- Divine Mercy
The “Diary” is one of the gems of mystical literature. Saint Faustina Kowalska wrote it in Vilnius and Cracow in 1934 – 1938 as Jesus had commanded her to do so directly. Her confessors, Rev. Michael Sopoćko and Father Joseph Andrasz S.J. had also ordered her to write it and the superiors of the Congregation had given her their consent. The earliest notes that have remained were written in July 1934. It is known that Sister Faustina burnt the first ones because when Rev. Michael Sopoćko was not in Vilnius she yielded in to the per- suasion of an alleged angel who was Satan. Later the spiritual director from Vilnius ordered her to reconstruct what had been destroyed. Therefore, the chronology in the present “Diary” is distorted, especially in the first notebook: the author intersperses current events and experiences with the description of those that happened before.
Sister Faustina wrote all the notes in secret when she did not carry out her monastic duties. She also wrote them in hospital, where she had more time and, at Rev. Michael Sopocko’s request, she underlined all Jesus’ words with a pencil.
Although I am feeling weak and my nature is clamouring for rest, I feel the inspiration of grace telling me to take hold of myself and write, write for the comfort of souls, whom I love so much and with whom I will share all eternity. And I desire eternal life for them so ardently that that is why I use all my free moments, no matter how short, for writing in the way that Jesus wishes of me (Diary 1471).
The last notes were taken in June 1938, so Sister Faustina ceased writing the “Diary” three months before her death. She wrote six notebooks altogether, which were published along with a small notebook entitled: “My preparation for Holy Communion”.
In the “Diary” Sister Faustina described her spiritual life, which was especially deep, reaching the summit of union with God in the mystical betrothal. She depicted how deeply she came to know the mystery of the Divine Mercy and how she contemplated it in her daily life. She also wrote about the struggle against the weaknesses of human nature and difficulties pertaining to the prophetic mission. Above all, the “Diary” contains the message of God’s merciful love for man, which Sister Faustina was to pass on to the Church and the world. Therefore, this is a special work, as Holy Father John Paul II said, “the gospel of mercy written from the perspective of the 20th century”.
Apart from the “Diary”, Saint Faustina has also left the letters and cards with wishes. Among the letters which have been preserved until today, we find: 19 letters which she sent to Rev. Michael Sopoćko – her spiritual director from Vilnius; 1 letter to Father Joseph Andrasz, S.J. – her confessor and spiritual director in Cracow; 3 letters to the Superior General, Mother Michaela Moraczewska; 1 letter to the house superior in Cracow, Mother Irena Krzyżanowska; 9 letters to Sister Justyna Gołofit, whom Sister Faustina had looked after in the spiritual sense, acting as a so-called “Angel”; 11 letters to Sister Ludwina Gadzina for whom Saint Faustina was also an “Angel”; and 1 letter to Sister Beniamina Zarębska. In the Congre- gation archive there are also cards with short, rhymed wishes addressed to Mother Irena Krzyżanowska and some other sisters. Occasional letters to her family have also been preserved: to her sisters Eugenia, Natalia and Wanda, as well as dedications on holy cards for her parents. In the book “The Letters of Saint Faustina” there are also 9 letters which Michael Sopoćko sent to her. They have been published as they do not only enable the reader to see what the relationship between Sister Faustina and Father Sopoćko was like but, above all, they also show their mutual efforts to discern God’s will as well as their common pursuits pertaining to the fulfilment of the mission of the Apostle of Divine Mercy. The letters, wishes, dedications on holy cards reveal and complete the spiritual portrait of the Apostle of the Divine Mercy. They reveal the countenance of a mystic and prophet totally involved in the cause of proclaiming the message of Mercy to the world and, at the same time, they show a person who is really and truly concerned about man, his salvation and human needs.