On Monday, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments issued a decree adding the optional memorial of Saint Faustina Kowalska to the 5th of October in the Roman Calendar. The decree was issued on the 18th, the birth centenary of Pope Saint John Paul II.

“What the Virgin Mary sang in the Magnificat, contemplating the salvific work of God in favour of every human generation, found an echo in the spiritual encounters of Saint Faustina Kowalska who, through a heavenly gift, saw in the Lord Jesus Christ the merciful face of the Father and became its herald.”

The decree said Pope Francis made the decision after “accepting the petitions and wishes of Pastors, religious women and men, as well as associations of the faithful” and after considering “the influence exercised by the spirituality of Saint Faustina in different parts of the world.”

“Therefore the Supreme Pontiff Francis … has decreed that the name of Saint Maria Faustina (Helena) Kowalska, virgin, be inscribed in the General Roman Calendar and that her optional memorial be celebrated by all on 5 October.”

The decree also included a short biography of the first saint of the new millennium:

“Born in the village of Głogowiec, near Łódź, in Poland in 1905, and dying in Krakow in 1938, Saint Faustina spent her short life amongst the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, generously conforming herself to the vocation she received from God and developing an intense spiritual life, rich in spiritual gifts and in faithful harmony with them. In the Diary of her soul, the sanctuary of her encounter with the Lord Jesus, she herself recounts what the Lord worked in her for the benefit of all: listening to Him who is Love and Mercy she understood that no human wretchedness could measure itself against the mercy which ceaselessly pours from the heart of Christ. Thus she became the inspiration for a movement dedicated to proclaiming and imploring Divine Mercy throughout the whole world. Canonized in the year 2000 by Saint John Paul II, the name of Faustina quickly became known around the world, thereby promoting in all the parts of the People of God, Pastors and lay faithful alike, the invocation of Divine Mercy and its credible witness in the conduct of the lives of believers.”

Want to learn more about Saint Faustina Kowalska? Read more about her story here. You can also read about the time when Jesus revealed 25 secrets of “Spiritual Warfare” in a vision to Saint Faustina here.

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