Tuesday, November 26, 2013

November 26: Saint John Berchmans

Saint John Berchmans
Prayer Card
Photo by Santi Beati


Saint John Berchmans wanted to be a priest his whole life. He went to a Jesuit college to study for the priesthood when he was 16, and then when he was 21, he packed a backpack with all his belongings and walked almost 1,000 miles to Rome to continue his education. People were always impressed with how holy he was and how much he loved Jesus.


Saint John Berchmans wrote a devotion before he died, which he called “The Little Rosary of the Immaculate Conception.” He prayed it every day. This devotion is very easy to pray (find the prayers here) and the chaplet that goes with it is very easy to make. For each chaplet, you will need:
  • Beading string, yarn, or parachute cord
  • 1 Immaculate Conception medal
  • 3 large beads
  • 12 smaller beads (alternatively, you can use 15 beads that are all the same size but different colors)
  • Scissors
  • Glue


  1. Cut a length of string/yarn/cord about 3 feet long.
  2. Put one small bead in the very center of the cord. Tie an overhand knot on each side of the bead to secure it in place, then tie a second knot on each side, about a quarter inch away from the first one. Add another small bead on each side and secure them with overhand knots. You should have three beads in a row. Now on one side, add another overhand knot about a quarter inch away from the last one, slip on a bead and secure with another overhand knot. You should have four beads knotted in place.
  3. On each side, tie an overhand knot about a half inch away from the knots. Add a large bead on each side, and then secure with an overhand knot. Move a half inch away and start the “knot-small bead-knot-quarter inch space” again until you have added four smaller beads to each side. Your chaplet should have a series of four small beads, a large bead, four more small beads, another large bead and the final set of four small beads.
    This professionally made chaplet
    uses chain links and one size of beads.
  4. Now bring both ends of the cord together and tie an overhand knot about a half inch away from the last beads you added on either side, forming a loop. Slip on the last large bead and tie another overhand knot to secure. 
  5. Keeping both ends of the cord together, tie another overhand knot about a half inch away from the last knot but DO NOT TIGHTEN YET. Slip the Immaculate conception medal onto the cords and then thread the ends of the cords back up through the loose overhand knot. Pull the knot tight.
  6. Tie the two ends in a firm square knot over the overhand knot, add a dab of glue for extra security and then trim the cords when dry. 
  7. Don't forget to take your chaplet to church the next time you go to Mass and ask your priest to bless it for you!

Saint John Berchmans, pray for us!

More reading for parents: