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Feast of St. Faustina Kowalska

October 5 @ 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

St. Faustina Kowalska is the patron saint of Mercy, as it was through her visions that Jesus revealed the Divine Mercy to the world.

The third of ten children, Helena Kowalska was born to a poor religious family. She first experienced a calling to lead a religious life at the age of seven after attending the Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. She wanted to join a convent immediately after completion of her schooling, but her parents refused. So, at age 16, she became a housekeeper to help support both her family and herself.

The first vision of Jesus that St. Faustina had occurred in 1924 while at a dance with her sister Natalia. She saw the suffering Jesus and left the dance, finding a Cathedral instead. Jesus told St. Faustina to head for Warsaw and join a convent immediately.

She did so but was turned away from numerous convents because of her appearance and poverty. After many attempts, she was taken in by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on the condition that she would pay for her own religious habit. She did so by continuing her work as a housekeeper.

At 20 years old, she received her habit and took the religious name of Sister Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament on April 30, 1926. Two years later she took her first religious vows as a nun. During the next year, St. Faustina traveled to different convents serving as a cook. She returned to her original convent after becoming ill.

Jesus, clocked in white with red and pale rays coming from His heart, visited St. Faustina on February 22, 1931, presenting himself as the “King of Divine Mercy.” He asked her to become the apostle of God’s mercy, a model to others for how to be merciful, and an instrument in re-emphasizing God’s merciful plan for the world. Of the vision, she wrote in her diary:

“In the evening, when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening of the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently at the Lord; my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me, ‘paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You.'”

Not knowing how to paint, St. Faustina sought the help of others around the Plock convent but was denied. It took three years until the first Divine Mercy image was painted by Eugene Kazimierowski.

On May 1, 1933, St. Faustina took her final vows and became a perpetual sister of Our Lady of Mercy. She was transferred to Vilnius where she was introduced to Michael Sopocko, the appointed confessor to the nuns. During her first confession with Sopocko, she told him about her visions and Jesus’ plans for her. He insisted she be evaluated by a psychiatrist and when she passed all the required tests, he began supporting her religious efforts.

It was Sopocko who encouraged her to keep a diary of her conversations with Jesus. Sopacko was also responsible for introducing St. Faustina to Kazimierowski, the artist of the first Divine Mercy painting. Father Sopocko delivered the first sermon on the Divine Mercy on April 26, 1935.

After St. Faustina fell ill, the first holy cards with the Divine Mercy image were printed in the summer of 1937. Instructed to do so by Christ, St. Faustina provided the Novena of Divine Mercy, which was included on the card. Over the course of the next few months,  the Divine Mercy image was heavily promoted and gained popularity.

At the end of 1937, St. Faustina’s health deteriorated even more, and she started saying she looked forward to the end of her life. In her final year, her visions intensified. St. Faustina passed away on October 5, 1938. She currently rests at the Basilica of Divine Mercy in Krakow, Poland.

Pope John Paul II beatified St. Faustina on April 1993 and canonized her on April 30, 2000.

How to Recite the Divine Mercy Chaplet can be accessed here https://www.thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/pray-the-chaplet 

Prayer through the intercession of St. Faustina

O Jesus, You inspired Saint Faustina with profound veneration for Your boundless Mercy. Grant me through her intercession, if it be Your holy will, the grace …for which I fervently pray. My sins render me unworthy of Your Mercy, but be mindful of Saint Faustina’s spirit of sacrifice and self-denial, and reward her virtue by granting the petition which, with childlike confidence, I present to You through her intercession.

Our Father…, Hail Mary…, Glory…, Saint Faustina, pray for us.

 

Details

Date:
October 5
Time:
12:00 am - 11:59 pm
Event Category:

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