The third day in the morning
Mussolini in Training

No Mercy Sunday

Today is the Feast of Divine Mercy so we must once again interrupt our series on The Vatican and 20th Century European Fascism.

We have already encountered this Feast of Divine Mercy in connection with our post about the world's largest monstrance in a Polish Catholic Church in Chicago. In that post, The King of Jerusalem : Part IV, I quoted from a Catholic Fire webpage which stated that:

"...On February 22, 1931, Jesus first appeared to St. Faustina at the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy convent in Plock, Poland..."

And that the Feast was:

"...instituted by Pope John Paul II in the year 2000, in response to a direct request by the Lord to a Polish nun, St. Maria Faustina Kowalska, whom Pope John Paul II canonized that year."

After posting that article, I dismissed this new focus on the visions of Sister Faustina as an isolated aberration but as I've just noticed an article in a local newspaper urging the faithful to commemorate The Feast of Divine Mercy, I think we'd better have a second look.

The story goes that Sister Faustina's many visions of Jesus and Mary, and her spiritual journeyings through the 1930's were recorded in notebooks which were later published in 1987 by the Marians of the Immaculate Conception as The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul.

One may gauge the fevered state of mind of this poor nun who was soon to die of tuberculosis by a diary entry for February 3, 1938:

"A vision of the Mother of God. In the midst of a great brilliance, I saw the Mother of God clothed in a white gown, girt about with a golden cincture; and there were tiny stars, also of gold, over the whole garment, and chevron-shaped sleeves lined with gold. Her cloak was sky blue, lightly thrown over the shoulders. A transparent veil was delicately drawn over her head, while her flowing hair was set off beautifully by a golden crown which terminated in little crosses. On Her left arm She held the Child Jesus. A Blessed Mother of this type I had not yet seen. Then She looked at me kindly and said: I am the Mother of God of Priests. At that She lowered Jesus from Her arms to the ground, raised Her right hand heavenward and said: O God, bless Poland, bless priests."

Sister Faustina's most important vision, however, had occurred back in 1931 when she saw Jesus with peculiar rays issuing from his breast. She was directed by Jesus to have an image painted of what she saw:

"Paint an image according to the pattern you see with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You ... 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" (47, 48)

"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' " (327)

"Souls perish in spite of My bitter Passion.  I am giving them the last hope of salvation; that is, the Feast of My Mercy.  If they will not adore My mercy, they will perish for all eternity...tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice, is near.” (965)

The "awful day" was certainly near for millions of Jesus' own people. And we certainly know that in Sister Faustina's homeland there was no mercy and much hellfire.

Perhaps all those Jews perished because they did not bow down before this painted image of Jesus' Divine Mercy which must be venerated on pain of hell-fire.

Divinemercypic3

This idea that the Jews were exterminated because they refused to recognise Jesus as the Messiah is an enduring theme which we will explore further in future posts.

It is also interesting to note that Sister Faustina was Polish, the Pope who canonised her was Polish, and the worst excesses against the Jews occurred in Poland. It's just a thought but...perhaps this whole diary thing is a retrospective attempt to justify the Polish Catholic Church heirarchy's absolute silence in the face of all those atrocities being committed against their fellow citizens who happened to be Jewish? The whole thing was divinely ordained after all...so they may say.

You may read the 'diary' of Sister Faustina here.

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