Friday, April 5, 2013

Divine Mercy

This Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday which celebrates the divine mercy of our Lord.   It culminates the Novena of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  The story behind both is one of my favorite miracle stories. 

In the 1930s, there lived in Poland a very humble nun whose name was Helen Kowalska.  She had very little education but was determined to become a nun and, after pleading her case, was accepted into the convent and was named Sister Maria Faustina. She usually performed the most menial of jobs.  But, she did so with a joyful heart because of her love for the Lord. 

Jesus started to appear to her and to speak to her.  He commissioned her to have a painting made of him in His Divine Mercy. With great difficulty, she was able to have an artist do so.  Jesus, also, directed her to keep a diary.  She objected as she did not think she was literate enough to do so.  But, she did at the direction of Jesus.  He, also, gave her the prayer for His believers to say.  It is called the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  And, he directed that there should be a novena of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy beginning on Good Friday and ending on the first Sunday after Easter which should be known as Divine Mercy Sunday.

Well, we all can imagine how impossible it would be for an heretofore insignificant nun from Poland to consider persuading the Church to follow the directions given to her by Jesus.  Ah, yes, but that is the miracle, isn’t it!!!  She died in 1938 but not before telling her priest confessor everything and leaving behind her diary and the painting of Jesus.   Less than a year after her death, the Nazis attacked and conquered Poland and put it under a reign of terror until liberated in 1945 which was followed by the dictatorial rule of Soviet communists.  However, during this time the fame of Sister Faustina became well known in Poland as did the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.  It spread to a man who studied the priesthood during the Nazi regime.  The man was Fr. Karol Wojtyla.  As you know, this priest is well known to history as Pope John Paul II.

In 1959, the Church put a lid on all of this until it could be thoroughly investigated.  In 1968, Sister Faustina’s cause for sainthood began.  After an investigation, the papacy of John Paul II lifted the ban on the prayers of Divine Mercy.  He later declares that the Sunday after Easter be known as Divine Mercy Sunday.  In 1999, a second miracle occurred that is attributed to Blessed Faustina and  on Divine Mercy Sunday in April 2000 she was declared a saint.  Interestingly, Pope John Paul II passed away on the Vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday in 2005.

This is the fascinating and miraculous story of the prayers of Divine Mercy.  As you can see, these happened recently and in the lifetimes of so many of us. There is much more to this story but this is a thumbnail account for the purpose of this blog to get you thinking about it.

I might add as a point of interest to some that I really am a believer because I had a miracle as a result of the Chaplet and of St. Faustina.  But, that is a story for another day and time.

Now, you know what I think and I would very much like to know what you think about this subject.   

Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!

Ray Makowski, Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasurer

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