“Tell My daughter, that I am Love and Mercy itself. When a soul approaches Me with trust, I fill it with such an abundance of graces that it cannot contain them within itself, but radiates them to other souls.” (Diary of St. Faustina -1074 – paragraph 4)

Yesterday I planted a magnolia tree. The tree was planted at the Garden of Mercy at my parish which happens to be called Divine Mercy.  This garden is set aside as a place where all who seek mercy can find peace.  A section of the garden is dedicated to children who died either before or after birth for whatever reason whether miscarriage, abortion or illness.  As part of the garden, rocks with names of lost children are placed near the water feature.  Through this healing gesture, parents are asked to name their sometimes unnamed children who lost before birth, may not have been given a name.

One of the three stones I have placed in the garden is for my son Jordan who died over 22 years ago.  When he died at just three weeks old, a friend had sent us a magnolia tree. We long since had moved from that house where we planted that tree but with St. Faustina’s feast day on Monday October 5th, it seemed a fitting time to add a magnolia to the Garden of Mercy.

The garden was a project I had started on over two years ago with a group of wonderful volunteers.  It was dedicated this summer and through the work I thought very little of the children I was dedicating it to. I thought of them academically but even at the dedication I remained busy and distant.   Today, as I worked alone to plant this last tree. I cried and I asked for the intersession of St. Faustina.

Despite being  a member of a parish called Divine Mercy, I know very little about our patron saint – St. Faustina. Here is a little from my research.

Maria Faustina Kowalska, commonly known as Saint Faustina, born Helenka Kowalska (August 25, 1905, near Lodz, Poland then in the Russian Empire – Died October 5, 1938, Kraków, Poland)  was a Polish nun, mystic and visionary. She is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church as a saint, and is known as the Apostle of Divine Mercy.

So, I know she was from Poland. I know she wrote a diary and I know that she saw Jesus and that He gave her messages for us to hear. I believe this message is one of hope.

When I started to work on the Garden of Mercy I had a thought that it would be dedicated to those who lost an infant or a child before birth.  Reading the news of late has caused me to think of it as a place of hope beyond the little corner of the world in Faribault, Minnesota. With school shootings, refugee crisis and messages of hate and discord all over the news, it is easy to become discouraged.

Where do we find hope? 

In Christ. That is the simple message of this blessed saint.

A Magnolia tree is a sign of hope.  It seems fitting to place it at the center of the garden. The blossoms bloom early in the Spring. So early that they appear before the leaves appear and at a time when winter seems it will never end.

Jesus I trust in you. Is the lesson we learn from St. Faustina.

When I have hope, I trust in You. When I trust in You, I have hope.

A simple lesson and one I can learn from St. Faustina.

If you ever find yourself in a place where you may be loosing hope.

Just repeat the words given to us through St. Faustina.

Jesus I trust in you.

Jesus I trust in you.

Jesus I trust in you.


…more information can be found on the Garden of Mercy at www.DivineMercy.cc