It’s no secret that St. Faustina is one of our favorite saints. When people ask why Emily and I chose St. Faustina as the subject of 2 of our books, I always reply, “We didn’t pick her, she picked us!” Both Emily and I know we have been “tapped on the shoulder” by St. Faustina to help spread the message of Divine Mercy. We were blessed to spend time at her tomb in the late 90’s while studying abroad and prayed with the Sisters of Mercy at the three o’clock hour. As we reflect back on our lives since that time, we can see an undeniable influence of this heavenly friend in our lives. We have been so excited to hear that concurrent with the release of our latest book, Our Friend Faustina, a new a new docudrama about her life and the spread of the Divine Mercy Devotion was released.
On October 28th, over 700 theaters across the United States were packed with moviegoers for the one day viewing on Love and Mercy. The evening was so successful, a second screening was added for December 2, 2019 in select theaters. It’s a night you don’t want to miss! I had the opportunity to attend a private screening this weekend, and was reminded of the importance of living a life of mercy and that mercy needs to be the very identity of the human person. Jesus is continually stepping towards us and inviting us into a relationship with him, he wants not to be the Judge, but the merciful Savior. The world needs the message of Divine Mercy! (I also believe it’s also important to show support of a Catholic movie in our secular world!) So grab a friend and go!
View the trailer here! – https://www.fathomevents.com/events/faustina-love-and-mercy
I’ve read a lot of books and seen several movies and documentaries on St. Faustina, but Love and Mercy is a unique take as a docudrama. Dramatic acting is interspersed with documentary to clarify the story by Fr. Joe Roesch, MIC as well as several Divine Mercy experts. The movie lays the foundations from the book of Genesis and tells why we need this new private revelation; we have forgotten God’s love and mercy and then dives into the life of St. Faustina.
One of my favorite parts of the movie was learning about the realness of St. Faustina. St. Faustina is beautifully played by Kamila Kaminska, who brings this saint to life. I think we can sometimes look at the holy cards and picture the saints in a very one dimensional way. However, the saints were real people with real personalities, just like each one of us. Love and Mercy shows St. Faustina’s struggles, first to enter the convent, then to find her confessor (who first thought she was mentally ill), then to have the image of Divine Mercy painted and to spread the Devotion to Divine Mercy. As St. Faustina worked to earn her dowry to join the convent, a scene of the bedroom was shown and the commentator reflected on the joyfulness of this saint. It reminded me of this quote from Sr. Sophia Michalenko, The Life of Faustina Kowalska, where she wrote, “Here was a red-haired and freckled young woman who, before she entered the convent, people want to turn down from nanny jobs because she was dressed so fashionably. Who, as a sister, was nicknamed “the lawyer,” because she grew passionate when debating and loved to talk with her hands… Social and creative, her sisters loved to sit near her during recreation because she always had something uplifting to day and her Mother General marveled at the fruitfulness of her work in the garden.”
Kamanska’s portrayal of St. Faustina’s humanity helps us realize she was not just someone we read about in books, but a real, living person like you and me. Other notable performances were by Maciej Malysa, who played Fr. Michal Sopocko, Faustina’s spiritual director. Sopocko was instrumental in having the image painted by Eugine Kazimirowski (who I learned was an atheist and Freemason) and continued to spread the Divine Mercy devotion after the death of St. Faustina. The second part of the movie tells the rest of the story after Faustina’s death. Neither she or Sopocko saw the fruits of her labor, but when Pope John Paul II took interest in the case, the current ban on the devotion was lifted (due to faulty translation) , St. Faustina was elevated to a saint and Divine Mercy Sunday was established in the church. The final part of the movie discusses scientific analysis done on the image of Divine Mercy and the Shroud of Turin, which showed “practically perfect correspondence between the two faces.”
The December preview shows on the second day of Advent. Consider gathering a group of friends to see the movie and then get together to read Our Friend Faustina as a small group. You’ll dive deeper into the Diary of St. Faustina and with a FREE amazing video series we co-produced with the Marian’s of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, I know by the end of the study, you will call St. Faustina your friend too!