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Saint Faustina Kowalska


I chose this image of St. Faustina for the sparkle in her eyes. I’ve always imagined her a slightly mischievous partner in God’s plan for Divine Mercy, surprising the hopeless with such unexpected and infinite love.

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Dimensions 8 × 10 in


Helena Kowalska was born into Poland in the year 1905. Only seven years old, kneeling before the Eucharist in Adoration, she heard God’s voice in her soul, calling her to a religious vocation. Upon finishing school, however, she was prevented by her parents from answering. A discouraged Helena stepped deeper into the secular realm, attempting to silence God’s voice. One evening at a dance, while the world swirled around her, she was overwhelmed by a vision. She saw Jesus suffering His Passion. Retreating to a cathedral, she heard Him tell her to join a convent in Warsaw. She departed the following morning. At first rejected by many a convent, she was finally accepted by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. On the surface, Sister Mary Faustina was no one extraordinary, a serene and sincere woman, embracing her monotonous life as a cook, gardener, and doorkeeper. But deeper, as in a spring-fed lake, mystic beauty flowed. Jesus again appeared to her, this time in His resurrected glory, His heart radiating life-giving blood and cleansing water. He asked that an image be painted according to this vision and shared with the world—but more than this, that His Divine Mercy be offered to every soul. She obeyed, spreading devotion to Him especially through the Divine Mercy Chaplet. But her labour cost her. Suffering from spiritual desolation and physical ailment, Sister Faustina clung not to the bountiful gifts she received from Jesus, but to His love, seeking only union with Him. She inked their every encounter into her diary. Even as she lay dying from tuberculosis, she was enfolded in ecstasy, eager to return Home to her Beloved. In 1938, only thirty-three years old, she passed into His merciful arms.