After four years on tour and 313 performances as Saint Faustina, actress Maria Vargo has retired from the role. Here are her reflections on portraying this saint:
Faustina was more than a show for me; it was a living, breathing prayer! With each performance, I got to fall more deeply in love with Our Lord and offer him my desires and struggles, my joy and anger.
In my life and in this performance, I’ve learned that Divine Mercy is life-changing, life-giving, and soul-saving. I've seen it, I've heard about it and I've lived it.
You see, almost 10 years ago I had a deep conversion in my life. I’ve always had a strong will and I had been living life according to what I thought was best for me. After heartache, physical and emotional issues, and a series of beautiful encounters with the Blessed Mother and the mercy of God, in 2008 I renewed my abstinence in the baths at Lourdes. For the first time I felt truly free! I felt the beautiful mercy of God, that He loved me in spite of all my mistakes and forgave me.
That's what made playing Saint Faustina even more powerful. Because I knew the depths of God's mercy for me and had turned my life over to Him, He used my past sins in an amazing and beautiful way – I was a witness to the world of His unending love and mercy.
Now, as we get ready to release Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy on DVD, my prayer is that the love I feel for Saint Faustina and for Our Lord and His Mercy comes shining through the screen. I pray that all those watching will discover the power of Divine Mercy and the Chaplet, and that there are many, many more conversions.