FEAST DAY: October 5
St. Faustina shared a message about God’s love and mercy for all people. After her death, devotion to God’s mercy spread to many countries. This brought hope and healing to the lives of other people. We celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday on the Second Sunday of the Easter season.
Lived in poverty
Helena Kowalska lived in Poland. She could barely read or write because she only went to school for three years. When she was 16, she had to go to work as a servant to help support her family. Then in 1925 she joined an order of religious sisters and took the name Maria Faustina of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
Shared God’s mercy
Sr. Faustina had a vision of Jesus in which he asked her to tell others about God’s mercy for all people. St. Faustina devoted the rest of her life to sharing this message. She wrote in her diary all that Jesus told her. Her work reminds us that our God is a God of mercy. We can trust that God will always forgive us.
DIVINE MERCY IMAGE
Jesus asked St. Faustina to have an artist depict Jesus and his mercy. This image has become a famous aid to devotion to the Divine Mercy. Learn more at CATmag.us/2ZpoMNB.
She was a person of prayer. In her diary St. Faustina wrote this prayer: “Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds.” This prayer reminds us that we are to share God’s gift of mercy with others. St. Faustina died when she was only 33 years old. She was canonized in 2000.
What we can do
■ Talk about this saint. Did her family have a lot of money? Why did she leave school when she was 16? What message of Jesus did she tell others? How can we share God’s mercy with others? When do we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday?
■ Look up Bible verses about mercy, such as: “Have mercy on me, O God” (Psalm 51:1); “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful” (Luke 6:36); “Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us from God” (2 John 1:3). Talk about what they mean for us.
■ Make a mercy craft. Ask children to write: “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy (Matthew 5:7). Then they glue the verse to a half sheet of red paper. Children can make a border around the edges with heart stickers. They may take home this craft to remember to live in God’s mercy.
Merciful God, we trust in your love and mercy. May we trust in your forgiveness when we do not follow your way. Help us to tell others that you are a God of mercy as St. Faustina did. May we show others your mercy by the way we live each day. Amen.
OTHER OCTOBER SAINTS
1 St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus
4 St. Francis of Assisi
11 St. John XXIII
15 St. Teresa of Ávila
17 St. Ignatius of Antioch
18 St. Luke
19 Sts. John de Brebeuf and Isaac Jogues
22 St. John Paul II
28 Sts. Simon and Jude
PATRICIA MATHSON, MRE, has years of experience as a director of religious education. She has authored many books, including her latest: 33 Mass Lessons and Activities for Children from Twenty-Third Publications.
PHOTO: PUBLIC DOMAIN
This article was originally published in Catechist, October 2019.