Saint Faustina was born Helena Kowolsha in Poland in 1905. By the age of 20, against her parents’ wishes, she had entered the religious life joining the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, an order which cared for lost and wayward girls, in 1925. Throughout her time here, she experienced divine revelations and mystical appearances with both Jesus and Mary appearing to her numerous times. During one of these visitations, Jesus told Faustina of his desire for her to spread the devotion of the Divine Mercy and to show the image of Divine Mercy, an image with which we are all familiar today. Although Faustina was poorly educated, she kept a diary of these events and the ridicule she was sometimes subjected to from her fellow nuns. The diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of Faustina, was then published and sold 5 million copies worldwide. During one of his visitations, Jesus made it known to Faustina that he wanted her to form a ‘congregation which will proclaim the Mercy of God to the world, and, by its prayers, obtain it for the world.’ Although Faustina died before she could form this congregation, she left strict instructions and the Institute of Divine Mercy was founded in 1941. St. Faustina was beatified on April 18, 1993, and canonised on April 30, 2000.
About the Author
Don Mullan is the author of Eyewitness Bloody Sunday (Wolfhound Press 1997), The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings (Wolfhound Press 2000) and A Gift of Roses – Memories of the visit to Ireland of the relics of St Thérèse (Wolfhound Press 2001).