MYSTICAL WOMEN: Faustina—Painting the Portrait of the Divine

My Writing

Faustina—Painting the Portrait of the Divine

A passage from the diary of Faustina:

Jesus made known to me how very pleasing to him were prayers of atonement.  He said to me, The prayer of a humble and loving soul disarms the anger of my father and draws down an ocean of blessings.  After the adoration, half way to my cell, I was surrounded by a pack of huge black dogs who were jumping and howling and trying to tear me to pieces.  I realized that they were not dogs, but demons.  One of them spoke up in a rage, “Because you have snatched so many souls away from us this night, we will tear you to pieces.”  I answered, “If that is the will of the most merciful God, tear me to pieces, for I have justly deserved it, because I am the most miserable of all sinners, and God is ever holy, just, and infinitely merciful.”  To these words all the demons answered as one, “Let us flee, for she is not alone; the Almighty is with her!”  And they vanished like dust, like the noise of the road, while I continued on my way to my cell undisturbed, finishing my Te Deum and pondering the infinite and unfathomable mercy of God.

As a young, uneducated woman in Poland, when Faustina entered a convent, her tasks were humble: cooking, cleaning, gardening.  But it was to her that Jesus came with visions.

It was she Jesus led to paint the portrait of him with the two streams of light, one white, one red, coming from his heart.  In the portrait, Jesus wears white.  Faustina called this, the divine mercy image.

One hand was raised in the gesture of blessing, the other was touching his garment at the breast.  From beneath the garment slightly drawn aside at the breast, there was emanating two large rays, one red, the other pale.  In silence, I kept my gaze fixed on the Lord; my soul was struck with awe, but also with great joy.  After a while, Jesus said to me,

“Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature, Jesus, I trust in you.  I desire that this image be venerated, first in your chapel, and then throughout the world.

“‘I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish.  I also promise victory over its enemies already here on earth, especially at the hour of death.  I, myself, will defend it as my own glory.’”

Through her visions, Faustina came to see herself as the apostle of divine mercy.  Her mission was to teach the world about the divine mercy of Jesus.  She developed the chaplet of the divine mercy (published earlier), she wrote rules for a new contemplative religious order devoted to the divine mercy, and, eventually, masses where the divine mercy image was displayed were dedicated to the divine mercy.

Her visions were not limited to the divine mercy, however.  She also learned the delineations of hell.  And she shared some of her prophesies the events of which eventually came about.

Through intercessions, Faustina has been credited with two miraculous healings.

I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy. That vessel is this image with the signature: “Jesus, I trust in You.”

A prayer to Faustina:

Saint Faustina,

You told us that your mission would continue after your death and that you would not forget us.  Our Lord also granted you a great privilege, telling you to “distribute graces as you will, to whom you will, and when you will.”  Relying on this, I ask your intercession for the graces I need, (state request).  Help me, above all, to trust in Jesus as you did and thus to glorify his mercy every moment of my life.


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