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Lives of the Saints:

How They Changed the World

Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

Saint Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938)

Feast day: October 5




Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska was born in Poland in 1905. She was a member of a large family and held odd jobs to help out before joining the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925. As a sister, Maria ministered to the needs of her sisters and the local people. She also had a profound personal spiritual life. She received revelations from Jesus and wrote down his messages in her diary. When Jesus appeared to Maria, he stressed his mercy and forgiveness for sins acknowledged and confessed. This merciful Jesus differed from what most people thought Jesus to be—a strict judge. In response to these messages, Saint Faustina composed the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, a litany which has spread around the world. Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska died from tuberculosis on October 5, 1938. She was canonized by Pope John Paul II in 2000. (Image in public domain-70)