Sister Mary Faustina, the apostle of the Divine Mercy, belongs today to the group of the better known Saints of the Church.
Through her our Lord sends the great message of the Divine Mercy to the world and she is an example of Christian perfection based on the confidence in God and on the merciful attitude towards the next one.
MARY FAUSTINA KOWALSKA (1905-1938)
Sister Mary Faustina was born on 25th August 1905, in the village of Glogowiec, little far away from the city of Turek; she was third of the 10 children of Marianna and Stanislao Kowalski. With the baptism she was called Elena. She had attended the school only for three years. She was careful and intelligent student, but poverty and the necessity to help her mother in the housework did not allow her to study.
At the age of 15 years, Sister Mary Faustina went to work as servant to her parent’s friends in Aleksandròw Lùdzki; then she worked in Lùdz and Ostrùwek near Warsaw, until she entered the convent. Already when she was a child, she felt the desire to approach herself to God and to become nun. She writes in her diary with much discretion: "I was seven years old when I heard God’s voice in my soul calling me to a more perfect life, but I have not obeyed immediately to the voice of the grace. I did not meet anybody that could explain such things to me.
After such refusal I was looking for the vanity of the life, without paying attention to the voice of the grace, although my soul could not find satisfaction in anything. The continuous call of the grace was a torment for me but I tried to choke it with hobbies. I avoided meeting with God intimately and I addressed me towards creatures. But the grace of the Lord won in my soul.
Once I went to dance with one of my sisters. When everybody were enjoying very much, my soul began to feel inner troubles. In the moment I began to dance, I saw Jesus beside me. He was flagellated, undressed, wounded, and he said these words to me: "How long will I have to bear you? Until when will you deceive me?». Immediately the joyful sound of the music stopped; my friends were not longer there.
I remained alone with Jesus. I sat down beside my beloved sister and I said to myself that what had happened inside me was just a headache. Little after I left the company and my sister. Hiddenly I went to the cathedral of S. Stanislao Kostka. It was hardly dark. There were few persons in the cathedral. Without taking into consideration what was on around me I bowed down before the most Holy Sacrament and I asked the Lord that he deigned to let me know what I would have to do. I heard these words: "Leave immediately for Warsaw; there you will enter the convent". I stopped praying, I went home and I dealt with some indispensable things. As I could, I informed my sister of what had happened in my soul, I asked her to greet our parents and with just one clothe nothing else I arrived in Warsaw".
It was July 1924. In the same month Elena went to the Congregation of the Nuns of the Blessed Virgin Maria of Mercy, and she asked for being admitted. She was not rejected, but she was asked to wait one year. Finally, on 1st August 1925 she was received in the convent. During the ceremony of taking the veil (on 30 April 1926) she received the name of Mary Faustina. Sister Faustina was in several houses of her congregation: in Warsaw, Plock, Wilno, in Cracovia until her death and also for short periods in Kiekrz near Poznan, in Walendòw and Derdy and - for health’s reasons in Skolimòw near Warsaw and in Rabka.
Sister Mary Faustina worked as cook, as gardener, as guardian, she helped in the bakery and in the wardrobe of the convent. Because of her delicate health, some of these types of work were too much hard, sometimes unbearable. Many times she was accused that she simulated diseases in order not to work. That made her to suffer very much, but she never complained.
Sister Mary Faustina was a faithful daughter of the Church, which she loved like Mother and like Mystical Body of Christ. Aware of her role in the Church, she collaborated with the Divine Mercy in the work of salvation of the lost souls. Meeting the desire and the example of Jesus she offered her life in sacrifice.
The mission of Sister Mary Faustina has been described in the "Diary" that she wrote according to Jesus’ desire and the suggestions of her confessors, noting faithfully all the words of Jesus and revealing the contact of her soul with Him.