The task of “proclaiming and introducing into life” the mystery of God’s mercy, and imploring that mercy for the world, which the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II places before the entire Church, was entrusted to Saint Faustina as her life’s witness and mission.
Sister Faustina was born in 1905 in the village of Glogowiec near Lódz as the third of ten children in the family of Marianna and Stanislaw Kowalski. From her childhood she was distinguished by a love for prayer, diligence at work, obedience and a sensitivity for the poor. She attended not quite three years of elementary schooling, and later, as a teenager, left her family home to work as a domestic servant.
At the age of twenty she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in which, as Sister Maria Faustina, she spent thirteen years of her life performing the duties of cook, gardener, and doorkeeper. Her life, though seemingly very ordinary, monotonous and drab, concealed in itself an exceptionally profound union with God.
From her childhood she desired to become a great saint, and she consistently strove toward that goal, working together with Jesus for the salvation of lost souls, even to the extent of offering her life as a sacrifice for sinners. Therefore, her life as a religious was marked with the stigma of suffering, but also with extraordinary mystical graces. It was to this religious, who though simple, had boundless trust in God, that Jesus directed that amazing declaration. “In the Old Covenant 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)
Worn out and weakened by tuberculosis and the sufferings she bore in sacrifice for sinners, Sister Faustina died in the odor of sanctity in Kraków on October 5, 1938 at the age of 33.
On the first Sunday after Easter, April 18, 1993, in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, Pope John Paul II beatified Sister Faustina and he canonized her on April 30, 2000. The Saint Faustina Feast is celebrated on October 5th of each year.
The mission of Saint Faustina consisted in 3 tasks:
• Reminding the world of the truth of our faith revealed in the Holy Scripture about the merciful. Love of God towards every human being,even the greatest sinner;
• Entreating God’s mercy for the whole world, among others through the practice of new forms of devotion to Divine Mercy, such as the veneration of the image of the Divine Mercy with the inscription: Jesus, I Trust in You, the feast of the Divine Mercy celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter, the chaplet of the Divine Mercy, the prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3 p.m.) and the spreading of the devotion to the Divine Mercy;
• Initiating the apostolic movement of the Divine Mercy which undertakes the task of proclaiming and entreating God’s mercy for the world and strives for perfection in the spirit of childlike confidence in God, expressed in the fulfillment of His will and the attitude of mercy towards one’s neighbor.
NOVENA TO PREPARE THE FEAST OF SAINT FAUSTINA on October 5th
Novena to Saint Faustina (September 26th to october 4th 2010)
Jesus : “ The soul that trusts in My mercy is most fortunate, because I myself take care of it” ( Diary 1273). “ I heap My confidence upon it and give it all it asks” (Diary 453).
Sr. F.: “ I do not understand how it is possible not to trust in Him who can do all things. With Him, everything; without Him, nothing. He is Lord. He will not allow those who have placed all their trust in Him to be put to shame” (Diary 358).
Saint faustina, obtain for me the grace of childlike trust in the Lord God who can do all things. He is Wisdom itself and loves with an everlasting love.
SECOND DAY : September 27th
Trust as a Response to the Knowledge of the Mystery of God’s Mercy
Jesus : “ Everything that exists in enclosed in the bowels of My mercy, more deeply than an infant in its mother’s womb. How painfully distrust of My goodness wounds Me! Sins of distrust wound Me most painfully” (Diary 1076)
Sr. F.: “ I known that even souls that are chosen and well-advanced in the religious life or the spiritual life do not have the courage to entrust themselves completely to God. And this is so because few souls know the unfathomable mercy of God and His great goodness” (Diary 731).
Saint Faustina, help me to penetrate more and more deeply into the mystery of God’s mercy; help me to come to known the goodness of God so that I may trust in Him ever more and that I may not hurt Him with my distrust.
THIRD DAY : September 28th
Jesus : “ What you see in reality, these souls see through faith. Oh, how pleasing to Me is their great faith! For Me to be able to act upon a soul, the soul must have faith” (Diary1420).
Sr. F.: “ I fervently beg the Lord to strengthen my faith, so that in my drab, everyday life I will not be guided by human dispositions, but by those of the spirit. Oh, how everything drags man towards the earth! But lively faith maintains the soul in the higher regions” (Diary 210).
Saint Faustina, obtain for me a strong and lively faith so that I may come to know the merciful love of God towards creatures, for the better I come to know Him, the more I will trust in Him.
FOURTH DAY : September 29th
Jesus: “ Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask” (Diary 1146).
Sr. F.: “ Even if I had had the sins of the whole world, as well as the sins of all the condemned souls weighing on my conscience, I would not have doubted God’s goodness but, without hesitation, would have thrown myself into the abyss of the divine mercy, which is always open to us; and, with a heart crushed to dust, I would have cast myself at His feet, abandoning myself totally to His holy will, which is mercy itself ” (Diary 1552).
Saint faustina, obtain for me unwavering hope so that, on my way to heaven, I may always count on God’s forgiveness and the help of His grace in every situations, particularly in difficult moments.
FIFTH DAY : September 30th
Jesus: “ I am Love and Mercy Itself. There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy, neither will misery exhaust it, because as it is being granted- it increases” (Diary 1273). “ Love has brought Me here, and love keeps Me here. My daughter, if you knew what great merit and reward is earned by one act of pure love for Me, you would die of joy. I am saying this that you may constantly unite yourself with Me through love” (Diary 576).
Sr. F.: “ Love, love and onces again, love of God-there is nothing greater in heaven or on earth. The greatest greatness is to love God; true greatness is in loving God; real wisdom is to love God. All that is great and beautiful is in God; there is no beauty or greatness outside of Him” (Diary 990).
Saint Faustina, obtains for me an ardent love for God so that I may love Him above all things, and all things in relation to Him.
SIXTH DAY : October 1st
Jesus: “ I find pleasure, not in large buildings and magnificent structures, but in a pure and humble heart” (Diary 532). “ The torrents of grace inundate humble souls. The proud remain always in poverty and misery, because My grace turns away from them to humble souls” (Diary 1602).
Sr. F.: “ O how beautiful is a humble soul! (…) God refuses nothing to such a soul; she is all-powerful and influences the destiny of the whole world. God raises such a soul up to His very throne, and the more she humbles herself, the more God stoops down to her, pursuing her with His graces and accompanying her at every moment with His omnipotence. Such a soul is most deeply united with God” (Diary 1306).
Saint Faustina, obtain for me the grace of true humility so that I may accept the truth about God, about the world and about myself. And may this make me trustful, like a child toward its heavenly Father, acknowledging my dependence on Him as Creator and Savior.
SEVENTH DAY : October 2nd
Jesus: “ Write: I am Thrice Holy, and I detest the smallest sin. I cannot love a soul which is stained with sin; but when it repents, there is no limit to My generosity toward it. My mercy embraces and justifies it. With My mercy, I pursue sinners along all their paths, and My Heart rejoices when they return to Me ” (Diary 1728). `
Sr. F. : “It is when I meet with hypocrisy that I suffer most. Now I understand You, my Savior, for rebuking the pharisees so severely for their hypocrisy. You associated more graciously with hardened sinners when they approached You contritely ” (Diary 1579).
Saint Faustina, obtain for me the grace of heartfelt contrition for every sin and even for the smallest infidelity, since it was the cause of the terrible passion of Jesus. May the contrition of my heart obtain for me the forgiveness of my guilt and strengthen my trust in God’s mercy.
EIGHTH DAY : October 3rd
Doing God’s will
Jesus: “My daughter, you give Me most glory by patiently submitting to My will, and you win for yourself greater merit than that which any fast or mortification could ever gain for you. Know, My daughter, that if you submit your will to Mine, you draw upon yourself My special delight. This sacrifice is pleasing to Me and full of sweetness. I take great pleasure in it; there is power in it ” (Diary 904).
Sr. F.: “The Lord has given me the light to know His will more profoundly and to abandon myself completely to the holy will of God. This light has confirmed me in profound peace, making me understand that I should fear nothing except sin. Whatever God sends me, I accept with complete submission to His holy will. Wherever He puts me, I will try faithfully to do His will, as well as His wished, to the extent of my power to do so, even if the will of God were hard and difficult for me” (Diary 1394). For His holy will is for me mercy itself ”(Diary 1552).
Saint Faustina, obtain for me the grace of fulfilling God’s will faithfully always and everywhere so that in this way I may express my trust toward the Lord God.
NINTH DAY : October 4th
The vessel of trust
Jesus: “The graces of My mercy are drawn by means of one vessel only, and that is- trust. The more a soul trusts, the more it will receive. Souls that trust boundlessly are great comfort to Me, because I pour all the treasures of My graces into them” (Diary 1578).
Sr. F.: “ O Lord, my Love, I thank You for this day on which You have allowed me to draw a wealth of graces from the fountain of Your unfathomable mercy. O Jesus, not only today, but at every moment, I draw from Your unfathomable mercy everything that the soul and body could want ”(Diary 1178).
Saint Faustina, help me to obtain a large vessel of trust so that I may draw with it graces not only for myself, but also for the Church, my homeland, the whole world, and especially for souls who doubt God’s mercy.