By: Jason Songe, Seminarian, Archdiocese of New Orleans
I created my first chaplet. OK, you say, but what’s a chaplet? Well, the rosary is a chaplet. Simply, chaplets are Christian prayers said on beads. They’re personal devotionals that vary in form version to version. The most recognizable one is the traditional(Dominican) rosary, and others include the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Chaplet of The Sacred Heart.
My chaplet is called the Holy Queen. It consists of 4 Salve Regina prayers and 9 O My Jesus prayers. Salve Regina, or Hail Holy Queen in English, is my favorite prayer. I will not attempt to deconstruct the prayer, as that is a book-length task(for a great book on the O My Jesus prayer, try O My Jesus: The Meaning of The Fatima Prayer by Stephen Bullivant).
But I will say it is beautiful realist poetry. The prayer reminds me to not get too comfortable. No matter how good things may be, I must always remember that I am an alien in a foreign land. Here I am welcome to sin but unwelcome to broach piety.
I am a pilgrim, an “exile,” as the prayer says. I am moving, always moving, pushed in the back by evil and pulled by the Lord. Towards my home. Restless as He was restless. The Man always moving from town to town. Restless until I rest in Him.
The prayer asks Mary to have pity on us who are stuck in a moment of decision. Always deciding to follow or abandon Christ. We pick up our cross, in tribute to Him. Orienting ourselves towards Jesus as a splinter rips into our shoulder.
(Read here about the shoulder wound of Christ: https://aleteia.org/2016/02/26/padre-pio-bernard-of-clairvaux-and-the-shoulder-wound-of-christ/)
Stumbling only to put the full weight back on. The rush of warm blood between flesh and wood. Setting eyes on Him as comforts turn to dirt around us. Continuing down this narrow road.
The Holy Queen Chaplet consists of thirteen prayers, in honor of the number that is most comfortably linked to her. To illustrate, “M” is the thirteenth letter in the alphabet. Also, all of Mary’s Fatima apparitions took place on the 13th of the month. Venerable Mary Agreda, known for her ability to bilocate and her incorruptible body, wrote that the Virgin Mary passed away on August 13th. The Catholic Church celebrates Mary’s Assumption on August 15th.
As a footnote, the attempt to assassinate St. John Paul II was foiled on May 13, 1981, a date that “mysteriously coincided with the anniversary of the first apparition at Fatima.” St. John Paul II said these words in a homily from Fatima on May 13, 1982.
He added, “These dates have met each other in such a way that seemed to recognize this as a special calling to come here. And behold, here I am today. I came to thank Divine Providence in this place, that Mother of God seems to have chosen so very special.”
I have a friend making my chaplet in physical form, but until I receive it, I’ve been praying the it on a rosary. I pray the Salve Regina on the Our Father beads and the O My Jesus on the Hail Mary beads.
It has been very helpful to pray the O My Jesus prayers in repetition. The beginning of the prayer is easy to pray—the part that asks for forgiveness. But, the part that asks to lead ALL souls to heaven, especially those in MOST need of His mercy? Not so easy. When have you been the “prodigal brother,” more concerned with justice before mercy, saying, “But I’ve been good. Why do they get goodness, too?” If this hits a nerve, pray this chaplet. It will help to purge this sin.
About the Author: Jason Songe, Seminarian, Archdiocese of New Orleans
Jason is a seminarian in Second Pre-Theology.
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