St. Faustina

It was to Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), a simple, uneducated nun from Poland, that the Lord chose to spread the Divine Mercy message and devotion. "My daughter, be at peace; do as I tell you. Your thoughts are united to My thoughts, so write whatever comes to your mind. You are the secretary of My mercy. I have chosen you for that office in this life and the next life. That is how I want it to be in spite of all the opposition they will give you. Know that My choice will not change" (Diary, 1605).

Saint Faustina was born in 1905 in the village of Glogowiec in Central Poland. She came from a large, poor peasant family, and attended less than three years of elementary school. When nearly twenty years old - and after a few years of work as a domestic servant working with wealthy families - she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. Her seemingly ordinary life concealed an exceptionally profound union with God. From her early youth, she desired to be a great saint and consistently strove toward that goal. It was to this simple nun that our Lord came and announced, "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).

As an apostle of mercy, her mission was to:
1) remind the world of the great mercy of God as revealed in Sacred Scripture,
2) teach us new prayers of devotion to The Divine Mercy, and
3) initiate a movement of apostles of The Divine Mercy who would lead others toward Him in the spirit of a childlike trust and confidence in God, and love of neighbor as expressed in spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

For several years she was ill with advanced tuberculosis, suffering from much pain and fatigue. Her simple life taught us much about following in Jesus' footsteps. After much suffering, she died on October 5, 1938, at the young age of thirty-three. Her mortal remains lie in the Convent Chapel in Cracow-Lagiewniki, Poland, below the image of The Divine Mercy. Today her name is known all over the world as the apostle of mercy.

Saint Faustina is the ideal role model for Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, especially in light of her love of the Eucharist, and her virtuous life as exemplified by doing spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Because of her special love for our Eucharistic Lord, she added, "of the Most Blessed Sacrament" to her name, Sister Maria Faustina. "I adore You, Lord and Creator, hidden in the Blessed Sacrament... You have spread so much beauty over the earth, and it tells me about Your beauty, even though these beautiful things are but a faint reflection of You, Incomprehensible Beauty... my heart is completely immersed in prayer of adoration" (Diary, 1692).

As Catholics, and especially as members of Eucharistic Apostles of The Divine Mercy, we must aspire to imitate the virtuous life of St. Faustina. In order to accomplish this, we must take an active role in spreading the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion which includes leading a sacramental life, spreading appreciation for the gift of the Eucharist and the sanctity of life, and living and doing the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. Like St. Faustina, we may also be called to suffer in this valley of tears. Yet we look forward to being with our Merciful Savior and Merciful Mother, and receiving our eternal reward in Heaven as promised by Jesus: "Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior" (Diary, 1075).

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