Today St. Maria Faustina Kowalska is known for her childlike trust in God and as His “Apostle of Mercy. In the 1930s, Our Lord asked her to proclaim His message of mercy to the whole world. And while Sister Faustina never left a series of convents and health-care facilities in pre-World War II, Poland – she devoted her life to sacrifice, suffering, obedience, and good works for the needy- proclaim our Lord’s message of Mercy she did.
Following her death of multiple tuberculosis in 1938 at the age of 33, St. Faustina’s mission continued through the personal diary she had maintained to record the words of her heavenly visitors – including Jesus and Mary and, time and again, to return to their message that at the core of God’s love is His mercy.
Now Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated worldwide on the Second Sunday of Easter. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is prayed by countless people at three in the afternoon, and the Divine Mercy image of Jesus hangs in churches, chapels, and homes around the globe.
What is the message, this spirituality, that has swept through the Catholic Church and into millions of hearts over the past seven-plus decades? It’s this: The essence of Divine Mercy is twofold. First, to totally trust in Christ’s mercy. And second, to show mercy to others, acting as a vessel of God’s mercy.
St. Faustina wanted God’s greatest attribute, His unfathomable mercy, to pass through her heart and to her neighbor.
St. Faustina also came to know God’s infinite mercy by her keen observation of Our Lady, the lives of the saints, biblical men and women, and of her daily life. In time, this included a living relationship with the angels and the souls in purgatory. In time, she came to feel and appreciate God’s mercy in everything.
We can emulate Saint Faustina’s tender devotion to the holy souls in our daily lives by frequenting the sacraments, developing a strong prayer life (especially the Rosary, the Way of the Cross, and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy), and visiting our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.
St. Faustina teaches mercy is not found in great deeds but great love. The more we trust in Jesus, the more we’ll be open to receive God’s love and mercy.
Fr. Andrew, T.O.R.