20160222 Divine Mercy image

St. Faustina had an important vision of Christ on Feb. 22, 1931. She was in her cell when she saw Christ clothed in a white garment. Christ’s right hand was raised in blessing and His left hand was touching the garment at the breast, from which red and pale rays emanated. Jesus said, “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You.” “I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish. I also promise victory over enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death. I Myself will defend it as My Own glory.” Our Lord told St. Faustina that He desired the first Sunday after Easter to be the Feast of Divine Mercy, and the image to be solemnly blessed on that day. Jesus desired that priests proclaim the mercy of God and that sinners be not afraid to approach Him. Our Lord complained: “Distrust on the part of souls is tearing at My insides. The distrust of a chosen soul causes Me even greater pain; despite My inexhaustible love for them they do not trust Me. Even My death is not enough for them.” St. Faustina did not have a permanent spiritual director then. She went back and forth between confessors and superiors, but could not find certainty regarding the origin of her revelations. In November 1932, she made her annual eight-day retreat. She revealed her inner life to the retreat master, Father Edmund Elter. He confirmed that she was on the right path and the revelations were from God. After the retreat, St. Faustina went to Warsaw to complete her third probation, a five-month period of preparation for final vows. One day when she was cleaning the room of one of the elderly sisters, the sister kept following her and saying, “You’ve left a speck of dust here and a spot on the floor there.” At each remark, St. Faustina would clean the place a dozen times more just to satisfy her. She felt exhausted, not so much by the work as by the continual talking and excessive demands. That was not enough for the elderly nun, who complained to the superior: “Mother, who is this careless sister who doesn’t know how to work quickly?” The next day St. Faustina went to do the same job without trying to explain herself. When the elderly nun started harassing her again, she thought: “Jesus, one can be a silent martyr; it is not the work that wears you out, but this kind of martyrdom.” One day Jesus taught St. Faustina a beautiful prayer. He said, “When you say this prayer with a contrite heart and with faith, on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion. “This is the prayer: O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You.” On May 1, 1933, St. Faustina made her final vows. As the bishop was putting the ring on her finger, God pervaded her whole being. She wrote, “I sense that I love God and that He loves me. Having once tasted God, my soul could not live without Him.” In June 1934, St. Faustina saw the image of The Divine Mercy painted by an artist. She was disappointed because the painting was not beautiful enough. When she got home, St. Faustina immediately went to the chapel and wept. She said to Jesus, “Who will paint You as beautiful as You are?” Our Lord replied, “Not in the beauty of the colour, nor of the brush, lies the greatness of this image, but in My grace.”

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