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Rome Reports

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History of the original Divine Mercy image

In 1931, a Polish nun, Faustina Kowalska, received an apparition from Jesus. He requested her to “paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the words, ‘Jesus, I trust in You.’” Faustina obediently carried out this request and the result was this image of Divine Mercy. It is one of the most venerated images in the world.  

However, it was not easy to keep the image in a safe place. In the past it had been stolen, bought and even buried. 

This is according to journalist David Murgia in his book “Saint Faustina and the face of the Merciful Jesus.”

Author, “Saint Faustina and the face of the Merciful Jesus”
“The book recounts the true story about this image of Divine Mercy. Usually people think about the version in Krakow. However, the original image of Divine Mercy is the one behind me. This image had been produced under the guidance and supervision of St. Faustina Kowalska.” “Undoubtedly it is considered the only and real image of Divine Mercy.”

Pope Francis had prayed in front of the image in Krakow. However, it is not the original image. This version was made in 1944 by Adolf Hyla. 

The original version was made 10 years earlier by Marcin Kazimirowski, under the supervision of St. Faustina. It is in a sanctuary in Vilnius that the pope has also visited. There is a major difference between the two images.

Author, “Saint Faustina and the face of the Merciful Jesus”
“The eyes of this true Divine Mercy image is precious because Jesus does not look at the person, but looks down. This is because God does not impose Himself, but invites. He does not look directly into your eyes because He does not want to intimidate you. For this reason, He directs His gaze downward.”

The image has been in Poland, Lithuania and Belarus. It has survived both the Nazi and Soviet invasion. If it had not been for the nuns and people who hid and found it, few people would know of its existence today.