jesus. It should be applied when one desires the conversion of sinners, when one feels the need of help, when one lacks the strength to fight temptations, when one is not able to forgive someone, when one desires mercy for a dying person, and when one wants to adore God for all of the graces that one has received. It can be applied, both by children and also by adults as many times as one feels the need. The foreseen dosage is the recitation of the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy promoted by Saint Faustina Kowalska. Unintended side effects or contraindications have not been found. The Holy Sacraments are conducive to the effectiveness of the medicine.”
On September 13, 1935, Jesus taught this special chaplet to Sister Faustina Kowalska of Krakow, Poland, who became the apostle of Divine Mercy, and was declared a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2000. Jesus told her that by praying in this way, her prayers would have great power for the conversion of sinners, for peace for the dying, and even for controlling nature.
We too can pray this chaplet, using ordinary rosary beads of five decades. We begin with the Our Father, Hail Mary and the Creed. Then, on the large beads we pray: 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 small beads we pray: For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world. And at the end, we pray three times: Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.