Sister Mary Faustina is a popular, well known saint of the Roman Catholic Church. She was born in Glogowiec, Poland to a poor, religious, peasant family, the third of ten children, baptized as Helen, and attended school for only three years. She felt called to religious life at age seven, and was by then already prayerful, obedient, and sensitive to the poor. At age sixteen she left for Krakow, Poland to seek convent life. Denied by several convents because of her low standing and lack of education, one convent finally accepted her at age 20 if she purchased her own habit.
Outwardly, she faithfully and zealously lived a monotonous, dull, and mundane life, while developing a child-like trust in a merciful God with love of neighbors. Her interior life was richly mystical with an extraordinary union with God, receiving many apparitions, visions, and conversations with Jesus about His message of Mercy to save lost souls. She documented this in a diary, later published as “Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul.” She was also devoted to the Eucharist and the Mother of Mercy.
Three devotional themes in Saint Faustina’s message of Jesus Mercy are:
1) Ask for and obtain God’s mercy.
2) Trust in Jesus Christ’s abundant and endless mercy and forgiveness.
3) Act towards and show God’s mercy to others.
Five forms of devotion are used in the Divine Mercy message:
1) The Divine Mercy image of Jesus, is painted by Eugene Kazimirowski under Saint Faustina’s direction. This image draws Jesus outward with light emanating from darkness, portraying the crucified and risen Jesus, inscribed with “Jesus, I Trust in You.”
2) Divine Mercy Sunday (week after Easter Sunday).
3) Chaplet of Divine Mercy prayed on the Rosary appealing to Jesus’ passion.
4) Three O’clock hour of Mercy prayer when Jesus died.
5) Spreading the message of Divine Mercy to the whole world, preparing for the end.
Saint Faustina is the only saint ever examined by a psychiatrist and several Confessors denied her credibility until Blessed Father Sopocko received her revelations as her Confessor and spiritual director. Blessed Sopocko played the role of relieving Saint Faustina’s doubts and encouraging her, and spreading Jesus Merciful Sacred Heart message of Divine Mercy and devotion to the world.
Saint Faustina delights the simple and uneducated, and scholars alike. Her Diary has been translated into over 20 languages. Tuberculosis consumed Saint Faustina, but she accepted these sufferings as a voluntary sacrifice for sinners. She died at her convent in Krakow, Poland at age 33 in 1938, with a reputation for spiritual maturity and a mystical union with God.
Saint Faustina was 15 years old when Karol Jozef Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) was born in Poland and when she died he lived within walking distance of her convent, yet they never met. In 1968, as bishop of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla began the investigative process into her life and virtues, and when he became Pope he brought Saint Faustina’s Divine Mercy Message to the whole world. Pope John Paul II canonized St. Faustina making her a saint on April 30, 2000.
Finally, following is the powerful prayer Jesus gave Saint Faustina, for everyone to pray each day at the Three O’clock Hour of Jesus Passion, after reflecting on some or all of the Stations of the Cross:
“At three o’clock, implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and, if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the soul that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion.”
About Annette Krulisky
Annette Krulisky, holds a Master of Arts in Adult/K-12 Education in Curriculum Design, worked in the computer field as an engineer and technical trainer for 25 years, is married and has seven adopted special needs children, but is now retired. Grew up in Michigan as Baptist protestant. Lived in California since 1975. Began my journey home to the Catholic Church in 2012, and glad to be home.