Christ is waiting, ready to pour out his mercy to every sinner who turns to him.
Through her one-woman drama coming to Colorado this week, actress Maria Vargo is working to spread this message given to St. Faustina Kowalska in the 20th century.
“It doesn’t matter what we’ve done in our life,” Vargo said. “He wants more than anything for every soul to come to him.”
In the 90-minute performance “Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy,” the California-based actress portrays the life and faith of St. Faustina, known for being the start of the Divine Mercy devotion.
After entering the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy convent, the young nun saw mystical visions in 1930 of Jesus, who appeared in white garments with red and white rays emanating from his heart.
She kept a record of her experiences in a dairy, which sparked a movement of devotion to the mercy of Christ. St. Faustina was canonized in 2000, making her the first declared saint of the third millennium. St. John Paul II called her “the great apostle of Divine Mercy in our time.” He declared the Sunday after Easter “Mercy Sunday.”
In preparing for her role, Vargo delved into the saint’s dairy and life. She visited the Our Lady of Mercy convent in Dorchester, Mass. She spent a week with the nuns to learn about their way of life.
“There was also a book there I read that had some key eyewitness accounts of (St. Faustina),” Vargo said. “She was a joyful person. She wasn’t afraid and didn’t shy away from correcting people if they were doing something wrong.”
She said she learned the nun was also very prayerful.
“The diary helped me prepare interiorly,” Vargo said about her role. “And to have an understanding of whom she was in her relationship with our Lord and those around her.”
Vargo said she tries to stay as true as possible to the spirit and essence of the saint in her performance.
“Every time, I do the performance with my heart and soul in it. I’m passionate about the show, and I want everyone seeing it to get the same experience and truly feel what’s happening,” she said.
In Denver, Vargo will give the last performances on Faustina until the fall. She will give her 75th performance of the play.
The drama is directed by Leonardo Defilippis, president of St. Luke Productions, a Washington-based drama, film TV, radio and web programming companying that depicts the lives of the saints and Scripture. The company produced the film “Thérèse” and performed “Maximilian: Saint of Auschwitz and Vianney” in Denver last year. The productions use actors, theatrical lighting, video imagery and original film scores to produce its dramas.
The performances of “Faustina“ are a freewill offering and suitable for ages 13 and up.
Vargo hopes that faithful will see the play to hear Christ’s message.
“We need to know that we, too, can be like Faustina and we can pray for the conversion of this world,” she said. “We all need mercy every day because we’re sinners.”
‘Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy’ Drama Schedule
8 p.m. May 31: Our Lady Mother of the Church, 6690 E. 72nd Ave., Commerce City. Call 303-289-6489
7 p.m. June 2: St. Peter Church, 55 N. Jefferson St., Monument. Call 719-866-6492 or email email@example.com.
7:30 p.m. June 4: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, 5450 S. Lemay Ave., Fort Collins. Call 970-226-1303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 p.m. June 5: St. Francis of Assisi Church, 2746 E. Fifth St., Castle Rock. Call 303-688-3025 or email email@example.com.
The dramas are suitable for ages 13 and up. Admission is a freewill offering. See www.stlukeproductions.com for information about the production company.