St. Faustina Kovalska

faustynaSt. Faustina Kovalska

Helena Kovalska was born on August 25, 1905 in Poland, in the Parish of Švinica, in the village of Glogowiec. In 1925, she began her postulate at Mary Merciful Mother of God Convent in Warsaw. In 1926, she took her first vows and was given the name Marija Faustina. In February of 1929, she spent a short time in Vilnius. On February 22, 1931, Jesus Christ manifested himself to Sister Faustina in Plock, and instructed her to have this vision relayed in a painting.

She gave her final vows on May 1,1933, and on May 25th, came to Vilnius. She continuously had visions of Jesus, which she documented in her diary. Sister Faustina met Father Michael Sopočko, a professor of theology at the university, who was the confessor for the nuns. He became Sister Faustina‘s spiritual advisor, and helped her start her mission of spreading the word of God‘s Divine Mercy. Her spiritual advisor made arrangements with the artist Eugenijus Kazimirovskis to paint the image of the Savior according to Sister Faustina‘s visions. The painting was started on January 2, 1934. Sister Faustina would go to his studio at least once a week for half a year, to clarify details, and to note any discrepancies. That is how the painting of God‘s Divine Mercy was created.

In 1936, Sister Faustina was transferred from Vilnius to Valandovo, and later to Lagiewniki near Krakow. Her health continued to deteriorate, but she still continued to dream about a new order for the nuns, which she had spoken about with the apparition of Christ. On May 4, 1937, she was granted permission to leave the order. She died on November 5, 1938. After her death, and the discovery of her diary, the word began to spread about Sister Faustina‘s experienced visions.

On January 31,1968, beatification proceedings were started for Sister Faustina. On April 18, 1993, Pope John Paul II beatified her, and on April 30,2000, she was canonized.

Vilniaus arkivyskupijos kurija, Šventaragio 4, Vilnius, Lietuva

curia@vilnensis.lt, www.vilnensis.lt