Saint Faustina Kowalska
Maria Faustina Kowalska was born on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiez, Poland. She grew up in a poor, but religious family. Her father was a carpenter. She mserved as housekeeper in several cities before joining the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925, where she was assigned duties as a cook, gardener and porter.
Despite her humble background it was soon evident that she had a rich interior life as a mystic. She regularly saw and received messages from Jesus himself. Although she confided these to her confessor Father Michał Sopoćko, who supported her, she struggled at times to know if God was really calling her to establish the new devotion of divine mercy. This was because of her profound humility and to be sure she was not being deceived by Satan. In time Jesus helped her to understand her mission and carry it out.
She recorded in her diary: “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.”
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Saint Faustina followed the instructions she received from Jesus to have a picture of Jesus painted that reflected what she saw of him in her visions. This is the Divine Mercy image shown below:
More importantly, she initiated the process whereby the Church, under Pope Saint John Paul II initiated the Divine Mercy Chaplet and Novena. These beautiful prayers were approved as a Catholic devotion and are widely said in the Church.
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