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St. Faustina

Helen Kowalska, who would take Maria Faustina as her name in religion, was born in Poland on August 25, 1905. She entered the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy at age nineteen after she had a vision of Jesus who told about her vocation. She took the name Sister Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament when she was given the habit a year after her entrance. Sister Faustina was humble, kind, and obedient and few around her knew the wonderful mystical experiences she was favored with. In the 1930s, Jesus appeared to her with rays of red and white light shining from his heart and revealed His desire that she promote devotion to the Divine Mercy. She suffered in attempting to get her spiritual directors to believe her, but she joyfully united her sufferings to those of Jesus for the salvation of the world. Sister Faustina died of tuberculosis in 1938; the devotion to the Divine Mercy did not receive final Church approval until 1978. St. Faustina was canonized by John Paul II on April 30, 2000, the first Sunday after Easter; according to Our Lord’s request to Faustina, the Sunday after Easter is now celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. St. Faustina’ feast is October 5.

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