My heart is a permanent dwelling place for Jesus. No one but Jesus has access to it. It is from Jesus that I derive strength to fight difficulties and oppositions. I want to be transformed into Jesus in order to be able to give myself completely to souls. Without Jesus I would not get near to souls, because I know what I am of myself. I absorb God into myself in order to give Him to souls. (Diary 193)
Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska was born Helena Kowalska in Glogowiec, Poland, on August 25, 1905 and baptized two days later a St. Casimir Church, Swinise Warckie, Poland. As her diary notes, only seven years later, she first heard a “voice in her soul” calling her to a more perfect way of life. For the next thirty-three years of her life Helen (later Sister Maria Faustina) Kowalska followed the way led by that voice in her soul.
Having been canonized by Pope John Paul II on April 30, 2000, as the first saint of the 21st century, Saint Maria Faustina continues to follow that voice of Christ and calls all throughout the world to do likewise.
St. Faustina was guided in her short-lived journey by many holy people, most notably Father Michael Sopocko. Fr. Sopocko, now Blessed Michael Sopocko, was Sr. Faustina’s spiritual director for that last few years of her life. It is at Fr. Sopocko’s insistence that we have Sr. Faustina’s Diary.
While St. Faustina’s life was short, it was full of both joy, torment, and suffering. Joy at being spoken to and visited by Christ and His Blessed Mother, tormented by torrential health problems, and suffering by being precluded from telling her conversations and visions to anyone other than her confessors.
Our Divine Mercy of the Rockies Pilgrimages trace the major events on St. Faustina’s life in Lithuania and Poland. Along the way, we also look in on the lives of those who influenced her, like Bl. Michael Sopocko, and those she influenced, like Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko, the Polish priest martyred in 1987 by the Polish Communist government, and St. John Paul II, who, as Archbishop of Warsaw, took up the cause for Sr. Faustina’s sainthood.
In the pages below, you will find memories of some of the places we visited on our pilgrimages and our plans for future excursions into the birthplace of today's devotion to Divine Mercy.