“Love and Mercy: Faustina” paints clear picture of Christ’s Divine Mercy

by Jerry Circelli

North Texas Catholic

10/14/2019

A scene from "Love and Mercy" depicts St. Faustina. (Photo courtesy Kondrat-Media)

Catholics interested in coming face-to-face with the first saint of new millennium, Saint Faustina Kowalska, and learning more about Christ’s Divine Mercy message that she relayed to the world will have that opportunity when “Love and Mercy: Faustina” comes to theaters across America on Monday, Oct. 28.

The one-day-only movie theater production will be shown on about 800 screens in the United States. Earlier this year, the movie debuted in Poland — the home country of St. Faustina — where it proved to be a major success, playing to sell-out audiences.

“Love and Mercy: Faustina” introduces us to St. Faustina and her call to religious life, as well as the healing that people around the world have received from the Divine Mercy message she so effectively communicated.

That message from the Lord was relayed to St. Faustina in the 1930s, when she was a young nun with a limited education, fulfilling humble tasks with the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in Poland.

The film depicts young Sister Faustina before Christ called her to religious life and follows the humble servant as she receives the image of the Divine Mercy in a vision in 1931 in a tiny town in Poland.

Jesus presented Himself as the “King of Divine Mercy,” cloaked in a white garment, with red and pale rays emanating from his heart.

To this simple sister, the Lord also revealed extraordinary messages, which she recorded in notebooks now collected and known as The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska. Contained in the work is God’s loving message of Divine Mercy.

During an era leading up to World War II, characterized by corrupt political powers, conflict, hatred, and lack of respect for human life, Jesus appeared to the young sister, offering His love and forgiveness to the world.

He chose the young religious-order sister to help emphasize God’s plan of mercy for the world.

“Mankind will not have peace until it turns with trust to My mercy,” Jesus told Sister Faustina.

This and much more comes to us in the new movie, classified as a “docudrama,” which incorporates actors, archival images, and films, as well as expert narrations. It is a hybrid of dramatization and documentary-style storytelling. This type of production truly brings religious education to a new level.

People familiar with St. Faustina know that the Divine Mercy message conveys God’s merciful love for us and the desire to let that love and mercy flow through our own heart and on to others in need of it. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy, familiar to many Catholics, is a devotional prayer passed on to St. Faustina from Jesus.

This movie will bring to life what many know about St. Faustina, her diary, the chaplet, and the Divine Mercy image she helped an artist create.

For those who might know little about St. Faustina, the new movie will be an eye-opener, sure to deepen their faith.

To all audiences, the film delivers new revelations, such as detailed scientific analyses supporting St. Faustina’s vision of Jesus, portrayed in the Divine Mercy image. New studies, being first reported through this production, compare Christ’s face on the Shroud of Turin to His depiction on the Divine Mercy painting. Moviegoers can see for themselves the remarkable similarities.

Although St. Faustina did not live long enough to see the world venerate the Divine Mercy image, St. John Paul II eventually introduced it to the masses through his own devotion to, and interest in, the religious sister’s life. 

St. John Paul II’s fascination with the life of then-Sr. Faustina began in the 1940s when he was Karol Józef Wojtyła — a young student at a clandestine seminary in Poland. Sr. Faustina died in 1938 at the age of 33, and Sr. Faustina and the Divine Mercy devotion soon became sources of strength for people suffering in Poland after invasions by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

Through acting and historical video footage, we see the long road to sainthood of Sr. Faustina, thanks to people who, despite many challenges, advanced her cause to a supportive Pope John Paul II.

Interestingly, St. John Paul II canonized St. Faustina on April 30, 2000 — the second Sunday of Easter that year — and established this time as Divine Mercy Sunday. The pope said at the time of the canonization and feast day announcement, “This is the happiest day of my life.”

Five years later, St. John Paul II died on the vigil of the feast day of Divine Mercy Sunday. During the Mass for the repose of St. John Paul II’s soul the next day, on Divine Mercy Sunday 2005, Vatican officials delivered a text prepared by the late pontiff. In it, the pope reiterated his devotion to the Divine Mercy message.

The prophetic message read, “It is a love that converts hearts and gives peace. How much the world needs to understand and accept Divine Mercy!”

Reflect on the words of St. John Paul II and study the Divine Mercy image. Explore the Divine Mercy message and devotion that instructs us to ask for His mercy, be merciful, and completely trust in Jesus. Then see the film on the big screen while you have the chance.

Like St. John Paul II, you might just come away touched by Christ’s message to St. Faustina:

“The greatest sinners would achieve great sanctity, if only they would trust in My mercy. The very inner depths of My being are filled to overflowing with mercy, and it is being poured out upon all I have created. My delight is to act in a human soul and to fill it with My mercy and to justify it.”

Theaters and tickets:

Visit fathomevents.com/events/faustina-love-and-mercy to find a theater in your area that will be screening “Love and Mercy: Faustina” on Oct. 28.

The Congregation of Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception is the primary promoter of the Divine Mercy message and devotion worldwide and is leading the effort for the film’s screening in United States through Fathom Events.

Catholics interested in coming face-to-face with the first saint of new millennium, Saint Faustina Kowalska, and learning more about Christ’s Divine Mercy message that she relayed to the world will have that opportunity when “Love and Mercy: Faustina” comes to theaters across America on Monday, Oct. 28.

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