Sunday, 19 July 2020

Did she see Him?

Father Ignatius was busy in his office dealing with some paper work when Eric, a young man in his mid-twenties, came in.

“I’ve changed the oil Father and gave the engine a good run. It’s as good as new.”

Eric was a car mechanic at the local garage and every now and then he came over to the parochial house to maintain the priest’s car and undertake any minor jobs that needed doing.

“Thank you” replied Father Ignatius, “I’ll await the invoice from your boss in due course.”

“Oh I see you got that picture of Jesus …” said Eric pointing at the wall. “The boss has the same one in his office at work.”

“It’s very popular …” mumbled the priest hoping that the youngster would soon leave. He had plenty of paperwork to get on with and he could really not afford the time for a chat.

“Did He really look like that?” continued Eric.


“Jesus … did He look like that? This is the picture painted by that nun isn’t it? What’s her name?”

Father Ignatius put down the letter he was reading and turned to Eric. It was obvious that although he wished to get on with his work the Good Lord had other plans for him.

“Her name is Sister Faustina. Her real name at birth was Helena Kowalska.”

“Greek was she?” asked Eric making himself comfortable in the armchair near the window.

Father Ignatius took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes with his right hand, as if to summon every once of patience that the Good Lord might send him. “Why now, when I’m busy,” he prayed silently.

“No Eric,” he said with a smile, “she was Polish.”

“That’s right; I knew it was somewhere foreign. Near Jerusalem where Jesus came from …”

“Not quite near Jerusalem …”

“And she actually saw Jesus and painted Him. That’s what I have been told. Do you believe that?” interrupted the young man eagerly.

“Well …”

“I mean … she could have been lying. Can you prove that she actually saw Jesus and He looks like that picture?”

“Despite my age,” said the priest abruptly, “I can assure you I was not around when Sister Faustina was around. So I can’t actually prove what you ask for.” He then immediately regretted what he had said and continued in a more gentle voice.

“Look Eric, we are told that Sister Faustina back in 1931 had a Vision of our Lord. She saw Him dressed in white and standing very much as in the picture there. From His heart rays came out, one red and another pale, as you can see.

“The Lord spoke to her and asked her to paint an image according to the Vision she can see and to write ‘Jesus I trust in you.’

“And that’s how we came to have this picture."

“Oh …” said Eric.

“Now you and I have two choices to make,” continued the priest.

“We can believe this is all true. Or we can believe she was lying and nothing really happened.

“If indeed the story is true and we chose to ignore it we would have lost a great opportunity to venerate the image of Christ; as He has asked us to do when He spoke to Sister Faustina.

“And what a great pity, and tragedy that would be! To ignore a request made by our Lord Himself.”

“I see …” said Eric pensively.

“Our Faith has a number of mysteries Eric,” continued the priest in his gentle tone, “things that we are invited to believe without any proof and without any evidence. That’s why they call it Faith. To believe in something when your common sense tells you otherwise.”

There followed a few moments silence whilst Eric digested the information he’d just heard.

“Does Jesus appear and speak to people these days too?” he asked finally.

“I believe He does,” replied Father Ignatius, “He certainly spoke through the Holy Spirit to Father John Woolley. Here, you can borrow his book …”

Eric picked up the book handed by the priest and read the title, “I am with you.”

He then asked, “Jesus performed miracles when He was on earth … Does He do so now? Do miracles happen now Father?”

“Yes … they do. Miracles happen every day to a lot of people. The sad fact is that too many are not willing to believe that they happen.

“Christ is alive and is amongst us now as He ever was. He speaks to us and guides us through His Holy Spirit.

“But hearts have hardened Eric. Plenty are not willing to believe.

“They may consider themselves Christians or Catholics but they don’t know what to believe anymore. They just go through the motions by going to church and by claiming they’re Christians.

“Christianity is not just a label Eric. Or a brand name. It is real. Christ is real and is alive today as He ever was. It is not an event that happened two thousand years ago which we commemorate as a Remembrance every Sunday. Christ is alive and here today. He is here in the Eucharist; He is here in the Holy Spirit who abides in our very soul, if we let Him. If we invite Him …”

Eric hesitated for a while and then asked “I’d like to really believe in all these things Father. I don’t know how …”

“That’s a good start … wanting to believe. Opening your mind and heart to the Lord.

“Pray about it. Ask God to help you believe. If you like come and join us at the Bible classes we hold every now and then here at the Parish center.

“Ask for God’s help and leave the rest to Him.

“Say what you can read in that picture on the wall, ‘Jesus, I trust in you’ and mean it every time you say it.”

Note: I am with you. Author John A Woolley ISBN 09508840-7-3


  1. St. Paul, in the book of Romans, lays out the case that we have no excuse for not having faith, as He has left us plenty of evidence in nature and in our own hearts that He is real and not silent.

    How i wish all the Erics in the world could sit and talk with someone, in a Divine Appointment like this one you have pictured, with someone who could explain these things. That changes the world one person at a time.

    1. What a nice and good thing to say, Mimi. Yes, you are right. No one has an excuse for not believing. And it takes one person at a time. Through our example, through what we write, what we say and how we behave.

      God bless, Mimi.

  2. I have had many supernatural experiences with the Lord, including the Lord speaking to me through poetry that I have written, a near death experience and healings and a miracle. I have even been transported miraculously from one road to another when I and my friend were prison visitors on a lifers' wing, the reason being that the Lord wanted us to go to visit a man's parents. I have known others that have had supernatural experiences in the Lord too, as all things are possible with God, and Jesus Whom God has made our Lord. If the carnal mind chooses not to believe it then it is because the spiritual enemy does not want us to. The mind of Christ, which we have access to when we are born again of God's Spirit, tells us otherwise.

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences, Brenda.

      God bless.

  3. Replies
    1. Indeed, Chris. Sometimes I say these words and add, "to the best of my abilities, and within my limitations ... I trust in you."

      I remember the words "I believe, Lord; help my unbelief." Mark 9:24

      God bless, Chris.

  4. So good to 'see' Fr. Ignatius again! I loved his response to young Eric, and found the painting's history fascinating. Tho' I'm a terrible joke-teller, this reminds me of an old joke: Observing little Sally hard at work, her Sunday school teacher asked "What is it you're drawing?" Sally: "A picture of Jesus." Teacher: "But Sally, no-one knows what Jesus looks like." To which the little girl replied, "They will when I get finished."

    1. That's a brilliant joke, Mevely. I like it.

      The story of Sister Faustina is told in the Catholic Church and many reproductions of the painting exist in churches and homes. Of course, no one knows the authenticity of the story. The nun said she saw Jesus in a Vision and was asked to paint the image and the inscription.

      I am now busily writing another book of short stories of Father Ignatius.

      God bless you and yours, Mevely.

  5. Growing up and attending a Baptist church from the time I was very young there were several pictures of Jesus. The one that touch my young heart, was the Good Shepherd. I heard the gospel that I was a lost sheep and needed a Shepherd, and at age 10 by faith gave my life to the Shepherd and have followed Him for the past 69 years. I find if you really want to see's in THE WORD OF GOD, the Holy Scriptures. I know people have dreams and visions, but all of those MUST be determined in the light of Scripture.
    All that to say I enjoyed the story, and so glad Eric's heart was tender and wanted to know Christ for himself.
    Blessings for the day and week.

    1. What an experience and a way to God, Wanda. I'm glad you enjoyed this story.

      God bless.

    2. Agree with Wanda!! She said it better than I could.

  6. Ah, someday we will see Him and we will know Him in all His glory. Come quickly, Lord Jesus!

  7. I found the story of the painting fascinating. I looked up Sister Faustina, who I never heard of. What an incredible person. Interesting that last week when I was out walking, I came across the painting in the form of a sign. It was next to a funeral home. I have never seen the painting in a sign before anywhere. So, of course I took a photo. Then today, your post adds the historical background of the painting. Wow!

    1. What a coincidence, Bill. Years ago, in a town in Southern England I saw this painting in a frame on the wall outside a house. It was not a church, or place of worship, just an ordinary house. I was surprised because you don't see statues and religious paintings in the street in the UK. It was so nice to see such paintings and statues when I visited Dublin.

      God bless, Bill.

  8. Another enlightening and endearing Fr. Ignatius story to brighten my day and comfort my soul. Thank you, Victor!

    1. Thanx Martha. Another opportunity for me, (and Fr Ignatius), to shed some light on this image which we have in our Catholic churches.

      God bless you and your family.

  9. Oh, I prefer the original painting Sister Faustina commissioned to have painted, the one painted by Eugeniusz Kazimirowski. Look that up and let me know if that's not superior to the ones painted afterward.

    1. I agree, it is a more beautiful painting, Manny. But either versions, give us an opportunity to pray and venerate the Lord Jesus.

      God bless you and yours, my friend.



God bless you.