Saint Faustina Kowalska died on this date, October 5, in 1938.   This painting of Jesus, with the caption, Jesus, I trust in you, has been circulated worldwide through her efforts.

Many people, even if they are Catholic, are not familiar with Saint Faustina, visionary and mystic, who was born in Poland in 1905, the third of ten children. Just a few days ago I turned on the television in early morning and much to my surprise, on ABC no less, stumbled upon the end of a documentary about Sister Faustina. I had been to Poland in April, 2000, when Faustina was canonized and though I was familiar with most of her story I was impressed by the caliber of the miracles which had played a role in her canonization. When I learned that October 5, just a few days away, was the date of her death I decided to look into her further.

Born and canonized in this century, Faustina is indeed a saint in our time for our time. Rather than retell her story myself, below is the first of six videos, each less than ten minutes, describing how Helen Kowalska came to join the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. She received visions of Jesus in which she was told to have an image painted depicting his mercy which was to be venerated throughout the world.

Jesus died on the cross to bring us mercy. Still today, everyday, Jesus is dying to show us mercy. By sheer coincidence, I recently came upon a story by one Ringolds Klimons, a seminarian from Latvia,who needed a place to stay one night in Warsaw. This is how his story ends:

Here I can finish my story, for the next morning I was on my way back home. I do not know why the good Lord wanted me to stay that night in Warsaw. Because I was very tired, hungry and needed rest? Because of the man at whose apartment I spent the night and who had his doubts cleared through conversation with me? I do not know why – the Lord only knows. But the priest’s words proved to be true: when the Holy Spirit tells me stop, I have to stop; when the Spirit says go, I go. Later on I found out a curious fact from a religious magazine. When Sister Faustina received a call to the consecrated life, she went to Warsaw. The first church she found at random was the same church I also found at random.


God is love and mercy. — Saint Faustina