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Visit ....St Maria Faustina Kowalska, Poland

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska
Canonized 2000 by Pope John Paul II

"Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I Trust in You. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and (then) throughout the World"

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Mary Faustina Kowalska, commonly known as Saint Faustina, born Helena Kowalska (August 25, 1905, Glogowiec, Poland, then in the Russian Empire – Died October 5, 1938, Krakow, Poland) was a Polish nun, visionary, and mystic, now venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as a saint.

________EARLY LIFE________

Helena Kowalska was born on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiec in Poland of a poor and religious family of peasants, the third of 10 children. She was baptized with the name Helena in the parish Church of Swinice Warckie. From a very tender age she stood out because of her love of prayer, work, obedience, and also her sensitivity to the poor. At the age of 9 she made her first Holy Communion living this moment very profoundly in her awareness of the presence of the Divine Guest within her soul. She attended school for three years. At 16 she left home and went to work as a housekeeper in Aleksandrow Lodzki, Lodz and Ostrowek in order to find the means of supporting herself and of helping her parents.

At 7 she had already felt the first stirrings of a religious vocation. After finishing school, she wanted to enter the convent but her parents would not give her permission. Called during a vision of the Suffering Christ, on August 1, 1925 she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, after applications from various convent in Warsaw. She took the name Sister Mary Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament. She lived in the Congregation for 13 years and lived in several religious houses. She spent time at Warsaw, Cracow, Plock and Vilnius, where she worked as a cook, gardener and porter.

Faustina kept a diary, despite her limited literacy. The diary was later published under the title Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of St. Faustina.
She wanted to find a "Congregation which would have proclaimed the Mercy of God to the world, and, by its prayers, obtain it for the world." She was repeatedly denied leave by her superiors. Sister Faustina Kowalska longest was in Plock (1930-1932)

In 1936, Faustina became ill, since speculated to be tuberculosis. She was moved to the sanatorium in Pradnik.
She continued to spend much time in prayer, reciting the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and praying for the conversion of sinners. The last two years of her life were spent praying and keeping her diary. By June 1938, she could no longer write. She died on October 5. When Faustina's abbess was cleaning out her room she opened the drawer and found the paintings of the Divine Mercy.

_______THE GIFTS and VISIONS______

Sister Faustina reported having seen Christ in Purgatory, having seen and spoken to Jesus and Mary several times. She wrote that Jesus revealed to her, her purpose: to spread the devotion of the Mercy of God. In Płock on February 22, 1931, she said that Jesus appeared as the 'King of Divine Mercy', wearing a white garment. His right hand was raised in a sign of blessing and the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment emanated two large rays, one red, the other white. Acting upon orders she said she received from Christ, Faustina had a picture of this vision painted. With the help of Father Michał Sopoćko, she distributed the images at Krakow and Wilno, and people began to pray before them.

The years she had spent at the convent were filled with extraordinary gifts, such as: revelations, visions, hidden stigmata, participation in the Passion of the Lord, the gift of bilocation, the reading of human souls, the gift of prophecy, or the rare gift of mystical engagement and marriage. The living relationship with God, the Blessed Mother, the Angels, the Saints, the souls in Purgatory - with the entire supernatural world - was as equally real for her as was the world she perceived with her senses. In spite of being so richly endowed with extraordinary graces, Sr. Mary Faustina knew that they do not in fact constitute sanctity. In her Diary she wrote: "Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, bat constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God" (Diary 1107).

_________THREE VISIONARY TASKS_________

The mission of Saint Faustina consisted of 3 tasks:
First, proclaiming and bringing the world closer to the truth of the merciful love of God for every human being, as revealed in the Scared Scriptures.

Second, imploring God’s mercy for the entire world, and particularly for sinners, through the practice of the new forms of devotion to The Divine Mercy asked for by the Lord Jesus.

Third, initiating the apostolic movement of Divine Mercy whose devotees and apostles shall bring about a religious renewal among the faithful in the spirit of this devotion, namely, acquiring an attitude of childlike trust in God and actively living the commandment of love and mercy toward one’s neighbor.
In obedience to her spiritual director, she wrote a diary of about 600 pages in which she gives account of the revelations she received on the Mercy of God.

__________The DEVOTIONS and METHODS__________


Veneration of the Image of the Divine Mercy. The pattern for the image was revealed to St. Faustina on February 22, 1931 in the monastic cell in Plock.
From her Diary: “In the evening, when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand [was] raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence i kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me: "Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You ! I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and (then) throughout the World" (Diary 47).
"I want this image…to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the feast of my Mercy" (Diary 49). He promised to her, “By means of this Image I shall be granting many graces to souls” (Diary 570).


The Chaplet of Divine Mercy. This prayer is a powerful took of intercession in order to atone for sin and appease the justice of God. God promises that those who say this with faith, confidence and trust in His Mercy will obtain their requests, especially those requests related to the graces of conversion and peaceful deaths. About the chaplet, the Lord told St. Faustina, “When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul” (Diary 811)…”It pleases me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet” (Diary 1541)…”If what you ask is compatible with my will” (Diary 1731).


The Great Hour of Mercy. The Hour of Mercy is 3PM. This is the hour that Jesus died on the Cross, and it is the moment in which “Mercy triumphed over justice” (Diary 1572). Jesus asked St. Faustina, at this hour, to immerse herself in His mercy asking it to cover the whole world, especially sinners. Jesus promises, “In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking” (Diary 1572). Prayers at this hour should be addressed to Jesus, they should appeal to His mercy and the merits of His passion, and they should be made at 3PM in the afternoon.


The Feast of the Divine Mercy. This devotion ranks the highest in the all the forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy. Jesus asked Sr. Faustina to have this Feast of Divine Mercy instituted on the first Sunday after Easter Sunday. This Sunday is to be a time of great graces for all, especially sinners. The Lord promises, “…whoever approaches the Fount of Life on this day will be granted complete remission of sins and punishment” (Diary 300). As well, “On this day the very depths of My tender mercy are open. I pour out a whole ocean of graces upon those souls who approach the fount of My mercy…Let no soul fear to draw near to Me, even though its sins be as scarlet” (Diary 699). To reap the benefits of these great graces, one must have trust in God’s mercy, be in the state of sanctifying grace (gone to Confession), and receive Holy Communion.


The propagation of the devotion to the Divine Mercy. To those that spread the honor of the Divine Mercy, Jesus promises to “shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior” (Diary 1075). Spreading the honor of this to others does not necessarily mean many words (though it does require speaking about it). It primarily means living it. This means living in a spirit of faith and trust in God, and being merciful and kind in your actions and attitudes toward others.


In 1958, the Holy See issued a document condemning the work of the Institute of Divine Mercy. This was later attributed to misinterpretations by theologians who did not take into consideration her lack of education which resulted in poor spelling and punctuation, and many unclear sentence constructions that suggested heretical teachings in St. Faustina's diary. Father Sopocko was harshly reprimanded, and all his work was suppressed.

However, Eugeniusz Baziak, the archbishop of Krakow, permitted the nuns to leave the original picture hanging in their chapel so that those who wished to continue to pray before it could do so.
When Karol Wojtyła (the future Pope John Paul II) became Archbishop of Kraków, a new investigation into the life and diary of St. Faustina was launched, and the devotion to the Divine Mercy was once again permitted. Faustina was beatified on April 18, 1993 and canonized on April 30, 2000.

The Polish Pope John Paul II on April 18, 1993 beatified in Vatican and next on April 30, 2000 also in Vatican has canonized the sister Faustina Kowalska.
Also on April 30, 2000 on first Sunday after Easter, the Pope John Paul II announced the new church holiday - Divine Mercy Sunday on the first Sunday after Easter and he devoted the image of the Merciful Jesus that is the image with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You.
The will of Lord had been finally fulfilled, when the famous painting of the Merciful Jesus with the signature Jesus, I trust in You had been made, and the Polish Pope John Paul II announced a new church feast – Divine Mercy Sunday on the first Sunday after Easter.

Vaticans document of the Saint

St Maria Faustina Kowalska
St Maria Faustina Kowalska
Vision: Jesus I trust in You
Vision: Jesus I trust in You
Vision notes
Vision notes
Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy
Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy
Chapel of Divine Mercy.JPG
Chapel of Divine Mercy.JPG
Kowalska family
Kowalska family