St. Faustina and Divine Mercy

[Brothers, in preparation for our Parish Mission on Divine Mercy with Fr. Jim McCormack, Mar. 19-22, my weekly bulletin column, which I also publish here, is a very brief history of Divine Mercy. Commentary on the readings will continue next week. In the meantime, know that you are welcome to attend our Lenten Mission at the Shrine of St. Anne.]


On February 22, 1932, Sr. Faustina received her first vision of Jesus and He tells her to paint His image. For the next 6+ years, until her death on October 5, 1938, she would have many mystical experiences and many visions of Jesus asking her to proclaim His message of Mercy. Guided by Fr. Sopocko and Fr. Andrasz, SJ, and by obedience to her Mother Superior, she would write her diary and oversee several attempts to paint her vision of Jesus accurately. Here is a brief timeline of what follows.

1940-1941 The Divine Mercy message spreads first among the victims of WWII (and throughout Poland).

April 1941 Fr. Joseph Jarzebowski, MIC, brings the message of Divine Mercy to the USA and the Congregation of Marians of the Immaculate Conception begins to spread the message in Polish.

1942-1959 The Divine Mercy message spreads worldwide through the efforts of the Marians.

March 6, 1959 Holy Office issues notification banning Divine Mercy devotion (due to inadequate translations).

October 21, 1965 Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, encouraged by Cardinal Ottaviani, prefect of the Holy Office, opens an Informative Process of Sr. Faustina’s life and virtues (and corrects problems of bad translation).

April 15, 1978 Prefect of Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declares the ban no longer binding.

October 16, 1978 Cardinal Karol Wojtyla becomes Pope John Paul II.

July 12, 1979 Marians authorized to spread Divine Mercy message/devotion in forms proposed by Sr. Faustina.

November 30, 1980 John Paul II issues encyclical, Dives in Misericordia—the Mercy of God, and one year later on November 22 1981 while visiting Shrine of Merciful Love in Collevalenza near Todi, Italy, states, “Right from the beginning of my ministry in St. Peter’s See in Rome, I considered this message my special task.”

1986 Marians publish English edition of Sr. Fautina’s Diary.

April 30, 2000 Bl. Faustina is canonized by Pope John Paul II and Divine Mercy Sunday is proclaimed.

[for this and more info see:]

Deacon Richard


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