Imagine if Jesus appeared to you, giving you the Mission to spread his Mercy to the world.
If he had chosen you to be an Apostle of His Mercy
If He told you that he wanted a Feast Day within the Catholic Church with an accompanying image and prayer – and he wanted YOU to let the WHOLE WORLD know about it, including THE POPE!
Well this is the story of Saint Faustina.
Jesus appeared to her on numerous occasions asking her to write everything He told her in her diary: – NOTE: this diary is thicker than a bible if you dropped it on your toe, it would hurt.
Sister Faustina was a Polish nun in Krakow, Poland, a small country in Eastern Europe. How could she, a nun without influence, power, or money from a small, non powerful country make Jesus' wishes come true?
Trust in Me – Jesus told her.
After Sister Faustina died in 1938, the Divine Mercy prayer chaplet (that Jesus promised would save many souls) started gaining popularity and news of the apparitions Sister Faustina received spread.
Unfortunately, the message was suppressed for twenty years after an incorrect translation of parts of Faustina's diary were sent to Rome. As a result of this mistake, Faustina's diary along with its message of mercy was put on the Vatican's prohibited reading list.
A Polish Archbishop named Karol Wojtyla realised the mistake, asking for the original translations to be re-transcribed and after further investigation, the ban was lifted.
However, Jesus' request that the Church initiate a Divine Mercy Feast day had still not become a reality.
So in a fascinating set of coincidences, suddenly the recently elected Pope died in 1978 after being Pope for only 33 days. (Interesting fact: Jesus was 33 years old when he died on the Cross for our sins, Sister Faustina was 33 years old when she died, Pope John Paul I was Pope for 33 days)
Cardinals from all around the world travelled back to Rome to elect a new Pope and the first non Italian pope in more than 400 years was elected. His name – Karol Wojtyla who would take the name Pope John Paul ll.
Karol Wojtyla knew the diary of Saint Faustina well, after all, he was the Archbishop of Krakow (Sister Faustina's home town) and he was the Archbishop who helped realize and correct the mistranslation from Polish to Italian, which saw the diary put on a prohibited list and the message suppressed.
In 2001 the Feast of Divine Mercy, as Jesus requested was celebrated universally by the Church on the Sunday after Easter.
Sister Faustina's seemingly impossible task had become a reality – The Divine Mercy Feast each year sees millions of people return to confession and the Eucharist as they trust in Christ's promise that an ocean of graces will flow upon those souls who approach the fount of His mercy.
Sister Faustina, pray for us.