Docudrama about Saint Faustina seeks to lead people to Christ

“My wish,” says filmmaker Michal Kondrat, “is that after seeing this film each person would come to know the biggest mystery of our faith: God’s love and mercy given to us in Jesus.”

Kamila Kaminska portrays Saint Faustina Kowalska in "Love and Mercy - Faustina" (www.loveandmercymovie.com)

Love and Mercy – Faustina, a docudrama about the Divine Mercy and Saint Faustina Kowalska, will open for a single day only in more than 700 U.S. theaters nationwide on Monday, October 28th.

The Divine Mercy is based on the writings of St. Faustina (1905-38), a Polish nun canonized by Pope St. John Paul II in 2000, whose 600-page diary detailed the revelations she had received about God’s mercy. The film views St. Faustina’s revelations from a scientific point of view, and intersperses both testimonies of experts and dramatic recreations of the life of St. Faustina.

Love and Mercy – Faustina is directed by Catholic filmmaker Michal Kondrat, 41, who is from Poland and lives in New York.  It is his fourth film; his other films include Dwie Korony [Two Crowns] a Polish movie about the life of St. Maxmilian Kolbe, and the documentary How to Defeat Satan.

He spoke recently with CWR about the film.

CWR: How is the movie put together? It includes dramatic reenactments as well as interviews with experts?

Michal Kondrat: Initially the film was supposed to only be a feature film. Everything changed when experts discovered in Polish and Lithuanian archives important and previously unknown documents. It was then that I decided to make a docudrama.

CWR: Why did you want to tell this story?

Kondrat: Sr. Faustina’s Diary is a book that has been translated into over 100 languages.  It contains a message of hope, divine mercy and peace for the world. It proclaims and gives witness to Jesus’ infinite love and mercy for each person. This message touches deeply the human heart and changes the lives of countless people as we have witnessed around the world.

Nineteen years ago, Sr. Faustina and her Diary changed my life. I decided to find the essence of this book and make a film about it. I wished to offer an opportunity to those who do not read books to learn about her and her message. I wanted the film to unveil the data from the scientific research that confirms the reality of Sr. Faustina’s vision of Jesus and of His encounters with her. What’s more, I wished to give witness to the truth, that to those who, like Sr. Faustina, place their trust in Him, He not only fulfills His extraordinary promises, but also radiates His healing and merciful love into the hearts that are open to Him and long for His presence.

CWR: How did you go about the process of researching and writing this film?

Kondrat: It began with the fact that our experts found the long-searched-for letter of Fr. Michal Sopocko, Sr. Faustina’s confessor, who had directed it to the Holy See. Then, we discovered previously unknown facts about the image of Jesus, painted at His request, and in particular the data arrived at by the scientific research that confirms its authenticity and congruence with other sacred images. Another unusual fact that we came across is the painter’s dramatic fate. All this new information helps us to better understand the mission of Sr. Faustina entrusted to her by Jesus. Important as these facts are, by themselves, they would not make a film of value.

CWR: How did you select the actress who plays St. Faustina?

Kondrat: I asked several experts to help me determine the personal characteristics of Sr. Faustina, the main character, and then I did the casting. It was difficult to choose the actress who would portray her role. About 30 actresses took part in the casting. The best turned out to be Kamila Kaminska, who recently has become a well-known actress in Poland.

CWR: When and where did you film Love and Mercy – Faustina?  What difficulties did you have?

Kondrat: The documentary parts for Love and Mercy – Faustina were filmed in Poland, Lithuania, and the United States. We also used archival materials from the Second World War, as well as footage of John Paul II’s pastoral visit to Poland in 2002, when he entrusted the world to the Divine Mercy.

Of course, we also had difficulties. I think they always accompany good works. When we recorded Fr. Seraphim Michalenko at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, the quote from the Diary of Sr. Faustina was on the computer screen but disappeared from the teleprompter. Normal attempts to make it appear on the teleprompter failed.

Only when the Provincial of the Marian Fathers, Father Kaz Chwalek, prayed over the computer and blessed it, everything returned to normal. The words from the Diary that disappeared from the teleprompter were: “Let our judgment of souls cease, for God’s mercy upon them is extraordinary.” I saw in this disappearance a powerful message: the hand of the invisible enemy hid these important words of Jesus so that people of our time would not hear and heed His message.

CWR: What response have you had so far from the movie?

Kondrat: Some of the people who saw the movie wrote that it was the most important movie in their lives. Others said that it helped them to make an important decision for their life: to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus. Reading such responses confirms my conviction that it was worth making it.

CWR: What criticisms have you had?

Kondrat: Many critics rated the film positively. There were also some negative opinions. These came primarily from critics who do not share our faith in God, and so they rated it negatively, considering it unbelievable. I am not concerned about the opinions of such critics, because I make films for the people, not for the critics. On Google, 90% of the people who saw the film rated it positively. In Poland, the film broke the audience record in movie theaters in its category, and cinema rights were sold to more than 30 countries.

CWR: Do you view this movie as an evangelistic work?  Do you wish to promote the message of Divine Mercy and lead souls to Christ?

Kondrat: I wish to lead people to Christ.  I would like everyone, after watching this film, to be inspired to spread the Good News of God’s mercy and love. I don’t know if this will be the case. Let those who see it decide on their own.

CWR: Who should see this movie?

Kondrat: The film is dedicated to people who want to deepen their faith in God, who wish to experience His consoling love and mercy for them. It is also for those who are going through trials and difficulties in life or who have become lukewarm in their faith or even disillusioned by poor witness of members of the Church. I think that the story of Sr. Faustina and the Lord’s tender relationship with her would be interesting for everyone to see, as well as to see the many people who have been affected by her witness of faith.

CWR: You are an economist and you also worked in radio.  How did you get into film making?

Kondrat: I’ve always wanted to be a filmmaker, but my whole family has been involved in business, so that is how I got to study economics. For five years I worked as a director in Polish Public Radio, which employs more than 1,300 people. At the suggestion of an acquaintance, a journalist, I decided to make my first film. It was a documentary shot in Italy with a priest who is one of the most important exorcists in the world. The film won the Grand Prix of the largest Catholic film festival in Europe. It was a sign for me to continue filming.

Love and Mercy – Faustina is my fourth film. My previous film, Two Crowns, about the life of St. Maximilian Kolbe, was shown in theaters in 15 countries. This December, Two Crowns will be available on DVD in the United States.

CWR: Your Catholic faith is important in your life.

Kondrat: Yes. Since I entrusted my life to Jesus several years ago, everything has changed. I am convinced that He loves me and that I am pleasing to Him despite my weaknesses. I trust in Him and I’m not afraid of anything.

CWR: The Church in Poland was once heavily persecuted. How are things there today?

Kondrat: The Church in Poland was badly persecuted by the Nazis and Communists for 33 years, but this period of persecution also strengthened it. In the last 30 years Poland has been a free democratic country.  At the present time it also is the fastest developing country in Europe. Our nation’s strength lies in our conservative values and in our faith in God.

CWR: What else would you like to share about Love and Mercy – Faustina?

Kondrat: My wish is that after seeing this film each person would come to know the biggest mystery of our faith: God’s love and mercy given to us in Jesus. Our recourse to Him and His mercy is the last hope for mankind’s salvation.

• Visit the film’s site for more details, to see where the film will be screened, and to order tickets. Here is the film’s trailer:


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About Jim Graves 172 Articles
Jim Graves is a Catholic writer living in Newport Beach, California.

19 Comments

  1. Why did the article start with calling St. Faustina St. and then switched to calling her Sr. Faustina? The article says that Kondrat is a Catholic, so I find this odd. Usually I associate the de-canonization of St. Faustina to Sr. Faustina with people who dissent from Divine Mercy and its image. Her critics are pretty consistent in only calling her Sr. Faustina.

    • Mr. Kondrat refers to her as “Sr. Faustina”. I think it’s quite obvious from his remarks and work that he is not a dissenter or a critic.

        • I tell you why. Becouse She is so close to us. She doesnt stand on high monument like for example st. Augustine. And I tell you more if you can/dare call to the Almighty God Abba Father evry day, so you can from time call st Faustine as just sister, like you name Einstein instead of prof. Einstein. If someone is great you call him professor but if someone is REALLY great “prof.” isnt necessery

        • Well – I still think of St. Teresa of Calcutta as “Mother Teresa,” and St. Frances Cabrini as “Mother Cabrini,” and St. Pio of Pietrelcino as “Padre Pio.” I doubt that any of them feel somehow insulted.

  2. I love the chaplet of Divine Mercy and will always be grateful to my Parish’s Polish community (including my RCIA teacher) for encouraging it’s devotion.

  3. To the Moderator
    I read the article early yesterday, it now appears to have been amended/reduced in relation to Fr Sopocko and ‘scientific research’ am I correct in this supposition.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

      • Thank you Carl for your response
        I posed the question because I often reflect/contemplate upon the article/post which I intend to respond to, before putting pen to paper, so to say. On this occasion I had reflected upon the Turin Shroud with the semantics to the first painting commissioned by Fr Sopocko, this information as with information about Fr Sopocko I now realize upon further refection, was taken from the film’s trailer, which I had subconsciously absorbed into the given article, hence my comment with the use of the word ‘supposition’ I apologise for this imposition placed upon you, while reflecting on one statement within the article

        “Let our judgment of souls cease, for God’s mercy ‘upon them’ is extraordinary.”

        Rather, God’s mercy upon ‘us’ is extraordinary, as to understand the fullness of the Revelation given to Sr. Faustina we need to view the request made by our Lord, as seen on the spiritual plane. We can assume that her attempt to paint the picture would be very childlike, in effect a distorted/broken reflection of the vision she saw. This reflection is a self-reflection of herself but also a reflection of ‘all of us’ before God, that is one of been flawed and sinful, as the true image, in its brokenness, when viewed ‘honestly’ confronts the ego, impelling one to proclaim in humility

        “Jesus I trust in thee”

        For anyone interested in my understand of the true divine Mercy Image/message, please consider continuing via the link
        https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2019/08/24/ours-are-not-miracles-of-evidence-but-of-power-and-influence/#comment-150304

        kevin your brother
        In Christ

        • Diary 313 I said to the Lord, “Who will paint you as beautiful as you are?” Then I heard these words: Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in my grace.

          • Thank you Peter (Fr. Peter Morello) for your comment. “Not in the beauty of the color, nor of the brush lies the greatness of this image, but in my grace” but this statement could quite easily be attributed to the picture she actually painted (And originally possibly was)

            From a previous post I directed at you ”In reality graces do not come from images, although they can and do assist the heart to reflect on the wonder of our God” So what point are you attempting to make?

            I assume that you are attempting to say that the painting is secondary, to the message, but is it? As the original one in its brokenness not only confronts the ego but also would demonstrate ( When accepted} the authenticity of the Priesthood, as their obedience to His inviolate Word (Will) would Glorify God, as the Image holds in contempt the values of this world, while confronting the spiritual reality of our state before Him.

            “Paint a picture according to the vision you see and with the inscription. “Jesus I trust in thee”. I desire that this picture be venerated first in your chapel and then throughout the world”

            This statement says that The image is the message to be seen and venerated by mankind in His House on earth

            So as previously stated “Any information after the original request to Sr Faustina by our Lord must now be considered suspect, as worldly hands, have manipulated the Word of the Lord and pursued their own agendas”

            But you already know this, while my fundamental question, which relates to the breaking of the Second Commandment, by the elite within the Church, still goes unanswered. As the point been made is that in the case of the given ‘first’ Revelation to Sr. Faustina which she ‘faithfully’ acted upon immediately. Contained a command which incorporates the direct use of God’s Holy Name, which is sacrosanct, to deviate in any way from this original command given by Jesus to her is sinful, as it calls into question the Divine prerogative, as stated in my posts @ Leslie, Peter D. Beaulieu and Yourself, that can be seen via the link below, while I stand by my comments in my final post which is directed at you.

            https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2019/08/24/ours-are-not-miracles-of-evidence-but-of-power-and-influence/#comment-151032

            kevin your brother
            In Christ

        • CCC 2150 “The second commandment forbids false oaths”. Suspicion is evident in your attitude toward Fr Sopocko Maria Faustina’s beloved confessor and everyone and anyone else not only in relation to the image of divine mercy but all the clergy in the Church. Every post you’ve made here and on other sites is critical of the entire Roman Catholic priesthood from presbyter to bishops. Never at any time have I read a statement from you praising faithful clergy. Not Once. Instead you exalt yourself as possessing humility disguised with lengthy pietistic musings. As a Priest I’m obliged to admonish you and warn you of the effect of your continuous calumny against us on the Church and of your responsibility before Our Lord.

          • Thank you Peter (Fr Peter Morello) for your comment
            “Every post you’ve made here and on other sites is critical of the entire Roman Catholic priesthood from presbyter to bishops”

            You exaggerate I have said these words and similar ones on other sites “The Catholic Church should not mirror any worldly organization but our Fathers heavenly kingdom as defined by his Son Jesus Christ. It may be a worldly structure but it is made up of many good men and women who have given their lives freely (Unpaid) in service to Jesus Christ, they serve Him in their hearts and their physical works manifest their love of God. The leadership of the Church has betrayed them and many ordinary Catholics because they wanted to portray a worldly image of goodness and they the leadership, when their deception was uncovered showed no blush of shame and even now are still in denial and with arrogance continue to ride roughshod over those they were meant to serve”

            Also “I believe that our church could lead mankind into a new dawn, but revolutionary heroism will be needed by our Shepherds, many good men hemmed in well”

            From one of my posts on this site “Many within the clergy have ‘good intent’ but all are immersed in institutional hypocrisy, as they have served its Image rather than God (Truth) first” My personal experience over the last thirty five years bears witness to this (see my posts via the link below) You may say that I am been critical, I would say I am been truthful. As a member of the body of Christ I also have a responsibility before Our Lord, to draw attention to the self-serving institutionalized hypocrisy I have encountered within Clericalism, do you disagree?

            https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2019/07/21/she-had-a-heart-for-souls-the-life-and-cause-of-servant-of-god-maria-esperanza-de-bianchini/#comment-145940

            “Instead you exalt yourself as possessing humility disguised with lengthy pietistic musings” Yes! Peter I am a sinner, but at least I know it, and I thank God that I do, as this post of mine testifies. See Link
            http://www.ncregister.com/blog/grondelski/since-you-cant-take-it-with-you

            You quote CCC 2150 “The second commandment forbids false oaths”

            For clarity The Second Commandment Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
            There are two main ways in which we can take the name of the Lord in vain: first, by using it in a curse or in an irreverent manner; and second, by using it in an oath or promise that we do not intend to keep. In both cases, we do not show God the reverence and honor that He deserves.
            My post below bears witness to the abuse of the said commandment, by the elite within the church.

            “Paint a picture according to the vision you see and with the inscription. “Jesus I trust in thee”. I desire that this picture be venerated first in your chapel and then throughout the world”
            His Will was manifest by the actions of Sr Faustina, as she immediately accepted, and acted upon It, with singular pure intent, to paint/draw the said picture. The Church states that Private Revelation is only binding on those who receive it, assuming of course that they are of sound mind, and have accepted within their heart, that they have received a message from God, requesting them to do something, as the recipient would feel obliged to fulfil that request, and in the case of Sr Faustina, she acted immediately to His request.

            Logic says that if the given Revelation was accepted and endorsed by the Church, which it was, then the acknowledged request attributed to Jesus, contained within that revelation, would oblige the Church also to accept that request.

            The Church fulfilled her obligation to God’s request, by promising that the said Image would be presented to the faithful for veneration throughout the (Churches of the) World, with the inscription “Jesus I trust in thee” So Yes, we now have a picture in God’s house on earth with this inscription, but it is not the painting/picture/image requested by God.

            — Catechism of the Catholic Church 2147
            Promises made to others (In this case the faithful) in God’s name engage the divine honor, fidelity, truthfulness, and authority. They must be respected in justice. To be unfaithful to them is to misuse God’s name and in some way to make God out to be a liar. (1 John 1:10)

            Actual words attributed to God (His Name) by the Church that contain a request which the Church has endorsed and acted upon, must not be misused, distorted or twisted in ways that impugn the character of God, and then be used by man for his own ends, to do so, would be to say that God was made for man, not man for God, in effect the elite within the Church would be conspiring with the Devil.

            The Church has a responsibility to teach sound doctrine, please explain to me how the Name of God has not been misused in the given revelation.

            kevin your brother
            In Christ

          • Kevin Walters wrote, ““Many within the clergy have ‘good intent’ but all are immersed in institutional hypocrisy, as they have served its Image rather than God (Truth) first”

            And somehow you think that that is a defense against what Father Morello said?

          • Thank you your for your comment Leslie, you know that I said far more than “Many within the clergy have ‘good intent’ but all are immersed in institutional hypocrisy
            To refute Fr Morello statement “Every post you’ve made here and on other sites is critical of the entire Roman Catholic priesthood from presbyter to bishops”

            As the statement you cite is the shorter example of one of three given to him, while my first example clearly gives a lie to his statement, while the other two examples emanate from the first statement, surely you can see that. I am sure Fr Morello can respond himself to my refutation to the said statement of his, and should do so, if he is to retain credibility.

            While I also wait for him, to respond to my continually ‘critical’ unanswered question, that is to be found in all of my posts, relating to the true Divine Mercy Image/Message. Which is

            ‘Please explain to me how the Name of God has not been misused in the given Revelation’

            Perhaps you may also respond to the said ‘critical’ question or will you too, walk away with so many others, and leave it unanswered.

            kevin your brother
            In Christ

          • “you know that I said far more than “Many within the clergy have ‘good intent’ but all are immersed in institutional hypocrisy ”

            Far, far, far, far, far, far, far more. As usual.

            “my first example clearly gives a lie to his statement,”

            “Clearly” is not a word that I can associate with this or any of your posts.

            As to your question (which is not, in fact, a question, but rather a request): If you accept at all that St. Faustina’s revelations are true, and St. Faustina said that the Lord told her that the Vilnius portrait was acceptable, who are you to cavil?

          • Thank you Leslie for your comment.

            Yes I have said a lot , to continue would only be to repeat myself, so I will leave my posts to stand on their own merit, for others to come to their own conclusions, while hoping that Fr. Peter Morello, (See my Post directed at him on OCT 8, @ 3:34 PM) will have the courage to acknowledge his derogative statement directed at me incorporated a defamatory lie.

            kevin your brother
            In Christ

  4. Went to the website for the movie. It seems that the plan is for a one day showing. Seems rather short. I know outside of Catholics who are devoted to the Devine Mercy Chaplet and St. Faustina there might be limited interest, but hoping there is a plan for a mulitiple day release of the movie.

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