October 2014 - St. Faustina Kowalska and St. Ignatius of Antioch

Saint Faustina Kowalska and Saint Ignatius of Antioch Photo: CNS Saint Faustina Kowalska and Saint Ignatius of Antioch Photo: CNS

St. Faustina Kowalska

Poor Polish sister became apostle of divine mercy

1905–1938
Feast day: October 5

The visionary called the apostle of divine mercy deferred a religious calling to help her poor Polish family with her earnings as a housekeeper. She entered the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy in 1925, serving in Krakow, Płock and Vilnius as a cook, gardener and porter until her early death from tuberculosis. After reporting her visions of Jesus as the divine mercy, she was ordered to have a psychiatric evaluation and the church posthumously condemned her 700-page diary. Her fellow Pole Cardinal Karol Wojtyła championed her cause and had the ban removed after a retranslation; later, as Pope John Paul II, he canonized her and designated the Second Sunday of Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday churchwide.

St. Ignatius of Antioch

First-century Syrian bishop was thrown to the lions

c. 37–c. 107
Feast day: October 17

This Syrian-born martyr, who gave himself the nickname “God-bearer” because of his certainty of God’s presence within him and who may have been a disciple of St. John the Evangelist, became bishop of Antioch about 69. Eventually he was arrested and sent to Rome, where his strong desire for martyrdom was fulfilled when he was thrown to the lions in the Colosseum. In seven letters written to Christians in Asia Minor and Rome, he stressed the need to heal church conflicts, the authority of local bishops and the Eucharist as a source
of unity.

Northwest Catholic - October 2014