Sister Mary Faustina Kowalska was born August 25, 1905 in Gogowiec, Poland of a poor and religious family of peasants, the third of ten children. She was baptized with the name Helena and from a tender age she stood out because of her love of prayer, work, obedience and her sensitivity to the poor. At the age of sixteen she left home and went to work as a housekeeper to help support herself and her family. At the age of seven she already had the stirrings of a religious vocation and after finishing school she wanted to enter the convent, but her parents would not give permission.
Called during a vision of the suffering Christ on August 1, 1925, she entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy and took the name Sister Mary Faustina. Externally nothing revealed her rich mystical interior life. She zealously performed her tasks and faithfully observed the religious rule. Although her life was apparently insignificant, monotonous and dull, she had within herself an extraordinary union with God. The years she spent at the convent were filled with extraordinary gifts, such as revelations, visions and participation in the Passion of the Lord.
During the course of Jesus’ visits to her He revealed to her the tenets of the Divine Mercy. He asked on numerous occasions that a feast day be dedicated to the Divine Mercy and that this feast be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter. This feast, which had already been granted to the nation of Poland and had been celebrated within Vatican City, was granted to the Universal Church by Pope John Paul II on the occasion of the canonization of Sr. Faustina on April 30, 2000. In a decree dated May 23, 2000, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stated that "throughout the world the Second Sunday of Easter will receive the name Divine Mercy Sunday, a perennial invitation to the Christian world to face, with confidence in divine benevolence, the difficulties and trials that humanity will experience in years to come." These papal acts represent the highest endorsement that the Church can give a private revelation, proclaiming the certain sanctity of the mystic, and the granting of a universal feast, as requested by Our Lord to Sr. Faustina.
And so, on this week-end which we formerly called the Second Sunday of Easter now, along with the universal church, we observe Divine Mercy Sunday.
We are most grateful to you for your generous response to the Easter collection, the proceeds of which go to the retirement and medical expenses of the priests of the Archdiocese. Your generosity amounted to $17,424.00.
Fr John R. Mulvehill