Born: August 25, 1905
Died: October 5, 1938
Canonized: April 30, 2000, by Pope John Paul II
Feast Day: October
Patron Saint of: Mercy
St. Faustina Kowalska was born on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiec in Poland, to a poor and religious family of peasants. She was the 3rd of 10 children and was baptized with the name Helena. From a very tender age, Helena stood out for her love of prayer, work, obedience and compassion for the poor. By the age of 7, she became aware of her calling to the religious life.
Initially, her parents did not allow Helena to enter a convent. A vision of the Suffering Christ finally gave her the determination to proceed with her calling. On August 1, 1925, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and took the name Sr. Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. She lived in the Congregation for the next thirteen years till her death in 1938.
During her time at the convent, St. Faustina was blessed with many graces, including visions, revelations, wounds of the stigmata (hidden from all but her), sharing in the Passion of the Lord, the ability to read of human souls and prophecy.
Most significant were the extraordinary revelations and messages she received from Our
Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus had chosen St. Faustina as the Apostle and “Secretary” of His Mercy, so that she could tell the world about His loving message of Divine Mercy. These words she compiled in what is known today as the Diary of St.Maria Faustina Kowalska.
Graces and Miracles
Miracles attributed to the intercession of Sr. Maria Faustina lead to her canonization on April 30, 2000. People from around the world rely on St. Faustina to interceed on their behalf to Our Lord and countless graces and favors have been received through her intercession.
Today, we continue to rely on Saint Faustina as a constant reminder of the message to trust in Jesus’ endless mercy, and to live life mercifully toward others. We also turn to her in prayer and request her intercession to our merciful Savior on our behalf. The following prayer may be included along with the devotion to the Divine Mercy:
“Saint Faustina, You told us that your mission would continue after your death and that you would not forget us. Our Lord also granted you a great privilege, telling you to “distribute graces as you will, to who you will, and when you will.” Relying on this, we ask your intercession for the graces we need, especially for the intentions just mentioned. Help us, above all, to trust in Jesus as you did and thus to glorify His mercy every moment of our lives. Amen”
St Faustina died of tuberculosis at the age of 33 on October 5, 1938, in a convent in Krakow, Poland. She was buried in the convent chapel beneath the image of the Divine Mercy and her remains rest at the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Krakow-Lagiewniki.
She was beatified on April 18, 1993 and canonized on April 30, 2000 – the first saint in the 21st century.