Joyfully I honor St. Maria Faustina Kowalska today on her Birth Date
August 25, 1905
Today is the birthday of an incredible ‘Servant of God’ born Helena Kowalska on August 25, 1905…Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. To honor my favorite female Saint on her birthday, I thought I would share with you some very special things about her life. (The following information is excerpts found in CHRONOLOGY OF EVENTS section of her Diary).
*On August 25, 1905 Helen Kowalska was born in the village of Glogowiec, Poland
*She was baptized in St. Casimir Church on August 27, 1905
*She was seven when she sensed in her soul the call to a more perfect way of life
*She received her First Holy communion in 1914 at the age of 9
*She received the Sacrament of Confirmation on October 30, 1921 at the age of 16
*In October of the following year, 1922, at the age of 17 she announced to her family for the first time that she wishes to enter a convent; her parents oppose
*July 1924, she is now 19yrs old, Helen goes to Warsaw to enter a convent; She applied at the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. The superior assesses her as “no one special”
*August 1, 1925 she applied for the second time…this time she was accepted
*On August 22 Helen wanted to leave the Congregation to enter a stricter order concerned that there is little time to pray there
*January 23, 1926 she leaves for the Novitiate in Cracow to complete her postulancy period, make a retreat, and receive the veil
*August 30, 1926 Helen, now just 21 years old, received her habit and her name becomes Sister Maria Faustina
*August 30, 1928 Sister Maria Faustina made her first profession of temporary vows
*May-June 1930 at the age of 25 she is assigned to the house of the Congregation in Plock where she is given the responsibilities in the bakery, the kitchen and the bakery store
*February 22, 1931 (26 yrs old) Sister Faustina sees a vision of the Lord Jesus while in her convent cell at Plock…Jesus says to Sister Faustina: “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: ‘Jesus, I trust in You.’ ” (Diary, 47). “I want this image…to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy” (Diary, 49).
*May 1, 1933 Sister Maria Faustina made her perpetual vows in Cracow
*May 25, 1933 Sister Faustina leaves for Vilnius
*January 2, 1934 Sister Faustina goes for the first time to meet the artist Kazimirowski, who is to paint the image of The Divine Mercy
*The image not only represents The Divine Mercy, but also serves as a sign that is to recall the Christian obligation of trust in God and of active love toward neighbor
*September 13-14, 1935 The Chaplet of The Divine Mercy was dictated to Sister Faustina by the Lord Jesus Himself in Vilnius. A prayer of atonement and for the appeasement of God’s wrath (see Diary, 474-476).
*Jesus taught Sister Faustina the words to pray: “Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ for our sins and those of the whole world; for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us.” (Diary, 475). These are the central prayers (along with The Our Father, Hail Mary, and the Apostles Creed) comprising The Chaplet to the Divine Mercy.
*A prayerful and obedient Bride writes: “The next morning, when I entered chapel, I heard these words interiorly: ‘Every time you enter the chapel, immediately recite the prayer which I taught you yesterday.’ When I had said the prayer, in my soul I heard these words: ‘This prayer will serve to appease My wrath. You will recite it for nine days, on the beads of the rosary, in the following manner: First of all, you will say one OUR FATHER and HAIL MARY and the I BELIEVE IN GOD. Then on the OUR FATHER beads you will say the following words: ”Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.” On the HAIL MARY beads you will say the following words: “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.” In conclusion, three times you will recite these words: “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” “(Diary, 476). This is where The Novena to The Divine Mercy stems from…Jesus directs St. Faustina.
*September 19, 1936 Sister Faustina is not well and on December 9 her superiors send her to the hospital in Pradnik, a sanatorium for tuberculosis patients in Cracow
*1937 was a difficult year for Sister Faustina as she was in and out of the hospital
*on September 27, 1937 Sister Faustina together with Sister Irene Krzyzanowska go to the printers to have some holy cards made with the image of The Divine Mercy printed
*April 21, 1938 She is back in the hospital and by June she stops writing The Diary
*August 25, 1938 on her 33rd Birthday she received the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick
*Father Sopocko visited Sister Faustina for the last time and she tells him: “My one occupation is to live in the presence of my Heavenly Father.”
*On October 5, 1938 at 4pm Father Andrasz, S.J., arrived and Sister Faustina made her last confession…at 10:45pm at the age of 33 Sister Faustina Kowalska, after long sufferings borne with great patience, goes to the Lord
*October 21, 1965 twenty-seven years after her death Sister Faustina is given the worthy title “Servant of God” by Bishop Julian Groblicki specially delegated by Archbishop Karol Wojtyla (John Paul ll)
*While the Informative Process relating to the virtues, writings and devotions of the Servant of God, Sister Faustina, is being conducted (Oct 21, 1965- Sept 20, 1967) her remains are exhumed and transferred to a tomb especially prepared for this purpose in the chapel of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.
*January 26, 1968 The Acts of the Informative Process are received in Rome by the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints
*By a Decree of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Process of Beautification of the Servant of God, Sister Faustina Kowalska is formally inaugurated
*On April 18, 1993 Sister Maria Faustina Kowalska is beatified by Pope John Paul ll in Rome on the first Sunday after Easter
*John Paul ll canonized Blessed Maria Faustina Kowalska on April 30, 2000 in Rome, on Divine Mercy Sunday during the Great Jubilee Year 2000
*The Second Sunday of Easter from now on throughout the Church will be called ‘Divine Mercy Sunday’.
*The choice of the first Sunday after Easter for the Feast of Mercy has a very deep theological significance, which points to the close relationship between the Paschal Mystery of the Redemption and the mystery of The Divine Mercy. This integral relationship is further emphasized by the Novena of Chaplets to The Divine Mercy which begins on Good Friday as a preparation for the Feast.
Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska, a holy and precious soul, she brought us a gift Jesus wanted all of us to know… His incomprehensible Divine Mercy. She had truly made a profound impact on the Church through her obedience, prayer life and love for Our Lord. May you contemplate her unique heart for Jesus, her steadfast obedience to bring His Divine Mercy to our awareness and her loyal servant nature especially today on her birthday.
Enjoy this glorious and beautiful day!!!