The Book That Sparked the Divine Mercy Movement... Read more
'I Stayed Up All Night Reading'
by Mary Flournoy
I am fascinated by the unique ways that Marian Helpers come to know about the Divine Mercy message and devotion through the ministries of the Marian Fathers. Chris made a gift in November to support the Marians' publishing ministry, responding to our "Giving Tuesday" appeal at marian.org on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. When I called Chris to thank him for his gift, he stressed how his connection with Divine Mercy and the Marians had started when he first read the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska at his mother's urging. So I ended up talking to both Chris and his mother, Rose. Here's their story.
"I read the Diary even before Sr. Faustina was beatified," said Chris. "My mother said to me, 'You should read this book! This is really amazing!' I read it, and it is amazing. My mother gives me great advice."
Rose was introduced to Sr. Faustina back in the 1980s when Angelina, a friend at work, gave her a prayercard with an image of Sr. Faustina on the front and an image of the Divine Mercy on the back.
A few years later, Rose and her family moved. The prayercard made the move but was just put in a drawer. Then Rose was ill for a few days, and another friend, Alice, came by. "She brought me a pamphlet with the image of the Divine Mercy on the front and Sr. Faustina on the back, with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy inside. She told me to say the prayer for healing. 'There's that nun again' was my first thought," Rose admitted. But she did start to pray the chaplet, and she decided that she ought to find out more about the nun who kept appearing in her life.
The more she learned, the more fascinated she became. She shared the chaplet with her father. "His greatest concern was that his cancer would end his life before my mother died."
Rose said, "So he prayed the chaplet every day at 3 p.m. that God would allow him to live long enough to care for her." His wife preceded him in death by 18 months. "That was all he wanted," Rose said. "His prayers were answered."
Divine Mercy became even more a part of Rose's life when Alice took Rose and her husband to her parish on Divine Mercy Sunday. Then, the couple drove down to St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, in Chicago, which was constructing a sanctuary of the Divine Mercy at the time.
"They had a big banner of Sr. Faustina in front of the church," laughed Rose.
Rose then learned much more about the nun she kept encountering when Alice gave her a copy of the Diary.
"I stayed up all night reading it," said Rose. "It was fascinating! I immediately ordered copies for all my children."
Rose's connection to Divine Mercy and St. Faustina came full circle after her parents' deaths. As she was going through old papers, she came upon donations made by her mother to the Marian Fathers long before Angelina, her friend at work, gave Rose her first prayercard with Sr. Faustina on it.
"The Lord kept putting Divine Mercy in my life until I paid attention," Rose summed up.
If you would like to help spread the message of Divine Mercy by supporting the Marian Fathers' publishing ministry, please contact me.
Mary Flournoy is a donor relations officer for the Association of Marian Helpers in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. You can call her toll free at 1-800-462-7426, ext. 5. Or email her at email@example.com.