Tuesday 5 October last was the feast of Saint Mary Faustina. Helena Kowalska was born in 1905 in Poland. She was accepted by the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, which she entered in 1925, taking her new name, Sister Faustina.
From 1931, Saint Faustina had several apparitions of Christ, through which He revealed His Divine Mercy. With the help of Father Michael Sopoćko the devotion to the Divine Mercy began. The famous image of Divine mercy was painted under the instruction of Saint Faustina and she wrote instructions for a Novena of the Divine Mercy, which was published in the final year of her life. She died on 5 October 1938.
Saint Faustina was beatified on 18 April 1993 and canonized on 30 April 2000 by Saint Pope John Paul II, who also established Divine Mercy Sunday as a feast day for the entire Church. The feast day falls on the Second Sunday of the Easter season. On that day, John Paul II declared, “This is the happiest day of my life.” Saint Pope John Paul II later died on the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday, 2 April 2005.
In Ireland, Saint Faustina is widely venerated through devotion to the Divine Mercy. Her prayer of the Divine Mercy Chaplet holds a special place of devotion amongst the faithful, especially when praying for the sick and dying.