The feast day of St. Faustina is celebrated on October 5. She is considered the Apostle of Mercy.
St. Faustina was baptized Helena Kowalska. She was born into a very poor family of ten children on August 25, 1905 in Glogowiec, Poland. She lived on a farm receiving only three years of education.
St. Faustina worked as a housekeeper before joining the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925 at the age of 20. For 13 years she prayed in the convent and worked as a cook, gardener and porter.
St. Faustina grew in holiness. She had a very mystical interior life. She had the gifts of visions, prophecy, the stigmata , bi-location, the gift of reading hearts and mystical marriage.
The vision which impacted the world was a vision of Jesus. She tells the story in her Diary.
“In the evening, when I was in my cell, I became aware of the Lord Jesus clothed in a white garment. One hand was raised in blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From the opening of the garment at the breast there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed intently at the Lord; my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me, ‘paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You.'”
Some time later, Our Lord again spoke to her:
“The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous; the red ray stands for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My most tender Mercy at that time when My agonizing Heart was opened by a lance on the cross….Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him.”
At the request of Jesus she willingly offered her sufferings in union with him to atone for the sins of others. He also asked her to remind the world of His Divine Mercy and He taught her a very special devotion to the Divine Mercy based on trust in Him. She had a special devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Eucharist and the Sacrament of confession which strengthened her.
One of the vision she experienced was a visit to hell, which she shares in her diary. She suffered greatly interiorly, however she only shared her suffering with her spiritual director. At the request of Jesus and her confessors, St. Faustina kept a diary in which she shared her visions.
St. Faustina died of tuberculosis in Krakow, Poland at age 33 in 1938. She was canonized by the first Polish Pope, Pope John Paul II on April 30, 2000
Divine Mercy Sunday is now celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Easter.
“Jesus, I Trust In You”
Quote of St. Faustina
October is the Month of the Most Holy Rosary