Monthly Archives: April 2016

20160502 Faustina prepares for death

When St. Faustina stopped writing her diary in June 1938, she anticipated that the diary would be published after her death for the comfort of souls.
She left a note saying, “No one is permitted to read these notebooks and the notes contained in them. Father Andrasz must first review them, or Father Sopocko, considering that they contain the secrets of a conscience.
“It is God’s will that all of this be given to souls for comfort. The notebooks themselves are not to be given to the sisters to read, the superiors excepted, until they are printed.”
St. Faustina’s health further deteriorated, and her superior came to see her on June 24. The next day a confessor came to administer the last rites. A religious sister asked Faustina whether she wished to be taken home so that she could die in the company of her congregation.
St. Faustina smiled and then said, “I am not going to die yet, so please leave me here for now, Sister, because my presence in the convent would be too much of a bother, since one of the sisters would always have to be near me.”
A moment later she added, “But please do whatever you see fit and what the superiors wish.”
In July a superior visited her in the hospital. Towards the end of the visit, St. Faustina joyfully said, “Oh, dear Mother, what beautiful things the Lord Jesus tells me,” and pointing to where the notes of her diary lay, she added, “Dear Mother, you will read all of this.”
In August St. Faustina wrote a farewell letter to Mother General. She expressed gratitude for all the goodness she had received and begged pardon for all the faults of her whole life.
She concluded the letter with the words, “Goodbye, dearest Mother. We will see each other in heaven at the foot of God’s throne. And now, may God’s mercy be praised in us and through us.”
St. Faustina was feeling significantly worse by Aug. 24. A superior came and spent the night beside her, and the next day the chaplain gave her the last rites. She received the sacraments piously, but she said to one of the sisters, “I knew that, anyway, I was not going to die.”
Blessed Michael Sopocko visited Faustina a number of times in late August and early September. They talked about the new congregation to honour the Divine Mercy that had been in the mind of St. Faustina in the past few years. Faustina promised to talk to Jesus about it.
The next day, as Father Sopocko was celebrating Mass for St. Faustina, a thought came to him: “Just as she had been unable to paint that image, but only gave¬†instructions, so she would be unable to establish the new congregation, but would only give general directives.”
At their next meeting, on Sept. 2, Father Sopocko asked Faustina what she had to say about the new congregation. She replied that she did not have to say anything because Jesus had already enlightened him with an answer during Mass.
Father Sopocko recalled, “This answer shook my spirit, because Sister Faustina could not have known the thoughts I had had during the Mass I had celebrated.”
On Sept. 17 St. Faustina was brought to the convent in Lagiewniki so that she could die at home. The infirmarian, Sister Alfreda Pokora, recalled: “Sister Faustina’s final weeks were very edifying. She always showed great kindness and patience, requesting nothing for herself.
“When asked if she was suffering greatly, she would answer, ‘Yes, very much, but I’m fine with it.'”
On Sept. 22 St. Faustina asked pardon of the entire congregation for her unintentional failings. A few days later Father Sopocko met her for the last time. St. Faustina seemed like an “unearthly being,” and predicted to Father Sopocko that she would die in nine days.

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20160425 Faustina longs for Jesus

In the last months of her life, St. Faustina demonstrated strong detachment from the world and deep longing for God.
One evening the Lord asked her, “Do you not have any desires in your heart?” She answered, “I have one great desire, and it is to be united with You forever.”
The Lord replied, “That will happen soon. My dearest child, your every stirring is reflected in My Heart. My gaze rests kindly upon you before any other creature.”
Our Lord taught her about the interior life. He said, “Never claim your rights. Bear with great calm and patience everything that befalls you. Do not defend yourself when you are put to shame, though innocent. Let others triumph.
“Do not stop being good when you notice that your goodness is being abused. I Myself will speak up for you when it is necessary. Be grateful for the smallest of My graces, because your gratitude compels Me to grant you new graces.”
St. Faustina treated Jesus as her dearest friend. One morning in May, 1938, Faustina went out to the garden to meditate on the blessings of God. Her heart was burning with love, when suddenly Jesus stood before her and said, “What are you doing here so early?”
She answered, “I am thinking of You, of Your mercy and Your goodness toward us. And You, Jesus, what are You doing here?”
Jesus replied, “I have come out to meet you, to lavish new graces on you. I am looking for souls who would like to receive My grace.”
On the Feast of the Ascension in 1938, (May 26), Faustina experienced great longing for God. She also saw the scene of the Ascension, and that Our Lady yearned for Jesus with the whole force of Her love.
She said to Faustina, “The soul’s true greatness is in loving God and in humbling oneself in His presence, completely forgetting oneself and believing oneself to be nothing, because the Lord is great, but He is well-pleased only with the humble, He always opposes the proud.”
One day, when St. Faustina was praying for Poland, she heard these words: “I bear a special love for Poland, and if she will be obedient to My will, I will exalt her in might and holiness. From her will come forth the spark that will prepare the world for My final coming.”
On Aug. 17, 2002, St. John Paul II consecrated the International Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki, Poland, and entrusted the world to Divine Mercy.
He said, “May this message radiate from this place to our beloved homeland and throughout the world. May the binding promise of the Lord Jesus be fulfilled: from here there must go forth ‘the spark which will prepare the world for My final coming.”
The last months of St. Faustina’s life were filled with happiness, which flowed from her union with God. In June 1938 she stopped writing her diary. One of the last entries was about an experience of bilocation.
Our Lord told her she would go to a dying sinner and she would continue to recite the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. She wrote, “Suddenly I found myself in a strange cottage where an elderly man was dying amidst great torments. All about the bed was a multitude of demons and the family, who were crying.
“When I began to pray, the spirits of darkness fled, with hissing and threats directed at me. The soul became calm and, filled with trust, rested in the Lord. At the same moment, I found myself again in my own room. How this happened … I do not know.”

20140418 Seraph visits St. Faustina

Lent 1938 was the last Lent for St. Faustina. Our Lord said to her: “I am taking you into My school for the whole of Lent. I want to teach you how to suffer.”
During Mass, Our Lord said, “My pupil, have great love for those who cause you suffering. Do good to those who hate you.”
St. Faustina answered, “O my Master, You see very well that I feel no love for them, and that troubles me.”
Jesus said, “It is not always within your power to control your feelings. You will recognize that you have love if, after having experienced annoyance and contradiction, you do not lose your peace, but pray for those who have made you suffer and wish them well.”
The health of St. Faustina deteriorated, and on April 21, 1938, her superiors decided to send her to the hospital in Pradnik again. She would stay there for almost five months.
Before her departure, she worried that she would be put in bed in a ward and be exposed to all sorts of things. She poured out her whole heart before Jesus, and He replied, “Be at peace, My child, I am with you. Go in great peace. All is ready; I have ordered, in My own special way, a private room to be prepared for you.”
Sister Felicia Zakowiecka accompanied St. Faustina to the hospital. St. Felicia recalled: “When we arrived, a private room for Sister Faustina had already been prepared, and the Sacred Heart Sisters had even placed two bouquets there. We were caught by surprise: what is this?
“We then found out that a man who had suffered from tuberculosis had died unexpectedly three hours earlier. Sister Faustina said to me with great peace and joy in her quiet voice, ‘How good the Lord Jesus is! He heard my prayer.’ There was joyous surprise in her eyes.”
Sister David, who looked after St. Faustina, said, “Tomorrow you will not receive the Lord Jesus, Sister, because you are very tired; later on, we shall see.” This hurt her very much.
The next morning, she made her meditation, and when her love and desire had reached a high degree, she saw at her bedside a seraph, who said, “Behold the Lord of Angels,” and gave her Holy Communion.
St. Faustina received Communion from the seraph at least 13 times. One day she asked the seraph, “Could you perhaps hear my confession?” The seraph answered, “No spirit in heaven has that power.”
St. Faustina wrote, “The seraph was surrounded by a great light; the divinity and love of God being reflected in him. He wore a golden robe and, over it, a transparent surplice and a transparent stole. The chalice was crystal covered with a transparent veil. As soon as he gave me the Lord, he disappeared.”
On May 1, Our Lord said to St. Faustina, “If souls would put themselves completely in My care, I myself would undertake the task of sanctifying them, and I would lavish even greater graces on them.
“There are souls who thwart My efforts, but I have not given up on them; as often as they turn to Me, I hurry to their aid, shielding them with My Mercy, and I give them the first place in My compassionate Heart.”
During her stay in the hospital, Our Lord taught St. Faustina to be detached from the world and from creatures. He said to her, “Do not value any external thing too highly, even if it were to seem very precious to you. Let go of yourself, and abide with Me continually.”
“Set little store on what people say. Let everyone judge you as they like. Do not make excuses for yourself, it will do you no harm.”

20160411 Saint embraces final year

Before the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in 1937, St. Faustina made a very special novena, praying 1,000 Hail Marys each day.
She wrote, “Where there is a will, there is a way. Apart from recreation, I have only prayed and worked. I have not said a single unnecessary word during these days. Although I must admit that such a matter requires a good deal of attention and effort, nothing is too much when it comes to honouring the Immaculate Virgin.”
On the solemnity, Our Lady appeared to Faustina and said, “I desire, My dearly beloved daughter, that you practise the three virtues that are dearest to Me, and most pleasing to God. The first is humility, humility, and once again humility; the second virtue, purity; the third virtue, love of God. As my daughter, you must especially radiate with these virtues.”
Through St. Faustina, Our Lord encouraged souls to go to confession. He said, “Write, speak of My mercy. Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy. There the greatest miracles take place (and) are incessantly repeated.
“To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or to carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one’s misery, and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated.”
The final year of St. Faustina’s earthly life was 1938. On Jan. 1 she wrote, “Welcome to you, New Year, in the course of which my perfection will be accomplished.
“Thank You in advance, O Lord, for everything Your goodness will send me. Thank You for the cup of suffering from which I shall daily drink. Do not diminish its bitterness, O Lord, but strengthen my lips that, while drinking of this bitterness, they may know how to smile for love of You, my Master.”
One day St. Faustina asked Our Lord, “Why are You sad today, Jesus? Tell me, who is the cause of Your sadness?”
Our Lord answered, “Chosen souls who do not have My Spirit, who live according to the letter and have placed the letter above My Spirit, above the Spirit of Love. I have founded My whole law on love, and yet I do not see love, even in religious orders. This is why sadness fills My Heart.”
On Jan. 28 Our Lord said, “My daughter, write down these words: all those souls who will glorify My mercy and spread its worship, encouraging others to trust in My mercy, will not experience terror at the hour of death. My mercy will shield them in that final battle.”
“My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one.”
One day St. Faustina entered the chapel and the Lord said, “My daughter, help Me to save a certain dying sinner. Say the chaplet that I have taught you for him.”
She began to say the chaplet and saw a man dying in the midst of terrible torment and struggle. The rays from Jesus’s Heart enveloped the dying man, and he peacefully breathed his last. St. Faustina understood how very important the chaplet was for the dying.

20160404 St. Faustina encounters Christ in daily life

St. Faustina’s assignment was changed from gardener to gatekeeper on Sept. 6, 1937, because her health was deteriorating.
Regarding sickness, St. Faustina wrote, “A soul who suffers with submission to the will of God draws down more blessings on the whole convent than all the working sisters. Poor indeed is a convent where there are no sick sisters.
“God often grants many and great graces out of regard for souls who are suffering, and He withholds many punishments solely because of the suffering souls.”
As gatekeeper, St. Faustina treated the poor with great kindness. One day Our Lord came to the main entrance under the guise of a poor young man. He asked for something to eat. St. Faustina searched around and found some soup.
She heated it and found some bread, and took it to the poor young man. When he had finished, St. Faustina took the bowl from him, and He let her knew that He was the Lord of heaven and earth. Our Lord then vanished from her sight.
When she reflected on what had happened, she heard these words: “My daughter, the blessings of the poor who bless Me as they leave this gate have reached My ears. And your compassion, within the bounds of obedience, has pleased Me, and this is why I came down from My throne: to taste the fruits of your mercy.”
On Oct. 1, 1937, Our Lord said, “Daughter, I need sacrifice lovingly accomplished, because that alone has meaning for Me. Enormous indeed are the debts of the world which are due to Me; pure souls can pay them by their sacrifice, exercising mercy in spirit.”
“Write this for the many souls who are often worried because they do not have the material means with which to carry out an act of mercy. Yet spiritual mercy, which requires neither permission nor storehouses, is much more meritorious and is within the grasp of every soul.
“If a soul does not exercise mercy somehow or other, it will not obtain My mercy on the day of judgment. Oh, if only souls knew how to gather eternal treasure for themselves, they would not be judged, for they would forestall My judgment with their mercy.”
On Oct. 10, in prayer, St. Faustina offered her body, soul, intellect, will, and all the sentiments of her heart to God. However Our Lord said to her, “My daughter, you have not offered Me that which is really yours.”
St. Faustina said, “Jesus, tell me what it is, and I will give it to You at once with a generous heart.”
Our Lord said, “Daughter, give Me your misery, because it is your exclusive property.”
On Nov. 19, after Holy Communion, Our Lord said, “When I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay any attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. Oh, how sad I am that souls do not recognize Love! They treat Me as a dead object.”
St. Faustina wanted to make up for the coldness of souls with her love.
The saint has given us a wonderful example of serving Our Lord in the ordinariness of daily life. Offering up one’s sickness, being kind to people, exercising mercy in spirit, offering to God one’s misery, and receiving Holy Communion with devotion are effective means that help us to grow in holiness.

20160328 Saint received messages of mercy

St. Faustina stayed at the hospital in Pradnik from Dec. 9, 1936, to March 27, 1937.
On March 1, Our Lord let St. Faustina knew how displeased He was with a talkative soul. He said, “I find no rest in such a soul. The constant din tires Me, and in the midst of it the soul cannot discern My voice.”
On March 15, St. Faustina experienced the bitterness of the passion of Christ and understood the horror of sin.
The Lord said her, “I want to give Myself to souls and to fill them with My love, but few there are who want to accept all the graces My love has intended for them. My grace is not lost; if the soul for whom it was intended does not accept it, another soul takes it.”
St. Faustina returned to the convent in Krakow on March 27. On April 4 (the Sunday after Easter) Our Lord said to her, “Souls who spread the honour of My mercy I shield through their entire lives as a tender mother her infant, and at the hour of death I will not be a Judge for them, but the merciful Saviour.
“At that last hour, a soul has nothing with which to defend itself except My mercy. Happy is the soul that during its lifetime immersed itself in the Fountain of Mercy, because justice will have no hold on it.”
On June 6, Our Lord said, “Let the greatest sinners place their trust in My mercy. They have the right, before others, to trust in the abyss of My mercy.
“My daughter, write about My mercy towards tormented souls. Souls that make an appeal to My mercy delight Me. To such souls I grant even more graces than they ask. I cannot punish even the greatest sinner if he makes an appeal to My compassion, but on the contrary, I justify him in My unfathomable and inscrutable mercy.
“Write: before I come as a just judge, I first open wide the door of My mercy. He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice.”
St. Faustina moved to Rabka on July 29. However the climate of Rabka made her feel more ill, so she returned to Krakow on Aug. 10. During her stay in Rabka, St. Joseph urged her to have a constant devotion to him.
He told St. Faustina to say daily the Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, and Memorare. St. Faustina recited the requested prayers and felt St. Joseph’s special protection.
Our Lord taught St. Faustina to begin the Novena to Divine Mercy on Good Friday. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy was to be prayed for nine days before the Feast of Mercy. Our Lord said, “By this novena, I will grant every possible grace to souls.”
St. Faustina was taught to bring a different group of souls to the Heart of Jesus on each day of the novena: day 1: all mankind, especially sinners; day 2: priests and religious; day 3: devout and faithful souls; day 4: pagans and those who do not yet know Christ.
Day 5: heretics and schismatics; day 6: meek and humble souls and little children; day 7: those who especially venerate and glorify the Mercy of God; day 8: souls in purgatory; day 9: lukewarm souls.
Because of her poor health, on Sept. 6 St. Faustina’s assignment was changed from gardener to gatekeeper.
Our Lord said to her, “My daughter, I am always with you. I have given you the opportunity to practise deeds of mercy which you will perform according to obedience. You will give Me much pleasure if, each evening, you will speak to Me especially about this task.”

20160321 Saint pleads for souls in hospital

From December 1936 to March 1937, St. Faustina stayed at the hospital in Pradnik. One night St. Faustina was awakened, and she knew some soul was asking for prayer.
The next day she entered a ward and saw a dying person. She learned that the agony of that person had begun at the time when she had been asked for prayer. Faustina heard a voice in her soul: “Say the chaplet which I taught you.”
She knelt beside the dying person and prayed the chaplet. Suddenly the dying person opened her eyes, looked at Faustina, and died with extraordinary peace.
God the Father told Faustina, “At the hour of their death, I defend as My own glory every soul that will say this chaplet; or when others say it for a dying person, the indulgence is the same.
“When this chaplet is said by the bedside of a dying person, God’s anger is placated, unfathomable mercy envelops the soul, and the very depths of My tender mercy are moved for the sake of the sorrowful Passion of My Son.”
On Dec. 13, 1936, St. Faustina made her confession to Father Andrasz. She had been looking forward to this confession, for she had not been to confession for more than three weeks.
When Father Andrasz gave her absolution, his figure suddenly became diffused with a great light, and St. Faustina saw Jesus. At first she was a bit uneasy, but after a while peace entered her soul.
With the permission of her doctor, Faustina spent the Christmas holidays in the convent. During that time she made her confession again to Father Andrasz. The priest told her to say the chaplet as her penance.
During the chaplet, a voice said, “Oh, what great graces I will grant to souls who say this chaplet; the very depths of My tender mercy are stirred for the sake of those who say the chaplet.”
On Jan. 8, 1937, Faustina offered the whole day for dying sinners. After receiving Holy Communion she asked the Lord Jesus the special favour that all the people that would die that day would escape the fire of hell.
Our Lord replied, “My beloved daughter, you have come to know well the depths of My Mercy. I will do what you ask, but unite yourself continually with My agonizing Heart and make reparation to My justice.
“Know that you have asked Me for a great thing, but I see that this was dictated by your pure love for Me; that is why I am complying with your requests.”
Before Lent St. Faustina wrote to her spiritual director, asking permission to perform some little mortifications during Lent. In the afternoon of Ash Wednesday (Feb. 10, 1937) she received a letter from the priest giving permission to perform those mortifications.
The Lord said to her, “You will receive a greater reward for your obedience and subjection to your confessor than you will for the practices which you will be carrying out. Know this, My daughter, and act accordingly: anything, no matter how small it be, that has the seal of obedience to My representative is pleasing to Me and great in My eyes.”
On Feb. 15, after she had received Communion, Our Lord said, “It is when you submit yourself to My will that you give Me the greatest glory and draw upon yourself a sea of blessings.”
On Feb. 22, Our Lord said, “Pray for souls, that they be not afraid to approach the tribunal of My mercy. Do not grow weary of praying for sinners. You know what a burden their souls are to My Heart. Relieve My deathly sorrow; dispense My mercy.”