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Special services honors Polish nun

by Gail Davenport

From the diary of a young Polish nun has spread a special devotion to the mercy of God throughout the world.

The story of the origin of the Divine Mercy Message and Devotion is one of great visions and revelations, miraculous answers to prayer, a dramatic escape from war-torn Poland, a temporary ban by the Church and subsequent intervention by the Archbishop of Krakow, Poland, Karol Cardinal Wojtyla, who later became known to the world as Pope John Paul II.

In 1931, Christ appeared to Blessed Faustina in a vision. She saw Jesus clothed in a white garment with His right hand raised in blessing. His left hand was touching His garment in the area of the heart, from where two large rays came forth, one red and the other pale.

Blessed Faustina’s diary contains at least 14 passages in which Our Lord is quoted as requesting that a “Feast of Mercy” be officially established in the church. The message Christ relayed to the world through the words of Faustina Kowalska, known as “Blessed Faustina,” is nothing new, just a reminder of what the Church has always taught: that God is merciful and forgiving and that we, too, must show mercy and forgiveness.

On June 7, 1997, after praying at the tomb of Sister Faustina in the Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki, Poland, Pope John Paul II said, “I give thanks to the Divine Providence that I have been enabled to contribute personally to the fulfillment of Christ’s will through the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy.”

On April 18, 1993, the Sunday after Easter, Sister Faustina was beatified by Pope John Paul II. Since the church’s acceptance of the documented miracle of Sister Faustina, which is a condition necessary for the canonization of all saints, Pope John Paul II is expected to inscribe Faustina Kowalska’s name on the Roll of the Saints on Mercy Sunday, April 30, 2000.

As part of a worldwide celebration, the parish of St. Gall will participate with a Reconciliation, Veneration of the Holy Portrait, along with Mass of Divine Mercy Sunday, April 30, at 1 p.m. at the church at 1343 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville. The community of St. Gall welcomes all to share in this memorable occasion.