Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905-1938)
Born: Aug. 25, 1905, Glogowiec, Poland
Birth Name: Helena Kowalska
Religious Name: Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Entered Religious Life: Aug. 1, 1925, Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, Krakow, Poland
First Vision of Christ: Feb. 22, 1931
Died: Oct. 5, 1938, Krakow, Poland
Divine Mercy in America
In 1939, a priest of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception escapes Nazi-occupied Poland with a photo of the image of Jesus Christ as He appeared to St. Faustina and information about the revelations granted her. Within a few years, news of this Divine Mercy message and devotion has spread around the country. In 1944, the Marians found America’s first Divine Mercy Apostolate in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
The Informative Process begins Oct. 21, 1965. A formal examination of St. Faustina’s life, exercise of heroic virtues, writings, and devotions. It is the first step on the road to sainthood.
Miracle No. 1
In March 1981, Maureen Digan of Roslindale, Massachusetts, prays at the tomb of St. Faustina, asking for a miracle. From her youth, Maureen has suffered from lymphedema, an incurable disease. She is healed after praying at St. Faustina’s tomb.
April 18, 1993, by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City.
Miracle No. 2
On Oct. 5, 1995, Fr. Ron Pytel prays through the intercession of Saint Faustina at a healing Mass at his Baltimore, Maryland, parish. Fr. Ron’s heart had been severely and permanently damaged because of a blockage of his aortic valve. He is healed instantly.
On Dec. 20, 1999, Pope John Paul II orders the publication of the decree recognizing Fr. Pytel’s healing as the miracle necessary for St. Faustina Facts.
Mercy Sunday, April 30, 2000 by Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square, Vatican City.