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St. Mary Faustina Kowalska

Sister Mary Faustina, an apostle of the  Divine Mercy, belongs today to the group of the most popular and well-known  saints of the Church. Through her the Lord Jesus communicates to the world the  great message of God's mercy and reveals the pattern of Christian perfection  based on trust in God and on the attitude of mercy toward one's neighbors.

She was born on August 25, 1905 in  Glogowiec in Poland  of a poor and religious family of peasants, the third of ten children. She was  baptized with the name Helena in the parish Church  of Swinice Warckie. From a very tender age she stood out because of her love of  prayer, work, obedience, and also her sensitivity to the poor. At the age of  nine she made her first Holy Communion living this moment very profoundly in  her awareness of the presence of the Divine Guest within her soul. She attended  school for three years. At the age of sixteen she left home and went to work as  a housekeeper in order to find the means of supporting herself and of helping  her parents.

At the age of seven she had already felt  the first stirrings of a religious vocation. After finishing school, she wanted  to enter the convent but her parents would not give her permission. Called  during a vision of the Suffering Christ, on August 1, 1925 she entered the  Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and took the name Sister Mary  Faustina. She lived in the Congregation for thirteen years and lived in several  religious houses. She spent time working as a cook, gardener and porter.

Externally nothing revealed her rich  mystical interior life. She zealously performed her tasks and faithfully  observed the rule of religious life. She was recollected and at the same time  very natural, serene and full of kindness and disinterested love for her  neighbor. Although her life was apparently insignificant, monotonous and dull,  she hid within herself an extraordinary union with God.

It is the mystery of the Mercy of God which  she contemplated in the word of God as well as in the everyday activities of  her life that forms the basis of her spirituality. The process of contemplating  and getting to know the mystery of God's mercy helped develop within Sr. Mary  Faustina the attitude of child-like trust in God as well as mercy toward the neighbors.  O my Jesus, each of Your saints reflects one of Your virtues; I desire to  reflect Your compassionate heart, full of mercy; I want to glorify it. Let Your  mercy, O Jesus, be impressed upon my heart and soul like a seal, and this will  be my badge in this and the future life (Diary 1242). Sister Faustina was a  faithful daughter of the Church which she loved like a Mother and a Mystic Body  of Jesus Christ. Conscious of her role in the Church, she cooperated with God's  mercy in the task of saving lost souls. At the specific request of and  following the example of the Lord Jesus, she made a sacrifice of her own life  for this very goal. In her spiritual life she also distinguished herself with a  love of the Eucharist and a deep devotion to the Mother of Mercy.

The years she had spent at the convent were  filled with extraordinary gifts, such as: revelations, visions, hidden  stigmata, participation in the Passion of the Lord, the gift of bilocation, the  reading of human souls, the gift of prophecy, or the rare gift of mystical  engagement and marriage. The living relationship with God, the Blessed Mother,  the Angels, the Saints, the souls in Purgatory — with the entire supernatural  world — was as equally real for her as was the world she perceived with her senses.  In spite of being so richly endowed with extraordinary graces, Sr. Mary  Faustina knew that they do not in fact constitute sanctity. In her Diary she  wrote: Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a  soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These  gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor  its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my  will with the will of God (Diary 1107).

The Lord Jesus chose Sr. Mary Faustina as  the Apostle and "Secretary" of His Mercy, so that she could tell the  world about His great message. In the Old Covenant — He said to her —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).

The mission of Sister Mary Faustina  consists in 3 tasks:

– reminding the world of the truth of our  faith revealed in the Holy Scripture about the merciful love of God toward  every human being.

– Entreating God's mercy for the whole  world and particularly for sinners, among others through the practice of new  forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy presented by the Lord Jesus, such as: the  veneration of the image of the Divine Mercy with the inscription: Jesus, I  Trust in You, the feast of the Divine Mercy celebrated on the first Sunday  after Easter, chaplet to the Divine Mercy and prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3  p.m.). The Lord Jesus attached great promises to the above forms of devotion,  provided one entrusted one's life to God and practiced active love of one's  neighbor.

– The third task in Sr. Mary Faustina's  mission consists in initiating the apostolic movement of the Divine Mercy which  undertakes the task of proclaiming and entreating God's mercy for the world and  strives for Christian perfection, following the precepts laid down by the  Blessed Sr. Mary Faustina. The precepts in question require the faithful to  display an attitude of child-like trust in God which expresses itself in  fulfilling His will, as well as in the attitude of mercy toward one's  neighbors. Today, this movement within the Church involves millions of people  throughout the world; it comprises religious congregations, lay institutes,  religious, brotherhoods, associations, various communities of apostles of the  Divine Mercy, as well as individual people who take up the tasks which the Lord  Jesus communicated to them through Sr. Mary Faustina.

The mission of the Blessed Sr. Mary  Faustina was recorded in her Diary which she kept at the specific request of  the Lord Jesus and her confessors. In it, she recorded faithfully all of the  Lord Jesus' wishes and also described the encounters between her soul and Him.  Secretary of My most profound mystery — the Lord Jesus said to Sr. Faustina —  know that your task is to write down everything that I make known to you about  My mercy, for the benefit of those who by reading these things will be comforted  in their souls and will have the courage to approach Me (Diary 1693). In an  extraordinary way, Sr. Mary Faustina's work sheds light on the mystery of the  Divine Mercy. It delights not only the simple and uneducated people, but also  scholars who look upon it as an additional source of theological research. The  Diary has been translated into many languages, among others, English, German,  Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, Hungarian, Czech and  Slovak.

Sister Mary Faustina, consumed by tuberculosis  and by innumerable sufferings which she accepted as a voluntary sacrifice for  sinners, died in Krakow at the age of just  thirty three on October 5, 1938 with a reputation for spiritual maturity and a  mystical union with God. The reputation of the holiness of her life grew as did  the cult to the Divine Mercy and the graces she obtained from God through her  intercession. In the years 1965-67, the investigative Process into her life and  heroic virtues was undertaken in Krakow and in the year 1968, the Beatification  Process was initiated in Rome.  The latter came to an end in December 1992. On April 18, 1993 our Holy Father  John Paul II raised Sister Faustina to the glory of the altars. Sr. Mary  Faustina's remains rest at the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in  Kraków-Lagiewniki.

Printed with permission from the Vatican website:
http://www.vatican.va/news_services/liturgy/saints/ns_lit_doc_20000430_faustina_en.html

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Apr
16

Liturgical Calendar

April 16, 2014

Wednesday of Holy Week

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Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

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Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 50:4-9a
Gospel:: Mt 26:14-25

Homily of the Day

Mt 26:14-25

Homily
Date
04/16/14
04/14/14

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