Divine Mercy - Biography
Jesus, I trust in You
Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)
Born: Aug. 25, 1905, Glogowiec, Poland
Birth Name: Helena Kowalska
Religious Name: Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Entered Religious Life: Aug. 1, 1925, Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Krakow, Poland
First Vision of Christ: Feb. 22, 1931
Died: Oct. 5, 1938, Krakow, Poland
Divine Mercy in America
In 1939, a priest of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception escapes Nazi-occupied Poland with a photo of the image of Jesus Christ as He appeared to St. Faustina and information about the revelations granted her. Within a few years, news of this Divine Mercy message and devotion has spread around the country. In 1944, the Marians found America's first Divine Mercy Apostolate in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
The Informative Process begins Oct. 21, 1965. A formal examination of St. Faustina's life, exercise of heroic virtues, writings, and devotions. It is the first step on the road to sainthood.
Miracle No. 1
In March 1981, Maureen Digan of Roslindale, Massachusetts, prays at the tomb of St. Faustina, asking for a miracle. From her youth, Maureen has suffered from lymphedema, an incurable disease. She is healed after praying at St. Faustina's tomb.
April 18, 1993, by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.
Miracle No. 2
On Oct. 5, 1995, Fr. Ron Pytel prays through the intercession of Saint Faustina at a healing Mass at his Baltimore, Maryland, parish. Fr. Ron's heart had been severely and permanently damaged because of a blockage of his aortic valve. He is healed instantly.
On Dec. 20, 1999, Pope John Paul II orders the publication of the decree recognizing Fr. Pytel's healing as the miracle necessary for St. Faustina's canonization.
Mercy Sunday, April 30, 2000 by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter's Square, Vatican City.
Divine Mercy Sunday
In His revelations to St. Faustina Kowalska, Jesus Christ asked that the first Sunday after Easter be established as Mercy Sunday, the "Feast of Divine Mercy," when His graces will be available in an extraordinary way to all those who ask. Mercy Sunday is celebrated in thousands of Catholic parishes across the United States. It has already been accorded as a liturgical Feast Day of the Catholic Church in Poland.
The Marians of the Immaculate Conception spearheaded a petition drive, presented those signatures to the Holy Father, and requested that Mercy Sunday be declared an official feast day of the Church worldwide. On Sunday, April 30, 2000, Pope John Paul II formally announced that the Sunday after Easter would henceforth be known as "Divine Mercy Sunday."
Divine Mercy Image
Jesus commissioned Saint Faustina to have an image painted of Him as He appeared to her in a vision: with red and pale rays coming from the area of His heart. The rays represent the blood and water which flowed from His pierced side on the cross. The image was to be signed: "Jesus, I trust in You!"
The Mercy Message
The message of mercy is that God loves us -- all of us, no matter how great our sins. And He wants us to turn to Him so He can bless us. He wants us to recognize His mercy and let it flow through us to others. Thus, all will come to share in His joy. It's as simple as ABC:
Ask for His Mercy.
God wants us to approach Him, repenting of our sins and asking for His Mercy.
God wants us to receive His mercy and let if flow through us to others.
God wants us to know that the graces of His mercy are dependent upon our trust.