From St. Faustina's diary:
"I want to live pure as a wild flower."
Violets are one of my favorite flowers. They are found in the most unexpected places and I always appreciate their simple beauty and delightful fragrance. Violets don't last very long in water before wilting so it is not good to try and "capture" them, but instead, just love them as they are- wild and free.
The variety below is called a Johnny Jump Up, also, it is known as hearts-ease, heart's delight, tickle-my-fancy, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, come-and-cuddle-me, three-faces-in-a- hood, or love-in-idleness.
Love for Nature
As a child, St Faustina tended the garden and walked in the fields where wild violets and other flowers grew. She must have thought about those little flowers even then and made them a part of her written reflections later.
It was customary in Faustina's village (and all of Poland) to participate in May Crownings and to decorate altars, wayside and home shrines. The video (below) notes that she liked to pick flowers for these places.
"The lowly violet was associated with humility and became known as Our Lady's Modesty. It was said to have blossomed when Mary said to the Angel Gabriel, who had come to tell her she was to bear the Son of God, 'Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord'".
From the middle ages, the violet has been included in the Marian garden where "May Day celebrations honoring new life became associated with Mary"*.
Written Reflections of St. Faustina
"I want to live pure as a wild flower. I want my love always to be turned to You, just as a flower that is always turning to the sun. I want the fragrance and the freshness of the flower of my heart to always be preserved for You alone."
"Jesus you know how ardently I desire to hide so that no one may know me but Your sweetest Heart. I want to be a tiny violet, hidden in the grass, unknown in a magnificent enclosed garden in which beautiful lilies and roses grow.
The beautiful lily, the lovely rose can all be seen from afar, but in order to see a little violet, one has to bend low; only its scent gives it away."
"I will hide from people's eyes whatever good I am able to do so that God himself may be my reward. I will be like a tiny violet hidden in the grass, which does not hurt the foot that treads on it, but diffuses its fragrance and, forgetting itself completely, tries to please the person who has crushed it underfoot. This is difficult for human nature, but God's grace comes to one's aid."
These writings illustrate St Faustina's spiritual striving as a nun. "At age 20 she joined a convent in Warsaw and was later transferred to Plock and then to Vilnius where she met her confessor, Father Michael Sopocko, who supported her promotion of the Divine Mercy message. Faustina and Father Sopocko directed an artist to paint the first Divine Mercy image, based on Faustina's reported vision of Jesus".
HERE is a movie in the original Polish language with French subtitlesI It was filmed in Poland at the actual locations. The facial expressions are worth 1000 words, especially Fr. Spocko's during one confession scene.
The basilica of St Josaphat is offering a Soup and Session series for Lent. Last Monday, we viewed the movie Ocean of Mercy. The video reflects on the lives of St. Faustina Kowalska, St. Maximilliam Kolbe and the soon-to-be canonized, Blessed John Paul II. The review states "Amazingly, these 3 persons, who were so instrumental would never meet, yet separated from each other by a few miles, but united in a strong faith and love of God and neighbor and nation."
Here we have the example of three people who lived the call to mercy in a unique and heroic ways.
Notes, Art, Photography CMJENTZ ©2013-2018
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Christine M. (CM) Jentz.
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