Friday, April 30, 2010

On this day, 10 years ago Venerable Pope John Paul 2 canonized Maria Faustina Kowalska as Saint Faustina

Venerable Pope John Paul II, on this day in 2000, you canonized Maria Faustina Kowalska as a saint, you said Indeed the message, St. Faustina, brought is the appropriate and incisive answer that God wanted to offer to the questions and expectations of human beings in our time, marked by terrible tragedies. thank you for that wonderful gift 10 years ago today to canonized a great woman into the Roman Catholic church row of saints!
What Does the Pope Say:Pope John Paul II knew the visions and messages of Christ received by St. Faustina were private revelations. The Church's doctrine of Divine Mercy are based on Holy Scripture, the faith handed down by the apostles. St. Faustina's revelations add nothing new. The "Divine Mercy Sunday" was not established to commemorate St. Faustina's mystical experiences. No one is required on Mercy Sunday, to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, or venerate the image of the Divine Mercy. However, Pope John Paul II, has strongly encouraged the whole, universal Church, on several occasions, to pay heed to the messages and revelations given to St. Faustina as a special call to our time to turn back to the God of merciful love, the Pope has also recommended both the image and the chaplet as helpful means to that end. "There is nothing that man needs more than Divine Mercy--that love which is benevolent, which is compassionate, which raises man above his weakness to the infinite heights of the holiness of God. "In this place we become particularly aware of this. From here, in fact, went out the message of Divine Mercy that Christ Himself chose to pass on to our generation through Blessed Faustina. "And it is a message that is clear and understandable for everyone. Anyone can come here, look at this image of the merciful Jesus, His Heart radiating grace, and hear in the depths of his own soul what Blessed Faustina heard: 'Fear nothing. I am with you always' (Diary, 586). "And if this person responds with a sincere heart, 'Jesus, I trust in you,' he will find comfort in all his anxieties and fears." From the Holy Father, Mercy Sunday, 2001 Homely: "It is a great joy for me to be able to join all of you, dear pilgrims and faithful who have come here from various nations to commemorate, after one year, the canonization of Sr Faustina Kowalska, witness and messenger of the Lord's merciful love. The elevation to the honors of the altar of this humble religious is not only a gift for Poland, but for all humanity. Indeed the message she brought is the appropriate and incisive answer that God wanted to offer to the questions and expectations of human beings in our time, marked by terrible tragedies. Jesus said to Sr. Faustina one day: 'Humanity will not have peace until it turns with trust to Divine Mercy' (Diary, 300). Divine Mercy! This is the Easter gift that the Church receives from the risen Christ and offers to humanity at the dawn of the third millennium.... "Today the Lord also shows us His glorious wounds and His heart, an inexhaustible source of light and truth, of love and forgiveness.... St. Faustina saw coming from this Heart that was overflowing with generous love, two rays of light which illuminated the world. 'The two rays,' according to what Jesus Himself told her, 'represent the blood and the water' (Diary, 299). The blood recalls the sacrifice of Golgotha and the mystery of the Eucharist; the water, according to the rich symbolism of the Evangelist St. John, makes us think of Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 3:5; 4:14). "Through the mystery of this wounded heart, the restorative tide of God's merciful love continues to spread over the men and women of our time. Here alone can those who long true and lasting happiness its secret."

Here is Venerable Pope John Paul 2 praying at the tomb of Saint Faustina in Poland!

Saint Faustina and the Divine Mercy Image on which she painted herself

Venerable Pope John Paul 2 on Divine Mercy Sunday April 30, 2000

I really like this image of Saint Faustina cause it shows the simplest people can be truly a holy and respectful in the Catholic Faith!

Maria Faustina Kowalska or as Saint Faustina

Saint Faustina, born Helena Kowalska (August 25, 1905, Głogowiec, Poland then in the Russian Empire – Died October 5, 1938, Kraków, Poland) was a Polish nun, visionary, and mystic, now venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as a saint.

The process culminating in the canonization of Sister Faustina Kowalska, commenced twenty seven years after her death in Krakow Poland, in 1938.
As part of the process leading to her canonization, two cases of miraculous healings were presented for consideration. The first one was the healing of Maureen Digan of Massachusetts. The second miracle was the healing of a congenital heart condition of Fr. Pytel after prayers done by members of his parish during the anniversary of Sr. Faustina's death on October 5 1995.
On April 18, 1993 the Feast of Divine Mercy Sunday (the first Sunday after Easter), Pope John Paul II elevated Sister Faustina to the status of Blessed during the Beatification of this Venerable Servant of God, a day when St. Peter's Square was packed with enthusiastic Divine Mercy devotees.
On March 10, 2000 at 11:30 a.m., during the celebration of sext, in the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, an ordinary public consistory for several causes of canonization was held, in the presence of the Holy Father.
In 1997 Pope John Paul II made a pilgrimage to Sister Faustina's tomb in Poland, he called her the "the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our day." The Pope said at her tomb, "The message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me..., in a sense it forms the image of my Pontificate."
Saint Faustina:
Sister Faustina was canonized on April 30, 2000 the first Sunday after Easter, on Divine Mercy Sunday.
She was honoured by becoming the first saint of this millenium, giving thus great emphasis to the Divine Mercy Devotion.
As one of the great events of the Jubilee 2000, the Holy Father John Paul II, conducted the ceremony of the canonization of St Faustina, before a crowd of around 200000 Divine Mercy Pilgrims.

Faustina's Canonization
A festive St. Peter's Square was bedecked with spring flowers and budding saplings as the Church celebrated the first canonization of the Jubilee year and Pope John Paul II's formal announcement that the Sunday after Easter would henceforth be known as "Divine Mercy Sunday."
"It is important," the Holy Father said in his homily, "that we accept in its entirety the message that comes to us from God's Word on this second Sunday of Easter. From now on, throughout the whole Church, this day will take the name of 'Divine Mercy Sunday.'"
The Holy Father's declaration of the global celebration of Mercy Sunday another reason for joy, said Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC, vice-postulator for Faustina's cause for canonization. "This fulfills the Lord's request perfectly," he explained. "Mercy Sunday is the last day of the Octave of Easter, so it was already a part of the Feast of Easter. So, from now on, that day will take the name 'Divine Mercy Sunday' just as the Lord asked in His revelations to St. Faustina.
More than 200,000 people packed St. Peter's Square April 30 as His Holiness canonized the Great Apostle of Mercy, Saint Faustina Kowalska. Sister Faustina, who belonged to the Congregation of Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland, died of tuberculosis in 1938 on the verge of World War II at age 33. She left behind a diary in which she recorded her mystical experiences -- in particular Jesus Christ's desire that the world accept His abundant mercy.
The Vatican announced the canonization date March 10. St. Faustina's elevation to the honors of the altar follows the miraculous healing of an American priest. The Vatican announced Dec. 20 that the 1995 healing of Father Ron Pytel of Baltimore, Maryland, was a miracle. This set the stage for the Faustina's canonization.
Her canonization on Mercy Sunday (the second Sunday of the Easter season) took place on the same Sunday on which she was beatified in 1993. She is the first saint of the new millennium.
The healing of Fr. Pytel follows the 1981 miraculous healing of Lee, Massachusetts, resident Maureen Digan. The recognition of her healing as a miracle in December of 1992 led to St. Faustina's beatification.

Miraculous HealingIn 1995, a massive calcium build-up in Fr. Pytel's aortic valve due to a congenital heart condition left him with a permanently damaged left ventricle — a condition that is rarely known to heal and if it does, occurs only after a very long time. His doctor, Dr. Nicholas Fortuin, a world-renowned cardiologist from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, said that he expected Fr. Pytel's heart never to be normal and that the then 48-year-old pastor would likely never be able to return to the full exercise of his parish duties.
On Oct. 5, 1995, the anniversary of Saint Faustina's death, members of Fr. Pytel's parish and some friends gathered for a day of prayer to seek his healing through St. Faustina's intercession. Upon venerating a relic of the Saint, the priest collapsed to the floor, unable to move for about 15 minutes, although he remained conscious.
During Fr. Pytel's next regular check-up, about a month later, Dr. Fortuin discovered a sudden change in the condition of the priest's heart — it was now normal.
To the VaticanSoon after his healing, Fr. Pytel contacted Fr. Seraphim Michalenko, MIC — a member of the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge, Massachusetts — who was the representative for North America in furthering St. Faustina's cause of canonization. Father Seraphim then began to work with church authorities in gathering the documentation for investigating Fr. Pytel's healing as the miracle needed for St. Faustina's canonization.
He played the same role in establishing the healing of Maureen Digan as the miracle leading to St. Faustina's beatification.
Professional Medical Opinion On November 16th and December 9th, 1999, respective teams of medical and theological experts at the Vatican concluded their definitive investigation of Fr. Pytel's healing. The medical professional representing the Postulators of St. Faustina's cause was Dr. Valentin Fuster, Director of Mt. Sinai's Cardiovascular Institute in New York City. He is regarded as the preeminent expert in the world in the field of cardiovascular disease.
The medical doctors evaluated the healing as scientifically unexplainable, and the theologians verified that it was definitely to be attributed to the intercession of Saint Faustina. The solemn promulgation of the decree establishing the fact of the healing as a miracle took place at the Vatican in the presence of Pope John Paul II on Dec. 20, 1999.
Apostle of MercyIn a spiritual diary, Saint Faustina recounts her mystical experiences, including Christ's requests, declaring her to be the Secretary and Apostle of His Mercy. His urgent message is that mankind shall not have peace until it turns with trust to His mercy.
Pope John Paul II, who made a pilgrimage to Saint Faustina's tomb in 1997, called her the "Great Apostle of Mercy in our day." Referring to his own connection with Saint Faustina's mission, the Pope said at her tomb, "The message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me... [and it,] in a sense forms the image of this Pontificate."

Helena left for Warsaw, and applied to various convents in the capital, only to be turned down each time. She was finally accepted at the convent of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. She was eventually initiated as a nun on April 30, 1926, with the name Sister Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament.

Sister Faustina reported having seen Christ in Purgatory, having seen and spoken to Jesus and Mary several times. She wrote that Jesus revealed to her, her purpose: to spread the devotion of the Mercy of God.

In Płock on February 22, 1931, she said that Jesus appeared as the 'King of Divine Mercy', wearing a white garment. His right hand was raised in a sign of blessing and the other was touching the garment at the breast. From beneath the garment emanated two large rays, one red, the other white. Acting upon orders she said she received from Christ, Faustina had a picture of this vision painted. With the help of Father Michał Sopoćko, she distributed the images at Kraków and Vilnius (Wilno), and people began to pray before them.
Faustina kept a diary, despite her limited literacy. The diary was later published under the title Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of St. Faustina.
She wanted to found a "Congregation which would have proclaimed the Mercy of God to the world, and, by its prayers, obtain it for the world." She was repeatedly denied leave by her superiors.
In 1935, she had a vision which described what is now called the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

In 1936, Faustina became ill, since speculated to be tuberculosis. She was moved to the sanatorium in Pradnik.
She continued to spend much time in prayer, reciting the chaplet and praying for the conversion of sinners. The last two years of her life were spent praying and keeping her diary. By June 1938, she could no longer write. She died on October 5. When Faustina's superior was cleaning out her room she opened the drawer and found the paintings of the Divine Mercy.

Index of Forbidden Books
After the death of St. Faustina, the nuns at her convent sent her writings to the Vatican. Prior to 1966, any reported visions of Jesus and Mary required approval from the Holy See before they could be released to the public.
After a failed attempt to persuade Pope Pius XII to sign a condemnation, Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani at the Holy Office included her works on a list he submitted to the newly elected Pope John XXIII in 1959.

The Pope signed the decree that placed her work on the Index of Forbidden Books and they remained on the Index for over 20 years. Father Sopoćko was harshly reprimanded, and all his work was suppressed. However, Eugeniusz Baziak, the archbishop of Kraków, permitted the nuns to leave the original picture hanging in their chapel so that those who wished to continue to pray before it could do so.
The current position of the Vatican is that misunderstandings were created by a faulty Italian translation of Kowalska's Diary in that the questionable material could not be correlated with the original Polish version because of difficulties in communication throughout World War II and the subsequent Communist era.
However, an article in the National Catholic Reporter suggests that the ban stemmed from more serious theological issues. For instance, her claim that Jesus had promised a complete remission of sin for certain devotional acts that only the sacraments can offer, and what Vatican evaluators felt to be an excessive focus on Faustina herself ran contrary to the views at the Holy Office.

Canonization and Institution of Divine Mercy Sunday
When Karol Wojtyła (the future Pope John Paul II) became Archbishop of Kraków, a new investigation into the life and diary of St. Faustina was launched, and the devotion to the Divine Mercy was once again permitted. Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, John Paul II's successor as archbishop of Krakow, said that Faustina "reminds us of the gospel we had forgotten."
Faustina was beatified on April 18, 1993 and canonized on April 30, 2000. Divine Mercy Sunday is celebrated the Second Sunday of Easter (which is the first Sunday after Easter).

Indeed the message [St. Faustina] brought is the appropriate and incisive answer that God wanted to offer to the questions and expectations of human beings in our time, marked by terrible tragedies.—Pope John Paul II -Divine Mercy Sunday Homily,Sunday, 22 April 2001
The fact that her Vatican biography directly quotes some of her conversations with Jesus distinguishes her among the many reported visions of Jesus and Mary.

Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Born: 25 August 1905, Głogowiec, Russian Empire

Died: October 5, 1938 (aged 33), Kraków, Poland

Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified: 18 April 1993
Canonized: 30 April 2000, Pope John Paul II

Major shrine:
Shrine of Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki, Kraków, Poland
5 October
Patronage: World Youth Day

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