On February 22, 1931 a young Polish num, Sr. Faustina Kowalska, saw a vision of Jesus with rays of mercy streaming from His Heart. He told her to have an image painted to represent the vision and to sign it, "Jesus, I Trust in You!" Calling her the Apostle and Secretary of His mercy, He ordered her to begin writing a diary so others would come to know and trust in Him. In a series of revelations that followed between 1931 and 1938, He taught her that His mercy is unlimited and available even to the greatest sinners. He revealed special ways for people to respond to His mercy in their lives, and He gave her several promises for those who would trust in His mercy, and show mercy to others. By the time of Sr. Faustina's death in 1939, Devotion to The Divine Mercy had already begun to spread throughout Eastern Europe. In 1940, Fr. Joseph Jarzebowsi, a Polish Marian priest blacklisted by the Nazi SS, prayed to the merciful Savior to help him escape, vowing to spend the rest of his life spreading the Divine Mercy Devotion. He arrived safely on American soil in May 1941, and Marian communities in Detroit and Washington, DC, were soon distributing Mercy of God materials.

In 1944, a group of Marians opened a new house and apostolate on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Mass, and began spreading the Devotion on a large scale. By 1953, the Marian apostolate on Eden Hill had become the international center for the Divine Mercy Devotion, distributing more than 25 million pieces of mercy literature per year. In 1960, with donations from all over the world, the Marians of Eden Hill completed construction of a shrine to the Mercy of God. The shrine has now become the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy- spiritual home of the Association of Marian Helpers-and the apostolate has become the Marian Helps Center, a modern religious publishing house spreading devotion to the mercy of God and to Mary.

In 1966, through the efforts of Karol Cardinal Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II), the informative process for beatification of Sr. Faustina was begun. The message of mercy is now being spread throughout the world. Sister Faustina was beatified on April 18, 1993, and canonized a saint on April 30, 2000. Her diary has become the handbook for the Devotion to the Divine Mercy.

Original Divine Mercy image that Sister Faustina
directed artist Eugene Kazimirowski to paint
in Vilnius, Poland in 1934.

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