The Anniversary of the death of the Founder of the Congregation, in which St. Faustina lived

Some may not know that St. Fau­sti­na belon­ged to the Con­gre­ga­tion of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mer­cy, which was foun­ded by the Polish prin­cess Ewa Potoc­ka née Suł­kow­ska (1814–1881). Today, July 6, marks the 138th anni­ver­sa­ry of her death. For this reason, this reflec­tion will be dedi­ca­ted to her.

Altho­ugh not a cano­ni­zed saint, she led a holy life, total­ly devo­ted to girls and women who needed all-embra­cing help to chan­ge the­ir lives1. She lived in very dan­ge­ro­us times for Poland, in the time of upri­sings and fights with the occu­py­ing powers for the fre­edom of the Church, and for the right of the people to use the­ir mother ton­gue (Polish). Dedi­ca­ted to her work of raising the level of moral life among the Polish people, aga­inst all odds she wro­te in one of her let­ters: “I am not afra­id of any­thing … I will con­ti­nue our apo­sto­lic work, as if we lived in peace­ful times … “.

Whe­re did Mother Tere­sa find such deter­mi­na­tion and coura­ge? How do we expla­in her per­se­ve­ran­ce in reali­zing the cha­rism of saving the souls of “women from the stre­et” and her unpre­ce­den­ted mother’s love for such people? Whe­re did the power to live in pover­ty despi­te being accu­sto­med to luxu­ry come from? After all, remem­ber, she has been a prin­cess.

She was strong in the Lord thanks to her unwa­ve­ring, per­si­stent faith and spi­rit of gra­ti­tu­de to God for eve­ry­thing. She sang the “Magni­fi­cat” in eve­ry free moment. It was this hero­ic faith and gra­ti­tu­de that were the domi­nant featu­res in the life of this prin­cess. She repe­ated: “If I saved even one soul by my work, if at least one was rescu­ed for God, I would be gene­ro­usly rewar­ded. Is it a small mat­ter to save one soul? This tho­ught sti­mu­la­tes me to work, gives me coura­ge and bra­ve­ry in the deepest adver­si­ties”. This mot­to of her life gave the Con­gre­ga­tion a spe­cial featu­re of the ardor and apo­sto­lic zeal of the Sisters. It was in this very atmo­sphe­re, whe­re one sacri­fi­ces eve­ry­thing to save human souls from hell, that Sister Fau­sti­na grew. Her words from the Dia­ry are like an echo of Mother Potoc­ka­’s words: I was suf­fe­ring more that day than on other days, but that — it was nothing, and that for the salva­tion of souls, it was not too much. O mer­ci­ful Jesus, give me the souls of sin­ners! (Dia­ry 842). 

May we also win souls for God by our work, suf­fe­ring, pray­er, and we will be saints.

 

  1.  Mother saw with deep cla­ri­ty the pri­ce­less digni­ty of the woman, and she dedi­ca­ted her life and work to resto­re this ima­ge when it had been dis­fi­gu­red thro­ugh a volun­ta­ry life­sty­le of sexu­al pro­mi­scu­ity.