Saint Faustina was born Helena Kowolsha in Poland in 1905. By the age of 20, against her parents wishes, she had entered the religious life joining the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy, an order which cared for lost and wayward girls. Throughout her time here, she experienced divine revelations and mystical appearances with both Jesus and Mary appearing to her numerous times. During one of these visitations, Jesus told Faustina of his desire for her to spread the devotion of the Divine Mercy and to show the image of Divine Mercy, an image with which we are all familiar today.
Although Faustina was poorly educated, she kept a diary of these events and the ridicule she was sometimes subjected to from her fellow nuns. The diary, Divine Mercy in My Soul: The Diary of Faustina, was then published and sold 5 million copies worldwide.
During one of his visitations, Jesus made it known to Faustina that he wanted her to form a congregation which will proclaim the Mercy of God to the world and by its prayers, obtain it for the world. Although Faustina died before she could form this congregation, she left strict instructions and the Institute of Divine Mercy was founded in 1941.
St Faustina was beatified on 18 April 1993 and canonised on 30 April 2000.
Don Mullan (born 1956) is an Irish humanitarian worker and media producer. He has headed one well-known Irish aid agency and worked for another, spoken widely, and was co-producer of a film about Bloody Sunday. He is also the author of is the author of Eyewitness Bloody Sunday (Wolfhound Press 1997), The Dublin and Monaghan Bombings (Wolfhound Press 2000) and A Gift of Roses - Memories of the visit to Ireland of the relics of St ThÃƒÂ©rÃƒÂ¨se (Wolfhound Press 2001).