There was once a saint who was granted intense and frequent visions of Our Lord. In these visions, Jesus instructed her to document His Divine Mercy and lead a movement dedicated to living the mercy and love of God. This saint was not a great scholar, nor an early Christian martyred at the hands of her enemies. She was Sister Faustina Kowalska, a simple nun who had no more than three years of simple education. She was a nun with the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, often tasked with the simplest of chores in the kitchen or the garden.
But that didn’t stop her. What made her exceptional was her intense desire and drive to become a great saint. Ever since she was a child, she strove consistently to form an unbreakable bond with Christ.
Faustina was born Helena Kowalska in Głogowiec, Poland in 1905 to a poor family. After working as a servant until she was almost 20 years old, she received a vision of Jesus who asked her how long she would procrastinate her calling. She went to a church and received instructions to enter the convent. After being denied by several convents, she was finally accepted. She trusted in God Who she knew was leading her to her true vocation.
In 1931, when Faustina was residing in Płock, she received another visit from Our Lord. While she was resting in her cell, Jesus appeared to her in a white robe with red and white light emitting from His heart. He told her, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: ‘Jesus, I trust in You’. I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and then throughout the world. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish.” This was the first time the image of Divine Mercy was seen.
St. Faustina brought this description to nuns, asking them to paint it. They refused. After three years with no progress, the image was finally created by the Polish painter Eugeniusz Kazimirowski. After being transferred to a new location, Faustina met Bl. Father Michael Sopoćko, her confessor. After revealing to him her visions of the Lord and proving that she was of sound mind, Faustina told him about Divine Mercy. Jesus had asked her to bring about devotion to this image. After initial hesitation, Father Michael expressed his support by giving the first sermon on Divine Mercy in 1935.
Jesus continued to appear to Faustina, guiding her through the establishment of Divine Mercy. She was instructed to begin the Order of Divine Mercy, but her current order reminded her of her vows. Jesus returned to her and said, “My Daughter, do whatever is within your power to spread devotion to My Divine Mercy, I will make up for what you lack.”
Over the next few years, St. Faustina and Father Michael worked according to God’s instructions to release brochures, holy cards, and create the devotional Chaplet of Divine Mercy. However, during this period, Faustina became critically ill with tuberculosis. As she neared the end of her life, the visions intensified as she got closer and closer to heaven. When Father Michael visited her for the second to last time, she was said to have been in a state of ecstasy as she prayed. Before she died, St. Faustina predicted that there would be a great war a year after her death. In 1939, World War II began and upon realizing the accuracy of her predictions, Bishop Romuald Jałbrzykowski released the image of Divine Mercy to the public. Millions flocked to this devotion, catalyzing its spread across the world.
St. Faustina’s legacy lies in her dedication to the devotion of the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ. Her efforts represent the New Covenant of God with man: He does not seek to impose suffering but to bring mercy and salvation. “In the Old Covenant, I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. 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” (Diary, 1588).
WEDNESDAY ONLY SPECIAL $365 LEVEL—
- A Handmade One-Decade Divine Mercy Rosary. This special St. Faustina Rosary is handmade by the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow, Poland. The Rosary was placed on the altar of the Chapel of the miraculous image of the Merciful Jesus and the tomb of St. Faustina. Contains a third-class relic.
- Plus, Through the Year with Fulton Sheen. This is Sheen at his best—the master storyteller, preacher, and faithful servant of Christ—with a word of encouragement, counsel, and direction for each day of the year. With characteristic insight and eloquence, he penetrates to the heart of the Christian life with practical reflections on love, holiness, spiritual power, miracles, and Christ-like living. 235-page paperback.
If you give to Relevant Radio at the $365 Level this Wednesday, November 3, you will receive both a one-decade Divine Mercy Rosary as well as a copy of the book Through the Year with Fulton Sheen!