St. Faustina

Friends in the Lord, today, some parts of the world, especially Poland, are offering Mass in honor of a special saint: St. Faustina, and so even though she is not on our official calendar, we can remember her also.
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Her given name was Helena Kowalska, and it was on this day in 1938, that St. Faustina died in the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, in Cracow, Poland. She came from a family of 10 children, a family that struggled on their farm during the terrible years of WWI. She had had only three years of a very simple education. When she was 15 years old, she quit school in order to work as a housemaid to help support her family.
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By the time she was 18, she was sure that God was calling her to religious life, but her parents objected, so she tried to put it out of her mind. But one night, while polka music was playing at a village dance, she seemed to see Jesus, sad and suffering. The next day she packed a small bag and went to the capital city of Warsaw to join the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. There she received the name Sister Mary Faustina.
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About 10 years later, she contracted tuberculosis. Soon she was too weak to manage the heavy gardening assigned to her. So she was given the job of gatekeeper. In this way, she was able to show mercy to the poor people who came to the convent looking for food.
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On February 22, 1931, Our Lord appeared to her, bringing with Him a wonderful message of Mercy for mankind. Here is what she says 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 there came forth two large rays, one red and the other pale. In silence I gazed at the Lord; my soul was overwhelmed with fear, but also with great joy. After a while Jesus said to me, ‘make an image according to the pattern you see, with the inscription: Jesus, I trust in You.'”
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Some time later, Our Lord told her: “The pale ray stands for the Water which makes souls righteous; the red ray, for the Blood which is the life of souls. These two rays issued forth from the depths of My most tender Mercy; Fortunate is the one who will dwell in their shelter, for the just hand of God shall not lay hold of him.”
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Let us today remember St. Faustina, and also the message that she brings: That Jesus in his great mercy wants to forgive all our sins, and heal the wounds of our soul.

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