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St. Faustina and the Divine Mercy

Divine Mercy Sunday is in just a couple days! This solemnity, which is always on the first Sunday after Easter, was brought about by the writings of a humble Polish nun in the 1930s. St. Faustina was born Helen Kowalska in 1905 to a large Catholic family. She repeatedly asked her parents to let her join a convent throughout her youth, and her parents repeatedly told her 'no'. She was inspired to run away to Warsaw to join a convent after receiving a vision from Jesus during a dance. 

Once in Warsaw, she joined the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and took the name Sr. Maria Faustina. Before her early death at the age of 33, St. Faustina moved to the various Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy convents throughout Poland. Throughout her daily life and over a number of years, Jesus revealed Himself to St. Faustina through a series of mystical visitations. His message was overwhelmingly related to His Mercy and His desire for the whole world to turn to Him in their need (click here to read more about the message of and devotion to the Divine Mercy). St. Faustina recorded these messages in journals which have since been printed under the title Diary of St. Faustina: Divine Mercy in My Soul.

St. Faustina possessed a deep interior life in which she experienced a rare mystical union with Jesus. In addition to this, she also had the gifts of bilocation, reading of souls, and experiencing the Passion of Jesus. Despite these extraordinary gifts, St. Faustina lived a humble life in service to others, usually doing the gardening and cooking at her convents. She also suffered greatly, both physically and spiritually, before dying at the young age of 33 from tuberculosis. However, she viewed suffering as a great gift, so as to grow closer to the suffering Christ. After her death, devotion to the Divine Mercy continued to grow and was especially championed by her fellow Polish religious, Pope St. John Paul II, who canonized St. Faustina in 2000 and also made Divine Mercy Sunday a solemnity.

This week, as we are preparing for Divine Mercy Sunday, let us ask for St. Faustina's intercession for the gifts of humility and patience while undergoing suffering.

Jesus, I trust in You!


By Anna Neal

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