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Holy Saturday: Divine Mercy Reflection

Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My Mercy.”

Jesus to st. faustina

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, an apostle of Divine Mercy, is considered to be one of the most popular and well-known saints of the Church. Jesus communicated to the world, through St. Faustina, the great message of God’s mercy and revealed the pattern of Christian perfection based on trust in God and on the attitude of mercy toward every person we come in contact with.

St. Faustina, the third of 10 children, was born on August 25, 1905 in Poland to a poor and religious family of peasants. Faustina was baptized into the church with the name Helena. From a very young age she stood out because of her love of prayer, work, obedience, and sensitivity to the poor. At the age of seven Faustina had already felt the first stirrings of a religious vocation. She made her first Holy Communion at the age of nine, in which she came to a great awareness of the presence of the Divine in her soul. She attended school for three years. After finishing school, she wanted to enter the convent, but her parents would not give her permission. At age 16, Faustina moved away and went to work as a housekeeper in order to find the means of supporting herself and of helping her parents.

St. Faustina never lost her desire for a religious vocation. After being called during a vision of the Suffering Christ, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy on August 1, 1925, and took the name Sr. Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament. She lived in the Congregation for thirteen years in several religious houses. She spent time in Krakow, where she worked as a cook, gardener, and porter.

To the outside world 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 love for her neighbor. Although her life was apparently insignificant 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 formed the basis of her spirituality. The process of contemplating and getting to know the mystery of God’s mercy helped develop within Sr. Maria Faustina the attitude of child-like trust in God as well as mercy toward her neighbors.

Sister Faustina was a faithful daughter of the Church which she loved like a Mother and the Mystical 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.

Jesus chose Sr. Maria Faustina as the Apostle and “Secretary” of His Mercy, so that she could tell the world about His great message, which Sr. Faustina recorded in a diary she titled Divine Mercy in My Soul. 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

In an extraordinary way, Sr. Maria 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.

Sister Maria Faustina, consumed by tuberculosis and by innumerable sufferings, which she accepted as a voluntary sacrifice for sinners, died in Krakow at the age of 33 on October 5, 1938. She left behind a legacy of spiritual maturity and a desire for mystical union with God. The reputation of the holiness of her life grew, as did the devotion to the Divine Mercy. Many graces have been obtained from God through her intercession. From 1965 to 1967 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 St. Faustina to the glory of the altars. She was canonized on April 30, 2000. St. Faustina’s remains now are at the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Krakow.

History of the Divine Mercy Chaplet

In 1935, St. Faustina received a vision of an angel sent by God to chastise a certain city. She began to pray for mercy, but her prayers were powerless. The Holy Trinity appeared to her and she felt the power of Jesus’ grace within her. Simultaneously, she found herself pleading with God for mercy with words she heard interiorly:

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, i n atonement for our sins and those of the whole world; for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us.”

Diary, 475

The next day, as she was entering the chapel, she again heard this interior voice, instructing her how to recite the prayer that our Lord later called “the Chaplet.” This time, after “have mercy on us” were added the words “and on the whole world.” From then on, she recited this form of prayer almost constantly, offering it especially for the dying. Through revelations, the Lord made it clear that the Chaplet was not just for her, but for the whole world. He also attached extraordinary promises to its recitation.

The Divine Mercy Chaplet, which most Catholics are probably familiar with, is prayed on rosary beads and it is an intercessory prayer which extends the offering of the Eucharist. It may be said at any time, but our Lord specifically told St. Faustina to recite it during the nine days before the Feast of Mercy (beginning on Good Friday and ending on the first Sunday after Easter). Additionally, it is appropriate to pray the Chaplet during the “Hour of Mercy” — three o’clock every afternoon. In His revelations to St. Faustina, he asked that we pray it at this time to recall and prayerfully remember the time of His passion and death on
the cross during that hour.

We are left with a brief quote by St. Faustina. She states:

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

Lauren Catherine is the 19-year-old daughter of our Red Bird Ministries teammate, Shelley Gallet. Her sister, Caroline, was our guest podcaster on Episode 31. Lauren was named after St. Catherine Laboure’s Miraculous Medal. She has a devotion to St. Faustina, who was one of her Confirmation saints.

Lauren attends the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she majors in Kinesiology. She is a KD Lady, or member of the Kappa Delta Sorority. From her desire to help, heal and give people hope, she wants to be a Physical Therapist. Lauren sees the needs of others and quickly and selflessly responds. 

She enjoys such things as running, shopping, photography, fishing with her dad, and going to the beach and Disney. With a great eye for fashion, she also likes shopping, but loves buying little gifts for others just to see them smile. Remember that 80’s movie “Adventures in Babysitting”? Well, she adores children and earns money babysitting just like Chris Parker, but minus all that the crazy stuff.

Here is a link to the Divine Mercy Novena for you to follow along: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/devotions/novena-13366

But you can easily do the Divine Mercy Novena prayers daily through Little With Great Love’s Facebook and Instagram stories. So, if you’re not following us there, go do that, and you can say the prayers with us each day through our stories found on those social media platforms.

divine mercy

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