Denver Newsroom, Oct 5, 2021 / 00:00 am
While Catholics around the world are familiar with St. Faustina Kowalska and her connection to Divine Mercy, many may not know about the way in which Jesus talked to her about her calling, Hell, and her mission to proclaim the mercy of God. Here are seven important facts to know about this popular saint:
1. Her given name was Helena. St. Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament was born in Poland as Helena Kowalska on Aug. 25, 1905. She died on Oct. 5, 1938, after being chosen by Jesus and Mary to become the unlikely apostle of the Divine Mercy. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II on April 30, 2000. Her feast day is Oct. 5.
2. She didn’t plan to become a nun. Young Helena had no intention of entering religious life, but at age 19, while attending a dance with her sister Natalia in Lodz, she had a vision of a suffering Jesus, who asked her, "How long shall I put up with you and how long will you keep putting Me off?" After praying at the Cathedral she departed for Warsaw, where she joined the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. On April 30, 1926, at the age of 20, she was clothed in the habit and received her religious name.
3. Jesus described to her how his Divine Mercy image should look. Faustina wrote that on the night of Sunday, Feb. 22, 1931, while she was in her cell in Plock, Poland, after partially recovering from tuberculosis, Jesus appeared wearing a white garment with red and pale rays emanating from his heart. According to her diary, Jesus told her to "Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: ‘Jesus, I trust in You’ [in Polish: “Jezu, ufam Tobie.”] 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.”