Known as Sister Mary Faustina – she had spent 13 years in the convent, performing the duties of cook, gardener, and gate-keeper in various houses belonging to the Congregation, but the longest in Cracow, Vilnius and Płock. She carried out the above simple duties with immense dedication, trying to discover God’s love through them and responding to this love with her own personal involvement.
The suffered from tuberculosis of the lungs and intenstines. She also experienced great spiritual sufferings as she had offered her life as a sacrifice for sinners, and especially for those people who were in danger of losing salvation. The life of Sr. Faustina which to some might have seemed gray and monotonous, hid an extraordinary depth of mystical life. She was endowed with extraordinary graces, among others: the gift of contemplation, hidden stigmata, bilocation, prophesy, the ability to get to know the secrets of hearts, all of which had allowed her to reach the summits of unity with God in this world.
Sister Faustina died in the convent of the Congregation in Cracow-Łagiewniki on 5 October 1938. During the II World War the fame of the sanctity of Sister Faustina’s life spread quickly, as through her intercession, people were able to entreat many graces. The Lord Jesus chose her for a secretary and apostle of His mercy, so as to communicate a great message to the world. In the Old Covenant – He said to her – I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world (Diary 1588).
The mission of Sister Faustina consists of 3 tasks:
- Proclaiming and bringing the truth of our faith revealed in Sacred Scripture about the merciful love of God for every human being closer to the world.
- Imploring God’s mercy for the entire world, and particularly for sinners, among others, through the practice of the new forms of devotion to the Divine Mercy presented by the Lord Jesus. They are: the Image of the Merciful Christ with the signature: Jesus, I Trust in You; the Feast of Divine Mercy on the first Sunday after Easter; the Chaplet to the Divine Mercy; and the prayer at the Hour of Mercy (3:00 p.m.).
- Initiating the apostolic movement of the Divine Mercy, which undertakes the task of proclaiming and imploring God’s mercy for the world and, at the same time, strives for Christian perfection following Sister Faustina’s road to sanctity. The precepts of this path require the faithful to have the attitude of childlike trust in God which expresses itself in fulfilling God’s will and in the attitude of showing mercy to one’s neighbor.
The mission of Sister Faustina was recorded in her Diary which she kept at the specific request of the Lord Jesus and her confessors. In it she recorded faithfully all of the Lord’s wishes. Secretary of My most profound mystery- the Lord Jesus said to her – Your task is to write down everything that I make known to you about My mercy, for the benefit of those who by reading these things will be comforted in their souls and will have the courage to approach Me (Diary 1693).
Consumed by disease and by innumerable sufferings, which she accepted and offered as a voluntary sacrifice for sinners, and having reached full spiritual maturity, Sister Faustina died in Cracow on October 5, 1938, at the age of just thirty-three.
In the years 1965-1967, the Informative Process of her life and heroic virtues was undertaken in Cracow; and in the year 1968, the Process of Beatification was initiated in Rome. The latter was completed in December 1992. On April 18, 1993, our Holy Father John Paul II beatified her in St. Peter’s Square in Rome, and he canonized Saint Faustina on April 30, 2000. Her remains rest at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Cracow-Łagiewniki. Saint Faustina reminds the contemporary world about the great truth of faith, namely that God is the Father of mercy and she shows us how to look for God and find Him amid the gray realities of everyday life.