SAINT MARIA FAUSTINA KOWALSKA -THE APOSTLE OF THE DIVINE MERCY

Feast day October 5
"I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of [sinners]. But woe to them if they do not recognize the time of My visitation.’” (No. 1160)
“My mercy is greater than all the sins of the world… For you I descended from Heaven to earth; for 
you I allowed Myself to be nailed to the Cross; for you I let My Sacred Heart be pierced with a lance, thus 
opening wide the source of mercy for you. Come then with trust and draw graces from this fountain… I 
never reject a contrite heart … You will give Me pleasure if you hand over all your troubles and griefs. I 
shall heap upon you the treasures of My grace.” (#1485)

THE SAINTLY PRAYER
(Here is one prayer of Faustina that pleased the Lord so much, and from which we can learn in our very much troubled selfish world.)
“Jesus, I thank You for the little daily crosses, for opposition to my endeavors, for the hardships of 
communal life, for the misinterpretation of my intentions, for humiliations at the hands of others, for the harsh 
way in which we are treated, for false suspicions, for poor health and loss of strength, for self-denial, for dying 
to myself, for lack of recognition in everything, for the upsetting of all my plans.

Maria Faustyna Kowalska, commonly known as Saint Faustina (born Helena Kowalska, 25 August 1905 in Głogowiec – 5 October 1938 in Kraków, Poland, was a Polish nun who has been canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church. She is considered to have been a mystic and visionary and is known and venerated as the Apostle of Divine Mercy.
Throughout her life, Faustina reported having visions of Jesus and conversations with him, which she wrote about in her diary, later published as the book The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul. Her Vatican biography quotes some of these reputed conversations regarding the Divine Mercy devotion.

At age 20 she joined a convent in Warsaw and was later transferred to Plock and then to Vilnius where she met her confessor, Father Michael Sopocko, who supported her devotion to the Divine Mercy. Faustina and Sopocko directed an artist to paint the first Divine Mercy image, based on Faustina's reported vision of Jesus. Sopocko used the image to celebrate the first Mass on the first Sunday after Easter - which later became known as Divine Mercy Sunday.
Faustina was canonized on 30 April 2000

SPREAD OF THE DEVOTION TO THE DIVINE MERCY
On 24 June 1956, Pope Pius XII blessed an Image of the Divine Mercy in Rome, the only one blessed by a Pope before the Second Vatican Council. In 1955, under Pope Pius XII, the Bishop of Gorzów founded a religious order called the Congregation of the Most Holy Lord Jesus Christ, Merciful Redeemer, to spread devotion to the Divine Mercy. Under both Pope Pius XI and Pope Pius XII, writings on devotion to the Divine Mercy were given imprimaturs by many bishops, making it an approved devotion.
Cardinals Adam Stefan Sapieha and August Hlond were among those who gave their approval. During the papacy of Pope Pius XII, Vatican Radio broadcast several times about the Divine Mercy.
The original Image of the Divine Mercy, painted under the guidance of Saint Faustina
Before her death Faustina predicted that "there will be a war, a terrible, terrible war" and asked the nuns to pray for Poland. In 1939, a year after Faustina's death when Archbishop Jałbrzykowski noticed that her predictions about the war had taken place, he allowed public access to the Divine Mercy image which resulted in large crowds that led to the spread of the Divine Mercy devotion. The Divine Mercy devotion became a source of strength and inspiration for many people in Poland. By 1941 the devotion had reached the United States and millions of copies of Divine Mercy prayer cards were printed and distributed worldwide.

In 1942 Jałbrzykowski was arrested by the Nazis, and Father Sopocko and other professors went into hiding near Vilnius for about two years. During that period Sopocko used his time to prepare for establishment of a new religious congregation based on the Divine Mercy messages reported by Faustina. After the war, Sopocko wrote the constitution for the congregation and helped the formation of what is now the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Mercy.[42] By 1951, thirteen years after Faustina's death, there were 150 Divine Mercy centers in Poland.
On 6 March 1959, the Holy Office (with the agreement of Pope John XXIII) issued a notification that forbade circulation of "images and writings that promote devotion to Divine Mercy in the forms proposed by Sister Faustina" (emphasis in the original).The negative judgement of the Holy Office and concerns about heresy were based on reasons that included the use of a faulty French or Italian translation of the diary. The ban remained in place for almost two decades. Nevertheless, it was with Ottaviani's approval that Archbishop Karol Wojtyła of Kraków began in 1965 the informative process on Faustina's life and virtues. In 1978, under Pope Paul VI, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reversed the ban on circulation of her work, issuing a new notification that rescinded the previous one. It decreed: "This Sacred Congregation… declares no longer binding …the quoted 'notification' [from the time of John XXIII]."."Also, the Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declared that, "with the new 'notification' ... there no longer exists, on the part of this Sacred Congregation, any impediment to the spreading of the devotion to The Divine Mercy
SAINTHOOD
n 1965, with the approval of the Holy Office, Karol Wojtyła, then Archbishop of Kraków and later Pope John Paul II, opened the initial informative process into Faustina's life and virtues, interviewed witnesses and in 1967 submitted a number of documents about Faustina to the Vatican, requesting the start of the official process of her beatification. This was begun in 1968, and concluded with her beatification on 18 April 1993.
The formal beatification of Faustina involved the case of Maureen Digan of Massachusetts. In March 1981 Digan reported a healing, while praying at the tomb of Faustina.[30] Digan had suffered from Lymphedema (a disease which causes significant swelling due to fluid retention) for decades, and had undergone 10 operations, including a leg amputation. Digan reported that while praying at Faustina's tomb, she heard a voice saying "ask for my help and I will help you" and her constant pain stopped. After two days Digan reported that her shoe became too large for her because her body stopped undue liquid retention. Upon her return to the United States, five Boston area physicians stated that she was healed (with no medical explanation) and the case was declared miraculous by the Vatican in 1992 based on the additional testimony of over twenty witnesses about her prior condition.

Faustina was beatified on 18 April 1993 and canonized on 30 April 2000. Her feast day is 5 October. Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter (which is the first Sunday after Easter Sunday). The fact that her Vatican biography directly quotes some of her reputed conversations with Jesus distinguishes her among the many reported visionaries.[clarification needed] The author and priest Benedict Groeschel considers a modest estimate of the following of the Divine Mercy devotion in 2010 to be over one hundred million Catholics.Pope John Paul II said: "The message she brought is the appropriate and incisive answer that God wanted to offer to the questions and expectations of human beings in our time, marked by terrible tragedies. Jesus said to Sr Faustina one day: 'Humanity will never find peace until it turns with trust to the Divine Mercy.'"wikipedia
photo:Saint Faustina Kowalska taken when St. Faustina lived in Ostrówek (she was 19).
SAINT MARIA FAUSTINA KOWALSKA -THE APOSTLE OF THE DIVINE MERCY SAINT MARIA FAUSTINA KOWALSKA -THE APOSTLE OF THE DIVINE MERCY Reviewed by Francisco Nascimento on 12:11 Rating: 5

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