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The happiest day of St. John Paul II’s life


MARY REZAC

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
10/5/2016

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ABSTRACTThe happiest day of St. John Paul II’s life - CNA Blog   Latest News Most Read Archive Resources Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds Columns Documents Mama Needs Coffee CNA Blog Italian Spanish Portuguese German Editors Service About us Donate Italian Spanish Portuguese German News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Pope Francis Prayers Sacraments Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Cinemazlowski Fr. Robert Barron Guest Columnist In Good Company Led Into the Truth Live Greater Making a Difference Movie Reviews Russell Shaw The Common Good with Deacon Keith Fournier The Dispute of the Humanum The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Way of Beauty Viewpoint Documents Pope Francis Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Mama Needs Coffee CNA Blog The happiest day of St. John Paul II’s life On 10.05.16, In Uncategorized , by Mary Rezac + Pope John Paul II circa 1991. Credit: L’Osservatore Romano The happiest day of St. John Paul II’s life may not be what you think. To be sure, there were many days of his life that might seem like obvious choices – the end of World War II, or his ordination as a priest, or the day he was named a bishop, or cardinal, or the Pope. But actually, according to St. John Paul II himself, the happiest day of his life was the day he canonized a little nun from his homeland of Poland, St. Faustina Kowalska. St. Faustina was born Helena Kowalska to a poor but devout Polish family in 1905. At the age of 20, with very little education, and having been rejected from several other convents because of her poverty and lack of education, Helen entered the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. There, she took the name Sr. Faustina and spent time in convents in both Poland and Lithuania. Throughout her life, Jesus appeared to Sr. Faustina. He asked her to become an apostle and secretary of his mercy, by writing down his messages of Divine Mercy for the world in her diary. Jesus also asked Sr. Faustina to have an image painted of his Divine Mercy, with red and white rays issuing from his heart, and to spread devotion to the Divine Mercy novena. “I perform works of mercy in every soul. The greater the sinner, the greater the right he has to my #mercy. My mercy is confirmed in every work of my hands. He who trusts in my mercy will not perish, for all his affairs are mine.” – Jesus to St. Faustina, diary entry #723. St. Faustina was a young Polish nun whom Jesus appeared to repeatedly, delivering the message of his Divine Mercy for the modern world. St. Faustina passed away on October 5, 1938, and today the Church celebrates her feast day! #Catholic #saints #prayforus #DivineMercy #Poland A photo posted by Catholic News Agency (@catholicnewsagency) on Oct 5, 2016 at 9:13am PDT Even before her death on October 5, 1938, devotion to Divine Mercy began to spread throughout Poland. Although Sr. Faustina’s life overlapped with John Paul II (then Karol Wojtyla) for several years in Poland – he could have been 18 and living in Krakow when she died – Karol did not really learn about the nun and the message of Divine Mercy until his days in a clandestine seminary during World War II. This little nun and Jesus’ message of Divine Mercy impacted Karol Wojtyla greatly, which became obvious to the world when he was elected Pope. Due to an inaccurate Italian translation of the Diary of Divine Mercy and other unresolved issues, the Vatican placed a ban on spreading the devotion in the 1950s, which was lifted just six months before Cardinal Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II. As Pope, John Paul II dedicated his second encyclical, “Rich in Mercy” (Dives in Misericordia), to Divine Mercy. In Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II , George Weigel writes that John Paul II had told him personally of the impact Sr. Faustina had had on his life and ministry: “As Archbishop of Krakow, Wojtyla had defended Sr. Faustina when her orthodoxy was being posthumously questioned in Rome, due in large part to a faulty translation into Italian of her diary, and had promoted the cause of her beatification. John Paul II, who said that he felt spiritually ‘very near’ Sr. Faustina, had been ‘thinking about her for a long time’ when he began Dives in Misericordia,”.......