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:
And that the Feast was:
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:
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:
"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.
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.