How to pray the chaplet of St. Gemma Galgani
This chaplet is an "unofficial" design of my own configuration (that is, bead count and layout), inspired by
St. Gemma's own diary, transcriptions of her ecstasies, and the writings of her contemporaries.
The chaplet begins with three Ave Maria beads above the medal. From the time that St. Gemma
was a young girl, her mother taught her to pray three Hail Marys every day for purity. St. Gemma
continued this practice until her death. These three beads are in imitation of that devotion.
We then come to the first large Our Father bead below the center, followed by five quintets of
Hail Mary beads separated by four more large Our Fathers. The total of 25 Hail Marys on the circle
represent St. Gemma's 25 years of life. As St. Gemma was drawn to the Passionist charism,
the Our Father beads announce the Sorrowful Mysteries of the regular rosary.
Opening prayer (on the medal):
Make the sign of the cross +
Oh holy Gemma, you who physically suffered all the pains of the Passion of Jesus, I beseech of you the grace to meditate on and live the Passion of Jesus, and the sufferings of Holy Mary. Pray that I will be able to walk in the path of humility, simplicity, love and sacrifice, fulfilling at all times and in all ways, the holy will of God. Let me live united with Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and you, for all eternity. Amen.
[from a holy card]
On each of the three beads immediately above the medal:
Oh bright flower of heaven, St Gemma, mirror of purity and penance, obtain for us the grace of purity and help us against all temptations of the flesh. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen + one Hail Mary.
On the 1st Our Father (large) bead:
Announce the 1st Sorrowful Mystery and pray:
The agony in the garden + one Our Father
On the next five beads, say one Hail Mary on each bead while meditating upon obedience to the will of God, and sorrow for sin.
On the 2nd Our Father (large) bead:
Announce the 2nd Sorrowful Mystery and pray:
The scourging at the pillar + one Our Father
On the next five beads, say one Hail Mary on each bead while meditating upon the mortification of the senses and resisting temptation.
On the 3rd Our Father (large) bead:
Announce the 3rd Sorrowful Mystery and pray:
The crowning with thorns + one Our Father
On the next five beads, say one Hail Mary on each bead while meditating upon the spirit of humility and the reign of Christ in our hearts.
On the 4th Our Father (large) bead:
Announce the 4th Sorrowful Mystery and pray:
The carrying of the cross + one Our Father
On the next five beads, say one Hail Mary on each bead while meditating upon the patient bearing of trials and worldly suffering.
On the 5th Our Father (large) bead:
Announce the 5th Sorrowful Mystery and pray:
The crucifixion + one Our Father
On the next five beads, say one Hail Mary on each bead while meditating upon the forgiveness of injuries and the virtue of sacrifice.
Closing prayer (on the center medal):
O Father, we ask you to establish your dwelling in those who love you with a heart pure and simple, that through the example and the intercession of St Gemma, we may live the pure Gospel and the mystery of a love crucified, to be the living image of your Son. He who lives and reigns, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
[Pope John Paul II]
Notes on the St. Gemma chaplet
My inspiration for a St. Gemma chaplet flowed from a fantastic website dedicated to St. Gemma,
created by Glenn Dallaire. His site is a work of love and devotion, and I can't recommend it enough.
I do hope you'll visit from the links below.
One final note on St. Gemma: after her miraculous cure from spinal tumors through the
intercession of St. Gabriel Possenti and St. Margaret Mary Alocoque, Gemma promised to devote
herself to a Holy Hour with Our Lord every Thursday. The Holy Hour is taken from Jesus' utterance
that there was no one to share even an hour of His agony in the garden of Gethsemane, when
betrayal and all the terrible sins of the world were laid before Him. I can think of no better use
for this chaplet, which calls for the contemplation of the Sorrowful Mysteries, than the practice
of a Holy Hour devotion every Thursday evening, as taught to us by St. Gemma herself,
and with which the Lord was well pleased.
The St. Gemma Galgani website homepage
The St. Gemma Galgani website page on the Holy Hour