If Gabby could meet anyone at all

Make no mistake: When Mother of Mercy Messengers (MOMM) gives its multimedia presentation about God's mercy and St. Faustina, the results can be profound.

For proof, consider Gabby Rundall, an 11-year-old from Saline, Michigan.

After MOMM gave a series of presentations at her parish (St. Andrew's), in March, Gabby felt so inspired that she entered an essay contest in her community. The topic was, "Which famous woman would you choose to spend the day with, and what would you do on this special day with this famous woman?"

Gabby wrote how she would most like to spend a day with St. Faustina. "I would like to pray with her and ask how amazing it was when she saw Jesus and to actually see Him and talk to Him," she wrote in her two-page essay.

Gabby won first place in the fourth- and fifth-grade category. She received a certificate of appreciation and a $25 gift certificate to a bookstore.

"The judges involved in this project were not Catholics, so how ever greater the grace that Gabby won writing about a saint!" said Suzanne Krisak, who works for St. Andrew's parish.

MOMM, a ministry of the Marians, has been teaching about Divine Mercy and the power of prayer to churches and schools since 1999. It is run by Dave and Joan Maroney. If you would like MOMM to visit your church or school, call the Marian Ministries office toll-free at 1-866-895-3236.

Following is Gabby's essay:

I would like to spend the day with St. Faustina because she was unselfish, and everything she was told to do she did. She never asked why or questioned the people who asked her for help. She was always willing to help.

She loved to go to church. Even if she did not have a dress to wear in church, she would still sit outside and pray. Her love and kindness was so overwhelming. I would like to pray with her and ask how amazing it was when she saw Jesus and to actually see Him and talk to Him.

The most amazing thing about St. Faustina was that she died at the same age as Jesus. They were both 33 years old.

I would like to be with her when the painting of Jesus was done. It was amazing that she could tell someone how to paint Jesus' image and visualize what He looked like and explain it to the painter. She could explain every little detail to the painter. This is unbelievable. I would love to experience this with her. She could teach me what she learned. She did learn new revelations that she passed on to others.

Saint Faustina's birth name was Helena Kowalska. She was born in the village of Glogowiec, Poland, on Aug. 25, 1905. She was the third oldest of 10 children. When she was almost 20, she joined the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. The members of this congregation devoted themselves to the care and education of troubled young women. At 21, she received her new name, which was Sr. Maria Faustina.

In the 1930s, she received messages from Jesus. One message was to spread mercy throughout the world. She was a model of how to be merciful to others. Her entire life was to be a sacrifice. She was bringing joy and mercy to others by writing about God's mercy. She had to encourage others to trust Him and prepare the world for His coming again.

Sister Faustina felt unworthy and terrified at the thought of trying to write anything. In 1934, she started keeping her Diary. For four years, she recorded messages from Jesus as He revealed them to her, and she recorded her own thoughts and experiences. The Lord Jesus chose Sr. Faustina to have His picture painted. This painting was called the image of The Divine Mercy. She was in her room, and it was dark, and she would see a light, and it was Jesus. He was coming to talk to her.

Jesus had told her to trust Him. The Divine Mercy image has a saying at the bottom that states: "Jesus, I trust in You."

The Mother Superior had a doctor examine Sr. Faustina because of fears that she was not of sound mind. The doctor declared her of sound mind. Finally, after months of painting, the image was unveiled. Sister Faustina saw the painting and cried because it was not as beautiful as the actual vision she had of Jesus. She was sad, and Jesus came to comfort her. Jesus was pleased with the painting.

Sister Faustina suffered from tuberculosis. After 13 years in the convent, Sr. Faustina knew that she would soon be with Jesus. She died on Oct. 5, 1938. She was 33 years old. The same age as Jesus.

Gabby Rundall is a sixth grader at Heritage School in Saline, Michigan. She also attends the religious education classes at her church, St. Andrew's. Gabby would very much like to spend the day talking with St. Faustina.

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