Saint Faustina’s name is forever linked to the annual feast of the Divine Mercy, the Divine Mercy chaplet, and the Divine Mercy prayer recited each day at 3 p.m. by many people.
Born in what is now west-central Poland, Helena Kowalska was the third of 10 children. She 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, Sister Faustina 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.
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 Saint Faustina, “but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart.” The two rays emanating from Christ’s heart, she said, represent the blood and water poured out after Jesus’ death.
Sister Maria Faustina died of tuberculosis in Krakow, Poland, on October 5, 1938. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993, and canonized her seven years later.
Prayer to obtain grace through the intercession of Saint Faustina
O Jesus, You inspired Saint Faustina with profound veneration for Your boundless Mercy. Grant me through her intercession, if it be Your holy will, the grace …for which I fervently pray. My sins render me unworthy of Your Mercy, but be mindful of Saint Faustina’s spirit of sacrifice and self-denial, and reward her virtue by granting the petition which, with childlike confidence, I present to You through her intercession.
Our Father…, Hail Mary…, Glory…
Saint Faustina, pray for us.
Prayer to Saint Faustina by the Holy Father John Paul II
And you, Faustina, a gift of God to our time, a gift from the land of Poland to the whole Church, obtain for us an awareness of the depth of Divine Mercy; help us to have a living experience of it and to bear witness to it among our brothers and sisters. May your message of light and hope spread throughout the world, spurring sinners to conversion, calming rivalries and hatred, and opening individuals and nations to the practice of brotherhood. Today, fixing our gaze with you on the Face of the Risen Christ, let us make our own your prayer of trusting abandonment and say with firm hope:”Jesus, I trust in You!”.
Prayer to St. Faustina (Apostle of Divine Mercy)
O Jesus, who filled your handmaid St Faustina with profound veneration for your boundless Mercy, design, if it be Your holy will, to grant me, through her intercession the grace for which I fervently pray:
(Share your request…)
My sins render me unworthy of your mercy, but be mindful of St Faustina’s spirit of sacrifice and self-denial, and reward her virtue by granting the petition which, with childlike confidence, I present to You through her intercession.
Saint Faustina, pray for us.
St. Faustina’s Litany to The Divine Mercy
Divine Mercy, gushing forth from the bosom of the Father, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, greatest attribute of God, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, incomprehensible mystery, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, fount gushing forth from the mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, unfathomed by any intellect, human or angelic, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, from which wells forth all life and happiness, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, better than the heavens, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, source of miracles and wonders, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, encompassing the whole universe, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, descending to earth in the Person of the Incarnate Word, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, which flowed out from the open wound of the Heart of Jesus, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, enclosed in the Heart of Jesus for us, and especially for sinners, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, unfathomed in the institution of the Sacred Host, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, in the founding of Holy Church, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, in our justification through Jesus Christ, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, accompanying us through our whole life, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, embracing us especially at the hour of death, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, endowing us with immortal life, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, accompanying us every moment of our life, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, shielding us from the fire of hell, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, in the conversion of hardened sinners, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, astonishment for Angels, incomprehensible to Saints, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, unfathomed in all the mysteries of God, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, lifting us out of every misery, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, source of our happiness and joy, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, in calling us forth from nothingness to existence, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, embracing all the works of His hands, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, crown of all of God’s handiwork, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, in which we are all immersed, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, sweet relief for anguished hearts, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, only hope for despairing souls, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, repose of hearts, peace amidst fear, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, delight and ecstasy of holy souls, I trust in You
Divine Mercy, inspiring hope against all hope, I trust in You
St. Faustina’s Prayers
O sweet Mother of God,
I model my life on You;
You are for me the bright dawn;
In You I lose myself, enraptured.
O Mother, Immaculate Virgin,
In You the divine ray is reflected,
Midst storms, ‘tis You who teach me to love the Lord,
O my shield and Défense from the foe
Novena to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska
(September 26 – October 4)
Feast Day October 5th
The Knowledge of the Mystery of Divine Mercy
Jesus: Your life is to be modelled on Mine, from the crib to My death on the Cross. Penetrate My mysteries, and you will know the abyss of My mercy towards creatures and My unfathomable goodness – and this you shall make known to the world (Diary 438).
Sr.F.: O God, how I desire that souls come to know You and to see that You have created them because of Your unfathomable love; I feel that I am going to remove the veil of heaven so that the earth will not doubt Your goodness (Diary 483).
Saint Faustina, obtain for me the grace of penetrating more and more deeply into the mystery of God’s mercy in the work of creation, salvation, and glory so that, like you, I may make it known to the world.
The Contemplation of Mercy in Everyday Life
Jesus: When you reflect upon what I tell you in the depths of your heart, you profit more than if you had read many books. Oh, if souls would only want to listen to My voice when I am speaking in the depths of their hearts, they would reach the peak of holiness in a short time (Diary 584).
Sr.F.:God, I look for no happiness beyond my own interior where You dwell. I rejoice that You dwell within me; here I abide with You unendingly; it is here that my greatest intimacy with You exists; here I dwell with You in safety; here is a place not probed by the human eye. The Blessed Virgin encourages me to commune with You in this way. (cf. Diary 454).
Saint Faustina, teach me to abide with the Lord in my own soul, to listen to His voice and to experience with Him all the moments of my life. Obtain for me the grace of contemplating mercy in everyday life.
The Attitude of Trust toward God
Jesus:My daughter, if I demand through you that people revere My mercy, you should be the first to distinguish yourself by this confidence in My mercy (Diary 742). I assure you of a permanent income on which you will live. Your duty will be to trust completely in My goodness, and My duty will be to give you all you need. I am making Myself dependent upon your trust: if your trust is great, then My generosity will be without limit (Diary 548).
Sr.F.:God, One in the Holy Trinity, I want to love You as no human soul has ever loved You before; and although I am utterly miserable and small, I have nevertheless cast the anchor of my trust deep down into the abyss of Your mercy, O my God and Creator! In spite of my great misery I fear nothing but hope to sing You a hymn of glory forever. (Diary 283)
Saint Faustina, obtain for me the grace of childlike trust so that I may always and in everything faithfully fulfill God’s will, which is mercy itself for us.
The Attitude of Mercy toward Neighbor
Jesus:My daughter, (…) I demand from you deeds of mercy, which are to arise out of love for Me. You are to show mercy to your neighbors always and everywhere. You must not shrink from this or try to excuse or absolve yourself from it. I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first – by deed, the second – by word, the third – by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me. By this means a soul glorifies and pays reverence to My mercy. (Diary 742)
Sr.F.:My Jesus, penetrate me through and through so that I might be able to reflect You in my whole life. Divinize me so that my deeds may have supernatural value. Grant that I may have love, compassion, and mercy for every soul without exception. O my Jesus, each of Your saints reflects one of Your virtues; I desire to reflect Your compassionate heart, full of mercy; I want to glorify it. Let Your mercy, O Jesus, be impressed upon my heart and soul like a seal, and this will be my badge in this and the future life. (Diary 1242)
Saint Faustina, intercede for me before the Lord so that my life, too, may be transformed into mercy exercised toward my neighbour by deed, word, and prayer. May my eyes, ears, mouth, hands, feet, and heart be merciful.
Proclaiming the Message of Mercy
Jesus:In the Old Covenant I sent prophets wielding thunderbolts to My people. Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart. I use punishment when they themselves force Me to do so; My hand is reluctant to take hold of the sword of justice. Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (Diary 1588).
Sr.F.:O my God let everything that is in me praise You, my Lord and Creator; and with every beat of my heart I want to praise Your unfathomable mercy. I want to tell souls of Your goodness and encourage them to trust in Your mercy. That is my mission, which You yourself have entrusted to me, O Lord, in this life and in the life to come. (Diary 1325) Following your example,
Saint Faustina, I want to proclaim to the world the message of Mercy by the witness of my life and word so that it may reach all the peoples of the earth and fill their hearts with hope. May Jesus’ promise be fulfilled in my life as well: Souls who spread the honor of My mercy I shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the Merciful Savior. (Diary 1075).
Imploring God’s Mercy for the World
Jesus:My daughter, I have inclined My heart to your requests. Your assignment and duty here on earth is to beg for mercy for the whole world. (Diary 570) You will join prayers, fasts, mortifications, labors and all sufferings to My prayer, fasting, mortification, labors and sufferings and then they will have power before My Father. (Diary 531) I am making you the administrator of My mercy. (Diary 570)
Sr.F.:O my God, I am conscious of my mission in the Holy Church. It is my constant endeavor to plead for mercy for the world. I unite myself closely with Jesus and stand before Him as an atoning sacrifice on behalf of the world. God will refuse me nothing when I entreat Him with the voice of His Son. My sacrifice is nothing, but when I join it to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, it becomes all-powerful and has the power to appease divine wrath. God loves us in His Son; the painful Passion of the Son of God constantly turns aside the wrath of God. (Diary 482) Together with you,
Saint Faustina, I want to plead for mercy for the whole world, particularly for sinners as well as for priests and religious so that, living in the world, they may lead the people of God on the paths of salvation.
Love for the Church – the Mystical Body of Christ
Jesus:My daughter consider the life of God which is found in the Church for the salvation and the sanctification of your soul. Consider the use that you make of these treasures of grace, of these efforts of My love. (Diary 1758)
Sr.F.:Jesus, I am striving for sanctity, because in this way I shall be useful to the Church. I make constant efforts in practicing virtue. I try faithfully to follow Jesus. And I deposit this whole series of daily virtues – silent, hidden, almost imperceptible, but made with great love – in the treasury of God’s Church for the common benefit of souls. I feel interiorly as if I were responsible for all souls. I know very well that I do not live for myself alone, but for the entire Church. (Diary 1505) Grateful for all the gifts of God’s mercy available to me in the Church, I want to make use of them like you,
Saint Faustina, in order to become a saint and so draw other souls to the founts of God’s mercy.
Meeting with Jesus in the Sacraments
Jesus:Oh, how painful it is to Me that souls so seldom unite themselves to Me in Holy Communion. I wait for souls, and they are indifferent toward Me. I love them tenderly and sincerely, and they distrust Me. I want to lavish My graces on them, and they do not want to accept them. They treat Me as a dead object, whereas My Heart is full of love and mercy. In order that you may know at least some of My pain, imagine the most tender of mothers who has great love for her children, while those children spurn her love. Consider her pain. No one is in position to console her. This is but a feeble image and likeness of My love. (Diary 1447)
Sr.F.:Jesus, there is one more secret in my life, the deepest and dearest to my heart: it is You yourself when You come to my heart under the appearance of bread. Herein lies the whole secret of my sanctity. Here my heart is so united with Yours as to be but one. There are no more secrets, because all that is Yours is mine, and all that is mine is Yours. Such is the omnipotence and the miracle of Your mercy. (Diary 1489). All the good that is in me is due to Holy Communion. I owe everything to it. I feel that this holy fire has transformed me completely. Oh, how happy I am to be a dwelling place for You, O Lord! My heart is a temple in which you dwell continually. (Diary 1392)
Saint Faustina, obtain for me the grace of living faith so that each sacrament be for me a privileged place of meeting with the Lord, and may the Eucharist be at the very center of my entire life, transforming it into love.
Devotion to Our Lady
Jesus: Your lives must be like Mine: quiet and hidden, in unceasing union with God, pleading for humanity and preparing the world for the second coming of God. (Diary 625)
Sr.F.:O sweet Mother of God, I model my life on You. You are for me the bright dawn; in You I lose myself enraptured. O Mother, Immaculate Virgin, in You the divine ray is reflected. Midst storms, it is You who teach me to love the Lord, O my shield and defense from the foe. (Diary 1232)
Saint Faustina, most faithful daughter of the Mother of Mercy, hide me under Her mantle so that She may lead me to Jesus and teach me to participate in His life and mission of revealing to the world the mercy of the heavenly Father. Like Mary, I want to give Jesus – Mercy Incarnate – to people and prepare the world for His second coming.