Saint Mary Faustina Kowalska was born on August 25, 1905 in Gogolwec, Poland, what is now west-central Poland (part of Germany before World War I). Her family was very poor, but a very religious family of peasants. She was the third of ten children. At an early age, she stood out because she loved prayer, work, obedience, and had a sensitivity to the poor. She attended school for only three years. She left home at the age of 16 and worked as a housekeeper in three cities before joining the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925. She worked as a cook, gardener and porter in three of their houses. In addition to carrying out her work faithfully, generously serving the needs of the sisters and the local people, she also had a deep interior life. This included receiving revelations from the Lord Jesus, messages that she recorded in her diary at the request of Christ and of her confessors.
She was baptized with the name Helena, but on August 1, 1925 she entered the congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and took the name Sister Mary Faustina. She lived in the congregation for 13 years and lived in many religious houses. The Mystery of the Mercy of God, which she contemplated in the word of God, as well as in the everyday activities of her life that forms the basis of her spirituality.
At a time when some Catholics had an image of God as such a strict judge that they might be tempted to despair about the possibility of being forgiven, Jesus chose to emphasize his mercy and forgiveness for sins acknowledged and confessed. “I do not want to punish aching mankind,” he once told St. Mary Faustina, “but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart” (Diary 1588). The two rays emanating from Christ's heart, she said, represent the blood and water poured out after Jesus' death (Gospel of John 19:34)
Sister Mary Faustina died of tuberculosis in Krakow, Poland, on October 5, 1938. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993 and canonized her in 2000.
St. Mary Faustina's name is forever linked to the annual feast of the Divine Mercy (celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter), the divine mercy chaplet and the divine mercy prayer recited each day by many people at
Click here for more information on St Mary Faustina Kowalska