Skip to comments.A New Doctor of the Church? (Why St. Faustina Deserves This Rare Honor and Title)
Posted on 11/04/2002 1:35:13 PM PST by Pyro7480
A new Doctor of the Church?
Why St. Faustina deserves this rare honor and title
by Fr. George W. Kosicki, CSB
Pray that our Holy Father John Paul II proclaims St. Faustina a Doctor of the Church!
Pray that the Lord inspire, challenge, and encourage John Paul II to make this bold proclamation now. This bold and extraordinary step is needed now so that the world may know the mercy of the Lord, which St. Faustina spread through the witness of her life and her Diary. Some may not understand why, but God's mercy must be proclaimed now while it is time for mercy.
Our Holy Father has already taken bold and courageous steps, and I urge you to pray that he does more. Most recently, he authorized a plenary indulgence for Mercy Sunday.
Earlier, he took a bold step on August 17, 2002, at the Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki, St. Faustina's convent church:
"Today, in this shrine, I wish solemnly to entrust the world to Divine Mercy. I do so with the burning desire that the message of God's merciful love, proclaimed here through St. Faustina, may be made known to all the peoples of the earth and fill their hearts with hope. May this message radiate from this place to our beloved homeland and throughout the world. May the binding promise of the Lord Jesus be fulfilled: from here there must go forth the spark which will prepare the world for His final coming." (See Diary, 1732.)
"This spark needs to be lighted by the grace of God. This fire of mercy needs to be passed on to the world. In the mercy of God, the world will find peace and mankind will find happiness! I entrust this task to you, dear brothers and sisters, to the Church in Krakow and Poland, and to all the votaries of Divine Mercy who will come here from Poland and from throughout the world. May you be witnesses to mercy!"
He presided over a "two-fold canonization" on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 30, 2000. He canonized St. Faustina and "canonized" the message of Divine Mercy by declaring Divine Mercy Sunday as a feast for the universal Church. He quoted Our Lord's words from St. Faustina's Diary, Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My Mercy. He even wrote about this same point in his encyclical, Rich in Mercy. He stressed that, especially now, in this time of lack of peace, mankind needs mercy.
He declared that the message of the Divine Mercy proclaimed by St. Faustina is the message for the third millenium (Canonization of St. Faustina).
He proclaimed that we all need mercy in order to forgive and so bring about justice and peace. In the wake of the terrorism of September 11, 2001, this need is even more urgent.
He asked, "Where, if not in the Divine Mercy, can the world find refuge and the light of hope?" (Beatification of Sr. Faustina, April 18, 1993).
He called St. Faustina, "the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time" (Regina Caeli, Mercy Sunday, April 10, 1994).
He said at the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Lagiewniki: "There is nothing that man needs more than Divine Mercy" and "the message of Divine Mercy has always been near and dear to me" (June 7, 1997).
He announced at the Shrine of Merciful Love: "Right from the beginning of my ministry in St. Peter's See in Rome, I considered this message [of Divine Mercy] my special task. Providence has assigned it to me in the present situation of man, the Church, and the world. It could be said that precisely this situation assigned that message to me as my task before God" (November 22, 1981).
Now we all need to pray for the bold proclamation of the next step: the declaration of St. Faustina as a Doctor of the Church.
There are three conditions for this rare title, they are: eminent learning, a high degree of sanctity, and proclamation by the Church. Certainly, St. Faustina has contributed through her writings in a way which has earned her this title. In the Office of Readings for St. Faustina's Feast Day, the biography on her describes the Diary as being "numbered among the outstanding works of mystical literature."
The new title would bestow on her writings a definite honor that no Catholic could ignore. She would be included with other recently named Doctors of the Church: St. Teresa of Avila, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Therese of Lisieux.
Though St. Faustina had almost no formal schooling, she was blessed with a great intellect. In fact, it would seem humanly impossible for her to write as she did without divine assistance.
By her canonization, the Church has shown the level of sanctity she achieved. That her writings are becoming very popular shows her usefulness to the Church in leading souls to Christ. And countless are the graces she has obtained both while on earth and in heaven.
Now my task and yours is to be a "witness to mercy" by our lives - radiating mercy by our trust in Jesus, by our works of mercy, by our prayer for mercy. Our "witness to mercy" will be the spark that will challenge and inspire the bold proclamation of St. Faustina as a Doctor of the Church - now when we and the world need God's mercy.
How greatly today's world needs God's mercy! May you be witnesses to mercy!
-John Paul II, August 17, 2002
Fr. George W. Kosicki, CSB, is a well-known author and speaker on Divine Mercy. He lives in solitude in upper Michigan and offers spiritual direction to the Companions of Christ the Lamb.
My mother prays the Chaplet several times a day for those at the hour of death. My mother has that gift of praying as easily as the rest of us breathe.
Mary, Queen of All Saints, pray for us.
BTTT on 10-05-04, Feast Day of St. Faustina!
St. Mary Faustina's name is forever linked to the annual feast of the Divine Mercy (celebrated on the Second Sunday of Easter), the divine mercy chaplet and the divine mercy prayer recited each day by many people at 3 p.m.
Born in what is now west-central Poland (part of Germany before World War I), Helena was the third of 10 children. After age 16 she worked as a housekeeper in three cities before joining the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925. She worked as a cook, gardener and porter in three of their houses.
In addition to carrying out her work faithfully, generously serving the needs of the sisters and the local people, she also had a deep interior life. This included receiving revelations from the Lord Jesus, messages that she recorded in her diary at the request of Christ and of her confessors.
At a time when some Catholics had an image of God as such a strict judge that they might be tempted to despair about the possibility of being forgiven, Jesus chose to emphasize his mercy and forgiveness for sins acknowledged and confessed. I do not want to punish aching mankind, he once told St. Mary Faustina, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to my merciful heart (Diary 1588). The two rays emanating from Christ's heart, she said, represent the blood and water poured out after Jesus' death (Gospel of John 19:34)
Because Sister Mary Faustina knew that the revelations she had already received did not constitute holiness itself, she wrote in her diary: Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but rather the intimate union of the soul with God. These gifts are merely ornaments of the soul, but constitute neither its essence nor its perfection. My sanctity and perfection consist in the close union of my will with the will of God (Diary 1107).
Sister Mary Faustina died of tuberculosis in Krakow, Poland, on October 5, 1938. Pope John Paul II beatified her in 1993 and canonized her in 2000.
Devotion to God's Divine Mercy bears some resemblance to devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In both cases, sinners are encouraged not to despair, not to doubt God's willingness to forgive them if they repent. As Psalm 136 says in each of its 26 verses, God's love [mercy] endures forever.
Four years after Faustina's beatification, Pope John Paul II visited the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy at Lagiewniki (near Krakow) and addressed members of her congregation. He said: The message of divine mercy has always been very close and precious to me. It is as though history has written it in the tragic experience of World War II. In those difficult years, this message was a particular support and an inexhaustible source of hope, not only for those living in Krakow, but for the entire nation. This was also my personal experience, which I carried with me to the See of Peter and which, in a certain sense, forms the image of this pontificate. I thank divine providence because I was able to contribute personally to carrying out Christ's will, by instituting the feast of Divine Mercy. Here, close to the remains of Blessed Faustina, I thank God for the gift of her beatification. I pray unceasingly that God may have 'mercy on us and on the whole world' (chaplet of Divine Mercy).
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