The Humble Instrument
Saint Faustina Kowalska
On October 5, 1938, a young religious by the name of Sister Faustina (Helen Kowalska) died in a convent of the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Cracow, Poland. She came from a very poor family that had struggled hard on their little farm during the terrible years of World War I. Sister had had only three years of very simple education. Hers were the humble tasks in the convent, usually in the kitchen or the vegetable garden, or as porter. The Apostle of Divine Mercy---Saint Faustina Kowalska of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy (1905 -- 1938).
On February 22, 1931, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ appeared to this simple nun, bringing with Him a wonderful message of Mercy for all mankind. Sister Faustina tells us in her diary under this date:"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 in 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."
DECLARATION: In accordance with the decrees of Pope Urban VIII we wish to state that only private and human faith is attributed the revelations, extraordinary graces and incidents related in this leaflet, to which the Church has not yet added its decree of approval. Furthermore, in relating these incidents and graces we have no intention of anticipating the decree of the Holy See, to which we willingly and entirely submit ourselves.
As a further sign of His forgiving love, Jesus called for a Feast of the Divine Mercy to be celebrated in the whole Church. He said to Sister Faustina: "I want this image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter; that Sunday is to be the Feast of Mercy. On that day, the depths of My Mercy will be open to all. Whoever will go to confession and Holy Communion on that day will receive complete forgiveness of sin and punishment. Mankind will not enjoy peace until it turns with confidence to My Mercy."
Jesus further asked that this Feast of the Divine Mercy be preceded by a Novena to the Divine Mercy which would begin on Good Friday. He gave her an intention to pray for on each day of the Novena, saving for the last day the most difficult intention of all, the lukewarm and indifferent of whom He said:"These souls cause Me more suffering than any others; it was from such souls that My soul felt the most revulsion in the Garden of Olives. It was on their account that I said: 'My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass Me by.' The last hope of salvation for them is to flee to My Mercy."
The Chaplet In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy. Sister tells us: "I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it. Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to look through Our Lords wounds. And I understood that God blessed the earth for the sake of Jesus." Of another vision on September 13, 1935, she writes: I saw an Angel, the executor of God's wrath... about to strike the earth ... I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the Angel's helplessness, and he could not carry out the just punishment...
The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on ordinary rosary beads:"First say one: 'Our Father', one 'Hail Mary' and 'I believe'.
Then on the large beads 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 smaller beads you are to say the following words:
'For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.' "
In conclusion you are to say these words three times:
'Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.'
>Jesus said later to Sister Faustina: "Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will receive grace from My infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to know My infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who trust in My Mercy."
One day in the same year, 1935, Sister Faustina wrote for her spiritual director: "The time will come when this work, which God so commends, [will be] as though in complete ruin, and suddenly the action of God will come upon the scene with great power which will bear witness to the truth. It will he as a new splendor for the church, though it has been dormant in it from long ago.@
This indeed came to pass. On the 6th of March, 1959, the Holy See, acting on information that was inaccurately presented, prohibited"the spreading of images and writings advocating devotion to the Divine Mercy in the form proposed by Sister Faustina." As a result, there followed almost twenty years of total silence. Then, on the 15th of April, 1978, the Holy See, after a thorough examination of original documents previously unavailable to it, completely reversed its decision and again permitted the devotion. The one man primarily responsible for this reversal of decision was Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, the Archbishop of Cracow. On October 16, 1978 he was elevated to the See of Peter as Pope John Paul II. On March 7, 1992, Sr. Faustina=s virtues were declared heroic; on December 21, 1992, a healing through Sr. Faustina=s intercession was declared a miracle; and on April 18, 1993, Pope John Paul II had the honor to declare the Venerable Servant of God Sister Faustina Blessed. Sister Faustina Kowalska was declared a Saint by Pope John Paul II on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 30, 2000. (With Ecclesiastical Approval)
A novena to obtain graces through
the intercession of
Saint Faustina Kowalska
0 Jesus, who filled Your handmaid Saint Faustina with profound veneration for Your boundless Mercy, deign, if it be Your holy will, to grant me, through her intercession, the grace for which I fervently pray . . .
My sins render me unworthy of Your Mercy, but be mindful of Saint Faustina's spirit of sacrifice and self-denial, and reward her virtue by granting the petition which, with childlike confidence, I present to You through her intercession.
Saint Faustina, pray for us.
The above writings are from a pamphlet from the:
Marians of the Immaculate Conception
STOCKBRIDGE, MA 01263
Copyright © 1993 Marian Helpers
Below are excerpts from the Book: The Life of FAUSTINA KOWALSKA, THE AUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHY, by Sister Sophia michalenko, C.M.G.T., published by Servant Publications, Ann Arbor, Michigan, 1999. NIHIL OBSTAT: Most Rev. George H. Pearce, S.M., IMPRIMATUR: Most Rev. Joseph F. Maguire, Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts August 1987.
"Revelation of the Image of The Divine Mercy
On February 22, 1931, Sister Faustina received the first of many revelations pertaining to her mission in life: to be the confidante, secretary and messenger of The Divine Mercy to all humankind. She described the event as follows:
"In the evening, when I was in my cell, I saw the Lord Jesus clad in a white garment. One hand [was] raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment, slightly drawn aside at the breast, there were emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale. In silence I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord, my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy. After a while, Jesus said to me, 'Paint an Image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I Trust in You. I desire that this Image be venerated, first in your chapel, and [then] throughout the entire world. I promise that the soul that will venerate this Image will not perish. I also promise victory over [its] enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My own glory.' "
Saving a sinner on his death bed through the Divine Mercy Chaplet
"Very soon after this, Jesus petitioned Sister Faustina, 'My daughter, help me to save a certain dying sinner. Say the chaplet that I have taught you for him.' She recorded what transpired: When I began to say the chaplet, I saw the man dying in the midst of terrible torment and struggle. His Guardian Angel was defending him, but he was, as it were, powerless against the enormity of the soul's misery. A multitude of devils was waiting for that soul. But while I was saying the chaplet I saw Jesus just as He is depicted in the Image. The rays which issued from Jesus' heart enveloped the sick man, and the powers of darkness fled in panic. The sick man peacefully breathed his last. When I came to myself, I understood how very important the chaplet was for the dying. It appeases the anger of God. (1565)"
Sin and Repentance
"Several days after the Feast of the Ascension, Jesus, told Sister Faustina:
'Write: I am Thrice Holy, and I detest the smallest sin. I cannot love a soul that is stained with sin; but when it repents, there is no limit to My generosity toward it. My mercy embraces and justifies it. With My mercy, I pursue sinners along all their paths, and My Heart rejoices when they return to Me. I forget the bitterness with which they fed My Heart and rejoice at their return.
Tell sinners that no one shall escape My hand; if they run away from My merciful Heart, they will fall into My just hands. Tell sinners that I am always waiting for them, that I listen intently to the beating of their heart ... when will it beat for Me? Write that I am speaking to them through their remorse of conscience, through their failures and sufferings, through thunderstorms, through the voice of the Church. And if they bring all My graces to naught, I begin to be angry with them, leaving them alone and giving them what they want. (1728)' "
The Great Power of the Divine Chaplet to stop a Great Storm
"One night toward the end of May, Sister Faustina was awakened by a great storm. She described the incident:
Today I was awakened by a great storm. The wind was raging, and it was raining in torrents, thunderbolts striking again and again. I began to pray that the storm would do no harm, when I heard the words, Say the chaplet I have taught you, and the storm will cease. I began immediately to say the chaplet and hadn't even finished it when the storm suddenly ceased, and I heard the words: Through the chaplet you will obtain everything, if what you ask for will be compatible with My will. (1731)"
SPIRITUAL TEACHING FROM
SAINT MARIA FAUSTINA KOWALSKA
SPIRITUAL DIRECTION FROM THE BOOK : DIARY: Divine Mercy in My Soul, Notebook III, 1127-1087
April 13, 1937. Today I must stay in bed all day. I had a violent fit of coughing, which left me so weak that I have no strength to walk. My spirit is eager to do God's work, but physical strength has left me. I cannot penetrate Your actions at this moment, O Lord; therefore, I keep repeating with a loving act of the will: do with me as You please.
Although the temptations are strong, a whole wave of doubts beats against my soul, and discouragement stands by, ready to enter into the act, the Lord, however, strengthens my will, against which all the attempts of the enemy are shattered as if against a rock. I see how many actual graces God grants me; these support me ceaselessly. I am very weak, and I attribute everything solely to the grace of God.
When one day I resolved to practice a certain virtue, I lapsed into the vice opposed to that virtue ten times more frequently than on other days. In the evening, I was reflecting on why, today, I had lapsed so extraordinarily, and I heard the words: You were counting too much on your self and too little on Me. (Words spoken by Jesus in red). And I understood the cause of my lapses.
Bible reference: Proverbs Ch. 3: 5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
FRDIARY: Divine Mercy in My Soul, 1127-1128
1127. "On one occasion, I saw Satan hurrying about and looking for someone among the sisters, but he could find no one. I felt an interior inspiration to command him in the Name of God to confess to me what he was looking for among the sisters. And he confessed, though unwillingly, "I am looking for idle souls [cf. Si. 33:28; Pr. 12:11]." When I commanded him again in the Name of God to tell me to which souls in religious life he has the easiest access, he said, again unwillingly, "To lazy and idle souls." I took note of the fact that, at present, there were no such souls in this house. Let the toiling and tired souls rejoice.
1128. May 22, 1937. The heat is so intense today that it is difficult to bear. We are all thirsting for rain, and still it does not come. For several days the sky has been overcast, but there is no rain. I was moved with pity, and I decided to say the chaplet until the Lord would send us rain. Before supper, the sky covered over with clouds, and a heavy rain fell on the earth. I had been saying this prayer without interruption for three hours. And the Lord let me know that everything can be obtained by means of this prayer."