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The Life of Faustina Kowalska: The Authorized Biography

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The extraordinary visions of this humble Polish nun gave rise to the Divine Mercy devotion, which has become increasingly popular among Catholics today. This authorized biography (formerly titled Mercy My Mission), includes many excerpts from Faustina's famous diary. Whether read alone or as a study aid to reading the diary itself, this book is an inspiring and reliable in The extraordinary visions of this humble Polish nun gave rise to the Divine Mercy devotion, which has become increasingly popular among Catholics today. This authorized biography (formerly titled Mercy My Mission), includes many excerpts from Faustina's famous diary. Whether read alone or as a study aid to reading the diary itself, this book is an inspiring and reliable introduction to this remarkable twentieth-century saint. 


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The extraordinary visions of this humble Polish nun gave rise to the Divine Mercy devotion, which has become increasingly popular among Catholics today. This authorized biography (formerly titled Mercy My Mission), includes many excerpts from Faustina's famous diary. Whether read alone or as a study aid to reading the diary itself, this book is an inspiring and reliable in The extraordinary visions of this humble Polish nun gave rise to the Divine Mercy devotion, which has become increasingly popular among Catholics today. This authorized biography (formerly titled Mercy My Mission), includes many excerpts from Faustina's famous diary. Whether read alone or as a study aid to reading the diary itself, this book is an inspiring and reliable introduction to this remarkable twentieth-century saint. 

30 review for The Life of Faustina Kowalska: The Authorized Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    booklady

    Mercy is My Mission recounts the life of St. Maria Faustina Kowsalka relying primarily on extracts from her lengthy diary, Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul. Those familiar with this unwieldy text might appreciate a ‘reader’s digest’ version, especially anyone without the time to read the full 730 pages. Sr. Sophia Michalenko selected all my favorite quotes and conversations from the original. To these she added details of St. Faustina’s life which are not contained Mercy is My Mission recounts the life of St. Maria Faustina Kowsalka relying primarily on extracts from her lengthy diary, Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul. Those familiar with this unwieldy text might appreciate a ‘reader’s digest’ version, especially anyone without the time to read the full 730 pages. Sr. Sophia Michalenko selected all my favorite quotes and conversations from the original. To these she added details of St. Faustina’s life which are not contained in the Diary and a brief account of how the devotion spread after Faustina’s death in 1938. Written in 1987, Mercy is My Mission isn’t the most up-to-date* book on Sr. Faustina or the Divine Mercy message. Still its real value lies in being a condensed version of the Diary. *For example, at the end of the text the author includes a gentle reminder that a Feast of Divine Mercy on the first Sunday after Easter be officially established in the Church, and that the Image of Divine Mercy be blessed on that day. St. Pope John Paul II has not only done that (in 2000 when he canonized St. Faustina the first saint of the new millennium) he's also consecrated the entire world to Divine Mercy when he dedicated the Shrine of Divine Mercy on August 17, 2002 in Kraków-Łagiewniki, Poland.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I started reading the diary of St. Faustina before I began this biography. The diary contained so much within only a single page or two that my progress with it was slow. I often found it necessary to set the book down and allow what I had just read to sink in. However, I found this biography to be much more approachable and easier to digest. The narrative accompanying the entries is helpful in understanding the diary. St. Faustina is an incredible and inspiring saint. One can't help but feel alm I started reading the diary of St. Faustina before I began this biography. The diary contained so much within only a single page or two that my progress with it was slow. I often found it necessary to set the book down and allow what I had just read to sink in. However, I found this biography to be much more approachable and easier to digest. The narrative accompanying the entries is helpful in understanding the diary. St. Faustina is an incredible and inspiring saint. One can't help but feel almost jealous of the special way in Jesus chose to commune with this little and humble soul. Jesus' words, as well as her own writings, are both filled with encouragement and beauty, and are very much worth meditating upon. The degree to which St. Faustina had to endure sufferings is almost painful in itself to read. Despite her constant and terrible sufferings, she never ceased to offer her pain for the conversion of sinners. She desired nothing more than to be united with God's will, and for souls to be saved through God's infinite and unfathomable mercy. She accepted whatever suffering He saw fit to send to her, especially if it benefited other souls. She even asked for her suffering to increase, if it meant more souls could be saved. Despite the great suffering she endured, she never lost her joy. She could not help but be joyful, as her soul delighted so much in loving Jesus and being loved by Him. Humility, purity, and obedience were the dominate themes of her life. Even when illness overcame her to the degree that she could not get out of bed, she immersed herself in constant prayer and sacrifice. She desired for her heart to become a dwelling place for Jesus alone, for nothing else to occupy it. She referred to her heart as a "repose" for Jesus to rest, like that of a beautiful garden -- and as a "temple" where Jesus could dwell continuously. Faustina was often very poetic with her words, and in fact she wrote many poems (which are contained in her diary.) I found the prayers she wrote on the New Year each year to be particularly inspiring and beautiful, as well as the prayers she authored immediately following Holy Communion. She had a great love and devotion for Christ in the Eucharist, stating that "all that is good in me is due to Holy Communion" and "all the strength of my soul flows from the Blessed Sacrament." In fact, she is my inspiration for attending daily Mass and receiving the Eucharist daily. In addition, my appreciation and knowledge of the devotion to the Divine Mercy has increased and expanded. I also do not want to go a day without praying this profound chaplet. Sister Faustina's life, and the account of the things she experienced, cannot fail to draw your soul closer to Christ and closer to His Divine Mercy. I have always been enriched and inspired by the lives of the Saints - these holy people who seek to align their lives with God's will - but I find St. Faustina to be a particularly beautiful inspiration, one that has penetrated my soul on a deep level. Like a bee extracts precious nectar from a flower, there is much to learn from her struggles, her incredible faith, and the very important message of Divine Mercy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Stan Finger

    This is called "the authorized biography" of a great saint of the Catholic Church, and it has readily earned that moniker. Sister Sophia brings Helena Kowalska to life in these pages, shedding light on a remarkable woman whose love for God was reflected in an unquenchable thirst to draw closer and closer to Him through suffering and self-sacrifice. The author weaves in excerpts from St. Faustina's diary, which is more famous than any biography written about her. The excerpts are well-chosen and s This is called "the authorized biography" of a great saint of the Catholic Church, and it has readily earned that moniker. Sister Sophia brings Helena Kowalska to life in these pages, shedding light on a remarkable woman whose love for God was reflected in an unquenchable thirst to draw closer and closer to Him through suffering and self-sacrifice. The author weaves in excerpts from St. Faustina's diary, which is more famous than any biography written about her. The excerpts are well-chosen and show her growth, her struggles, her desire to aid sinners and her deep love for both humanity and her native Poland. St. Faustina is known as the great apostle of Divine Mercy, and we are with her in these pages as struggles to grasp and then accomplish what Jesus has asked her to do: tell the world about the fathomless mercy He wants to share with all who come to Him. St. Faustina was canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paul II, himself a native son of Poland. If you want to learn about her, this biography is a good place to start. If you're like me, you'll be returning to the pages again and again to learn from and be inspired by St. Faustina.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    I had this book for a while before I actually started reading it. I borrowed it from church, and therefore there was no due date, so I took my time before I began reading it, and then it became my book-in-between-books from the library, which have due dates, so then I took my time while reading it. Despite the length of time I have had the book in my possession, it was a quick read when I made the time for it. I learned a lot about Saint Faustina and the history of Divine Mercy. Saint Faustina's I had this book for a while before I actually started reading it. I borrowed it from church, and therefore there was no due date, so I took my time before I began reading it, and then it became my book-in-between-books from the library, which have due dates, so then I took my time while reading it. Despite the length of time I have had the book in my possession, it was a quick read when I made the time for it. I learned a lot about Saint Faustina and the history of Divine Mercy. Saint Faustina's life is certainly commendable, and she is a good model of selflessness and faithfulness. She set the bar high in these areas. In the introduction, it is written that Saint Faustina "often repeated herself" in her journals, and this is evident also in the book, which I hoped would be avoided since it was pointed out. I am not sure if the repetition is due to Saint Faustina forgetting what she had already recorded, or if similar events happened multiple times. Regardless, I thought the author would maybe try to cut some of the repetition out.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jess Reidt

    Such a good read🖤

  6. 5 out of 5

    Patricia L.

    If you want to learn of the unfathomable depths of the Divine Mercy then read this book. Jesus communicated his messages to this world to prepare us for His second coming, and to pour out his graces so souls could be redeemed.... even the greatest sinners. This book compels my soul to more action in praying for sinners, for the dying, and for always being merciful. If you've wondering if God really exists, this book of explicit living instructions should give you the grace to understand that the If you want to learn of the unfathomable depths of the Divine Mercy then read this book. Jesus communicated his messages to this world to prepare us for His second coming, and to pour out his graces so souls could be redeemed.... even the greatest sinners. This book compels my soul to more action in praying for sinners, for the dying, and for always being merciful. If you've wondering if God really exists, this book of explicit living instructions should give you the grace to understand that the Divine Mercy, Jesus, lives and loves us completely.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    I had not idea about this saint and last year when we had the chapel of divine mercy done at our church I decided to read about the person who worked with Jesus to form this wonderful prayers. Excellent Catholic Read. I think if more people read about the chaplet they would pray it more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Imee

    inspiring, riveting, something to really ponder on... you cannot read it from cover to cover in one sitting... every page must be ruminated to sink in your heart...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Jim Castro is reading (April 2010) and says it is great.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Peggy Morgan

  11. 5 out of 5

    PEGGY KECK

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mary Alice

    A good introdution to read before you read Faustina's diary. A good introdution to read before you read Faustina's diary.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Dora

  14. 5 out of 5

    Joann Glasser

  15. 4 out of 5

    Delaney

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie P.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

  19. 4 out of 5

    Beth Cochran

  20. 5 out of 5

    Irma

  21. 5 out of 5

    mary catherine

  22. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Childress

  23. 5 out of 5

    Carol Sherman

  24. 5 out of 5

    Fr. Brian Wirth

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shireen Kathryn

  26. 5 out of 5

    Alejandra

  27. 5 out of 5

    Catcough

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karoline Pohorelec

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mark Russell

  30. 5 out of 5

    Faltar

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