Saint Faustina, born Helena Kowalska on August 25, 1905, in Głogowiec, Poland, is widely known as the "Apostle of Divine Mercy.” Her life was marked by profound mystical experiences and a deep devotion to God's mercy.
Raised in a devout Catholic family, Helena Kowalska demonstrated a strong inclination toward religious life from an early age. At the age of 20, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw, taking the name Sister Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament.
Saint Faustina's most significant contribution to the Catholic faith lies in her mystical encounters with Christ. Between 1931 and 1938, she recorded these experiences in her diary, known as "Divine Mercy in My Soul." In these writings, Jesus revealed to her the message of Divine Mercy, emphasizing the boundless love and forgiveness of God for all humanity. He also instructed her in the practice of the Divine Mercy Chaplet, a prayerful devotion to seek God's mercy for oneself and the whole world.
On February 22, 1931, Saint Faustina received her most iconic vision of Jesus, who appeared to her in a white robe with red and pale rays emanating from His heart. He asked her to have an image painted according to this vision, with the words "Jesus, I trust in You" written at the bottom. This image, known as the Divine Mercy Image, has become a symbol of God's mercy and grace.
Despite experiencing great suffering and illness, Saint Faustina faithfully fulfilled her mission to spread the message of Divine Mercy and encouraged others to trust in God's infinite love and compassion. She passed away on October 5, 1938, in Kraków, Poland, at the age of 33.
Saint Faustina's cause for canonization began in the 1960s, and she was declared a saint by Pope John Paul II on April 30, 2000, making her the first saint of the new millennium.
Here are 4 simple ways to celebrate her feast day on October 5.
Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet
One of the most significant aspects of Saint Faustina's life was her devotion to the Divine Mercy. Praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet, which she received from Jesus in her visions, is a beautiful way to honor her and reflect on God's mercy and forgiveness.
Read Her Diary
Saint Faustina's diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul, is a powerful spiritual resource. You can read passages from her diary to gain insight into her life and her messages about God's mercy.
Perform Acts of Mercy
In keeping with Saint Faustina's focus on God's mercy, strive to perform acts of kindness and mercy towards others. This could include helping those in need or forgiving someone.
Pray “Jesus, I trust in you”
The prayer that came with the image of Divine Mercy. Jot it on a post it note and hang it on your bathroom mirror.
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