Reflection: 28th April 2019

A Reflection for the Second Sunday of Easter / Divine Mercy Sunday

Jn: 20: 19-31 ( 

Helena Kowalska, born in Poland in 1905, entered the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Warsaw when she was 20.  Received with the assessment of being ‘no one special’ and named Faustina, she worked in a few different communities of her congregation as baker, gardener, gate-keeper. She suffered a lot from ill-health and died in 1938 in Krakow where she was buried.

A few short years later and not too far away from where she had worked at one time, a young Karol Wojtyla worked in a quarry in Nazi-occupied Poland. Later he became a priest and Archbishop of Krakow.  In 1965 he would initiate the process of investigating the holiness of Sr. Faustina. Later, as Pope John Paul II, he beatified her, and in 2000 she was canonised by him in Rome, becoming St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, the first saint of the new millennium.

So runs the very brief outline of this incredible woman, who lived just 35 years, and whose short life was to proclaim to the whole world the truth, revealed in the Scriptures, of the merciful love of God for each of us. She established the Devotion of Divine Mercy, gave us the portrait / image of Jesus as Divine Mercy, with the words ‘Jesus, I trust in You’; called for the establishment of  the Feast of Divine Mercy on the Second Sunday after Easter; gave us the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, and asked us to pray and meditate on Christ’s Passion at 3 pm., the hour of Great Mercy, each day. Her spirituality, which many follow, is to show a childlike trust in God, trying to do His will, and always showing an attitude of mercy to one’s neighbour. 

There is so much more: the diary that she wrote, the apparitions that she received, the humble life that she lived; these are there to be read and studied.  Many groups meet each day to try to follow the Devotion to the Divine Mercy. The sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist are central to it. I personally have found it changing my life and I feel it has changed the lives of many more. It is a pearl to be found in our Church. Seek it out. 

Noel O’Meara C.S.Sp. – Ordained in 1965, Fr. Noel has been a missionary in Ireland and Brazil, and now works with an NGO for Africa which is based in Germany.