Memorial of St. Faustina, Virgin (Optional)

divine mercy jesus & faustina
Saint Faustina with Divine Mercy Image

Saint Faustina holds a special place in my life because it was to her that the Divine Mercy devotion was privately revealed. It was on Divine Mercy Sunday in New Orleans two years ago when I decided that I could no longer make excuses for remaining outside of the Church. Jesus was calling me back Home and reassuring me of His Mercy and Love for me.
Read the Bible at Mass

Reflections from the Saints

“O Christ, let my greatest delight be to see You loved and Your praise and glory proclaimed, especially the honor of Your mercy. O Christ, let me glorify Your goodness and mercy to the last moment of my life, with every drop of my blood and every beat of my heart. Would that I be transformed into a hymn of adoration of You. When I find myself on my deathbed, may the last beat of my heart be a loving hymn glorifying Your unfathomable mercy.”
– St. Faustina

St. Faustina Kowalska, Virgin
Saint Faustina was born in the 20th century, and canonized in the year 2000. Jesus chose her to deliver to the modern world a message as old as eternity. It is the message of his love for all people, especially sinners. Jesus said to Faustina, “Today I am sending you with my mercy to the people of the whole world.” It is his desire to heal the aching world, to draw all people into his merciful heart of love.

On February 22, 1931, Jesus appeared to Faustina as the King of Divine Mercy. He asked her to have a picture painted of him as she saw him — clothed in white, with red and white rays of light streaming from his heart. The rays represent the blood and water that flowed from the side of Jesus on the cross. Under the image are the words, “Jesus, I trust in you.”

Many people did not believe Faustina at first. The sisters in her own convent thought that Jesus could not possibly have selected her for this great favor. After all, she was an uneducated peasant girl. Her superiors often refused to give her permission to carry out Jesus’ requests. Church theologians, too, doubted her word. Jesus told Faustina that he loved her obedience and that his will would be done in the end.

In June 1934 an artist completed the painting of the Divine Mercy according to her instructions; and it soon became a focus for devotion. Faustina continued to record in her diary the appearances of Jesus. The diary was translated into English and published in 1987 with the title Divine Mercy in My Soul.

Faustina, baptized Helena, had grown up in a poor Polish family of 10 children. When she was 15 years old, she quit school in order to work as a housemaid to help support her family. By the time she was 18, she was sure that God was calling her to a religious life, but her parents objected. So she tried to put it out of her mind. But one night, while the lively polka music was playing at a village dance, Helena saw Jesus, sad and suffering. The very next day she packed a small bag and went to the capital city of Warsaw to join the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. There she received the name Sister Mary Faustina.

About 10 years later, Faustina contracted tuberculosis. Soon she was too weak to manage the heavy gardening assigned to her. So she was given the job of gatekeeper. She was able to show mercy to the poor people who came to the convent looking for food. Once Jesus came to the door as a poor young man. After he had eaten the soup and bread Faustina gave him, she recognized him. Jesus told her he had come to experience with great joy her tender love and mercy.

Faustina was canonized by the first Polish pope, John Paul II, on April 30, 2000. The first Sunday after Easter was declared Divine Mercy Sunday.

Excerpted from Saints and Feast Days: A Resource and Activity Book by The Sisters of Notre Dame of Chardon, Ohio.

Symbols: young nun in habit; nun with vision of Jesus, with two streams of light, one red and white (Divine Mercy image).

Things to Do:

  • Read a short biography of Sr. Mary Faustina Kowalska from the Vatican.
  • Read the Holy Father’s April 30, 2000 Homily at the solemn Mass celebrated for the canonization of Sr. Mary Faustina Kowalska.
  • From the Directory on Popular Piety and Liturgy: Devotion to the Divine Mercy

    In connection with the octave of Easter, recent years have witnessed the development and diffusion of a special devotion to the Divine Mercy based on the writings of Sr. Faustina Kowalska who was canonized 30 April 2000. It concentrates on the mercy poured forth in Christ’s death and resurrection, fount of the Holy Spirit who forgives sins and restores joy at having been redeemed. Since the liturgy of the Second Sunday of Easter or Divine Mercy Sunday — as it is now called — is the natural locus in which to express man’s acceptance of the Redeemer’s mercy, the faithful should be taught to understand this devotion in the light of the liturgical celebrations of these Easter days. Indeed, “the paschal Christ is the definitive incarnation of mercy, his living sign which is both historico-salvific and eschatological. At the same time, the Easter liturgy places the words of the psalm on our lips: “I shall sing forever of the Lord’s mercy” (Ps 89[88]: 2).

  • Read more from our Catholic Culture library about the Divine Mercy devotion, in particular, a short description of The Divine Mercy devotion
  • St. Faustina came from Poland. John Paul II was also Polish, and had a great devotion to the Divine Mercy. He made it a feast day on the second Sunday after Easter. Find out more about Poland and its customs. It’s a very Catholic country, with deep devotion to Our Lady. A wonderful book that gives a wonderful understanding of the culture is the Pope’s biography A Witness to Hope by George Wiegel. This site contains many Polish Traditions. The Polish Art Center has many resources for Polish customs.
  • Try your hand at a Polish dish or two. Perhaps practice making some of the favorite foods for the Polish Wigilia (Christmas Eve Dinner) Pierogi (or Pirohi) is one of the most popular Polish foods, but do some research to find other recipes.
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3 thoughts on “Memorial of St. Faustina, Virgin (Optional)

  1. I love to see Poland Jesus ,the second congress which will be held there I claim it to Jesus and St.,Faustina I will witness this big event Please remember me in your prayers

  2. good evening. i would like to ask if the lord jesus tells sr. faustina that she will witness his second coming? iam confuse if faustina will witness the big even. but how come? is sr faustina alive until this time? please enlighten me. iam confused and doubt if there testimony are legitimate . iam not questioning about the message of jesus. my question is that really came from jesus or thier own idea and explenation.
    thank you and more power.

    1. Thank you for such an excellent and profound question Weng. I will try to answer to the best of my ability.

      On the issue of St. Faustina witnessing the Second Coming: Every human ever to come into creation will experience the Second Coming in some fashion. This is most especially true with concern to the General Judgement. At the General Judgement all will come to know what sins were committed by whom and the judgement each faces and why.

      Is St. Faustina Alive? She most certainly is. Not in the physical sense, for now – her body will of course be resurrected, but she remains alive in Christ – in the spiritual sense – as a resident of heaven. This is what occurs to all saints, not just those of whom we have certainty like the canonized saints.

      The Legitimacy of the Revelation: This revelation from Our Blessed Lord to St. Faustina is what the Church terms as a “private revelation.” The Catechism of the Catholic Church, in paragraph 67, says the following concerning private revelation:

      Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.

      Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfilment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations.”

      The Church investigated this revelation to St. Faustina and determined that it is worthy of belief, i.e., the statements of Christ as recorded by St. Faustina do not contradict anything found in “public revelation,” e.g., Sacred Scripture and/or Sacred Tradition. That said, none of the faithful (except those who receive it) are required to believe this and any other private revelation under penalty of sin or otherwise.

      I hope this answers you question. Pleas check out the following resources for more information and/or feel free to contact me again:
      The Divine Mercy Message from the Marians of the Immaculate Conception
      Private Revelation | Catholic Answers
      Catechism of the Catholic Church | St. Charles Borromeo Church

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