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BarbaraTherese

5th Oct 208 - Feast St Faustina (of Divine Mercy devotion)

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BarbaraTherese

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Helena Kowalska was both on 25 August 1905 in Głogowiec, near Łódź in Poland, the third of ten children of a poor and religious family. From an early age she had a religious vocation, and she showed great determination in pursuing it despite the opposition of her parents and rejection by the first few convents to which she applied. Through persistence and hard work she was accepted by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, which she entered on 1 August 1925, taking the name Sister Mary Faustina. She lived in the Congregation for the rest of her short life. Her work as cook, gardener and porter revealed nothing of her rich mystical interior life.

  The mystery of the Mercy of God which forms the centre of St Faustina’s spirituality was revealed to her by Jesus in visions and conversations from early 1931. In choosing an obscure and uneducated young girl as the apostle of devotion to the Divine Mercy, he followed the pattern so often used by God: that his strength is manifested in weakness, and the weak and humble have the power to change the world.

“Today I am sending you with my mercy to the people of the whole world.

I do not want to punish aching mankind,

but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart.”

  With the help of the nuns’ confessor, Father Michael Sopoćko (who prudently started by having Sister Faustina psychiatrically examined to confirm the veracity of the visions), the devotion to the Divine Mercy began. An image of the Divine mercy was painted at Sister Faustina’s instruction (since she could not paint herself); she wrote instructions for a Novena of the Divine Mercy, which was published in the final year of her life.

Sister Faustina died (probably of tuberculosis) on 5 October 1938.

  The devotion to the Divine Mercy spread widely and fast, especially during the Second World War.

In 1956 Pope Pius XII blessed an image of the Divine Mercy, but the theorists were harder to convince, and although the process of Faustina’s canonization began in 1965, it was not until 1978 that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reversed its previous ban on the circulation of her writings: “…there no longer exists, on the part of this Sacred Congregation, any impediment to the spreading of the devotion to The Divine Mercy”.

Indeed, on the official Vatican web site some of Faustina’s actual conversations with Jesus are quoted in her biography, and there have been moves to have her declared a Doctor of the Church. 

 Faustina Kowalska was beatified on 18 April 1993 and canonized on 30 April 2000. At the same time the second Sunday of Easter was officially designated as the Sunday of the Divine Mercy.

 

HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER 

MASS IN ST PETER'S SQUARE FOR THE CANONIZATION 
OF SR MARY FAUSTINA KOWALSKA

Sunday, 30 April 2000

 

http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/homilies/2000/documents/hf_jp-ii_hom_20000430_faustina.html

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BarbaraTherese

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" Let us too, the pilgrim Church, join our voice to the voice of Mary most holy, "Mother of Mercy", to the voice of this new saint who sings of mercy with all God's friends in the heavenly Jerusalem.

And you, Faustina, a gift of God to our time, a gift from the land of Poland to the whole Church, obtain for us an awareness of the depth of divine mercy; help us to have a living experience of it and to bear witness to it among our brothers and sisters. May your message of light and hope spread throughout the world, spurring sinners to conversion, calming rivalries and hatred and opening individuals and nations to the practice of brotherhood. Today, fixing our gaze with you on the face of the risen Christ, let us make our own your prayer of trusting abandonment and say with firm hope:  Christ Jesus, I trust in you! Jezu, ufam tobie!  "

(From Homily of Holy Father on Canonization of St Faustina)

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