Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska

St. Maria Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938), baptized with the name Helena, was one of ten children born to a devout, peasant farming family in Poland. She grew up during the tough years leading up to and following the first World War, and received little formal education. She worked as a poor housekeeper before following her religious vocation at the age of 20, entering the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Krakow. There she was given simple, humble jobs which hid her deep interior life. St. Faustina was graced with mystical visions and revelations from Jesus, as well as her Guardian Angel and certain saints. Jesus gave her the mission to proclaim his infinite, powerful, loving mercy to the whole world, especially to hardened sinners and those facing the hour of their death. St. Faustina, as Jesus' "secretary and apostle of Divine Mercy", faithfully recorded these messages in great detail in a nearly 700-page diary. In it she promoted devotion to the Divine Mercy of Jesus Christ as instructed by Our Lord himself, now famous throughout the Church, and a great consolation for many souls who would otherwise fear to approach God because of their burden of sin. She died at the age of 33 from tuberculosis. Pope St. John Paul II made St. Faustina the first saint of the new millennium. Her feast day is October 5th.

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