- Divine Mercy
Sister Faustina wanted to be a great saint, raised to the glory of the altar (Cf. Diary 150). Many a time not only did she write about this desire but also unwaveringly strove to be a saint. Her determination was unusual. She wrote:
“My Jesus, You know that from my earliest years I have wanted to become a great saint; that is to say, I have wanted to love You with a love so great that there would be no soul who has hitherto loved You so”(Diary 1372).
On the 5th October 1938, when she died at the age of only 33, she was considered to be a saint. The reputation of the sanctity of her life was growing along with the developing devotion to the Divine Mercy in the forms conveyed by her. Pilgrims came to her tomb, to the monastic cemetery in Cracow-Łagiewniki, and obtained many graces through her intercession.
On the 21st October, 1965, Bishop Julian Groblicki, delegated by the Archbishop of Cracow, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła, began with a solemn session the Informative Process relating to the life and virtues of Sister Faustina, during which 45 witnesses to her life were interviewed, the writings were collected and the process regarding the absence of public devotion was conducted. On the 25th November, 1966, the mortal remains of the Servant of God were translated from the tomb, from the monastic cemetery, to the chapel. On the 20th September, 1967, Cardinal Karol Wojtyła chaired a solemn session which closed the Informative Process on the diocesan level. The acts of the process were sent to Rome and on the 31st January, 1968, the Congregation for the Causes of Saints inaugurated the Process of Beatification. On the 7th March, 1992, the Holy Father, John Paul II, promulgated a decree on the heroic virtues and on the 21st December of that year he issued a decree regarding a miracle. He also fixed the date for the beatification in Rome to be the 18th April, 1993.
Many years before the beatification, in the ‘Diary’ Sister Faustina described her way to the glory of the altar in the following manner:
Once I saw a big crowd of people in our chapel, in front of the chapel and in the street, because there was no room for them inside. The chapel was decorated for a feast. There were a lot of clergy near the altar, and then our sisters and those of many other congregations. They were all waiting for the person who was to take a place on the altar. Suddenly I heard a voice saying that I was to take the place on the altar. But as soon as I left the corridor to go across the yard and enter the chapel, following the voice that was calling me, all the people began to throw at me whatever they had to hand: mud, stones, brooms, to such an extent that I at first hesitated to go forward. But the voice kept on calling me even more earnestly, so I walked on bravely. When I entered the chapel, the superiors, the sisters, the students, and even my parents started to hit me with whatever they could, and so whether I wanted to or not, I quickly took my place on the altar. As soon as I was there, the very same people, the students, the sisters, the superiors and my parents all began to hold their arms out to me asking for graces; and as for me, I did not bear any grudge against them for having thrown all sorts of things at me, and I was surprised that I felt a very special love precisely for those persons who had forced me to go more quickly to my appointed place. At the same time my soul was filled with ineffable happiness, and I heard these words: ‘Do whatever you wish, distribute graces as you will, to whom you will and when you will’. Then, instantly, the vision disappeared” (Diary 31).
I didn’t believe in miracles —Testimony of Maureen Digan
I’m sure that after my testimony some, if not all of you will ask, “Why her and not me or one of my dear ones?” Well, I keep asking myself the same question: why me and not my son, who has been ill for years?
At the age of 15, I was struck down with a disease called lymphedema. Between the age of 15 and 20 I had 50 operations. For a decade I was in and out of hospital all the time. I was hospitalized for periods from 1 week to 12 months at a time. At 19 I had a spinal operation and for 2 years was paralyzed from the hips down. When I was 20 I had my first amputation. But the disease became so aggravated in the rest of my leg that I had to have it amputated up to the hip.
My husband Bob, a deeply religious person of tremendous faith and prayer, felt that he should take his family, that is myself and our sick son, to Poland. He went to Eden Hill, Stockbridge, the national shrine of the Divine Mercy in the USA, and talked the matter over with Father Seraphim Michalenko, asking if he could accompany us on our trip to Poland. Father Serafin, who was handling the cause of Sister Faustina in the USA, received consent from his superiors and we set off on the difficult journey to Kraków.
On 28 March 1981 I went to confession in Kraków. It must have been my first confession for many, many years. I felt much closer to Jesus and Sister Faustina, but maybe not close enough. That evening, 28 March, we prayed at the tomb of Sister Faustina, especially for a cure. Still somewhat mistrustful, I said to Sister Faustina, “Okay, Faustina I came a long way, now do something.” And the pain stopped, the swelling disappeared. I thought it must have been a symptom of neurosis as I didn’t believe in miracles. I stuffed my shoe with a napkin so that no-one should notice my swelling was gone. And I stopped taking my medicine. From that moment on my disease disappeared completely. I had visited four different doctors, who told me that my disease was incurable, that it never went into remission, and did not respond to any medication.
Our Lord chooses whoever He wants. We thank him from the bottom of our hearts for my healing, which will help to beatify Sister Faustina. It’s absolutely true what you read in her Diary: “The greater the misery, the greater the right to My mercy.”
— After the article published in “Orędzie Miłosierdzia”, 13 (1992)