The Artist who Painted the First Divine Mercy Image
Eugene Kazimierowski was the artist who painted the first Image of Divine Mercy which currently hangs in the Shrine of Divine Mercy in Vilnius, Lithuania.
He was born on November 11, 1873. He was a Polish Realistic painter and he preferred to paint landscapes and portraits. But it was his painting the first Divine Mercy Image in 1934 for which he is best known. He was commissioned to paint this holy Image by St. Faustina’s spiritual director and confessor Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko.
Mr. Kazimierowski was a student at the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts from 1892–1897. He continued his studies in Munich, Paris, and later Rome. After World War I ended, he resettled to Vilnius. There he taught at the Vilnius Teacher Seminary and decorated theatres throughout Vilnius.
The painting of Divine Mercy was first displayed in public during the Easter ceremonies on April 25–28, 1934. The first mass with a Divine Mercy Image was celebrated by Blessed Fr. Michael Sopocko at the Gate of Dawn Church in Vilnius, on April 28, 1935, which has now become known as the Feast of Mercy. St. Faustina records in her Diary that many people present on that day were very curious as to where this new Image of Jesus had come from, but St. Faustina could not tell them. Shortly after this time, the Mother Superior and St. Faustina had prayer cards with the Image printed on one side printed and distributed them in Vilnius.
In 1936, Mr. Kazimierowski moved from Vilnius to Białystok, where he worked in the tourism industry. He died in 1939 and although most of his paintings were destroyed during World War II, his painting of the Divine Mercy Image was never harmed.