Polish businessman Roman Kluska, a former personal computer magnate, was struck by the coherence of her writing, and it changed his life.
Just one verse each day.
In 1988, Roman Kluska founded Optimus, a company that manufactured personal computers. It was barely the eve of the collapse of the communist regime. And yet it was a stroke of genius: Optimus very quickly established itself as the leader in the Eastern European market. His business intuitions are impressive: How could a man who started with 12 dollars in his pocket beat IBM, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard in the regional market?
Yet in 2000, Roman Kluska was accused of tax evasion and arrested by the Polish authorities. In 2003, he was completely exonerated and paid reparations. His case made him the “poster boy for the need to reform relations between Polish business and officialdom,” according to Financial Times. His case and that of other businessmen reflected corruption and ineptitude in the Polish bureaucracy, which Kluska attributed in part to the continuing influence of socialism.
This run-in with the government did no damage to his public reputation, apparently; the National Catholic Reporter notes that in the years that followed he was popular and respected for his philanthropic activities, many of which had a religious nature, such as providing the principal funding for the construction of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow.
A skiing accident and St. Faustina’s Diary
The start of his involvement with Divine Mercy goes back to a family winter vacation in the mountains in the early 1990s. Aleteia’s Małgorzata Bilska spoke with Kluska about it. “As I didn’t really have time to ski during the day” because of work, “I went skiing when it got dark,” when the slopes were very poorly lit, he says. One day, while skiing in the dark, he took a big fall that ruptured his Achilles tendon. “It kept me in bed for a long time,” he told Aleteia.
Although Kluska continued to perfectly manage his “empire” on the telephone from his bed, in the evening he was bored. Unable to move, one day he tried to find something to read and he saw a booklet of excerpts from Saint Faustina’s Diary on his bedside table, which his wife had put near his bed. “Today, I know it was no accident,” he continues. Although accustomed to books that were more scientific or dedicated to his field of business, the entrepreneur began to read it, without enthusiasm for an author who had only attended three years of primary school classes.
I was used to the fact that I easily caught almost every one of my deputies or presidents of subordinate companies on inconsistencies or lack of logic… Imagine my astonishment when, reading the Diary , I had not a single comment about Faustina!
However, the text captivated him. He went on to read the entire book. “I was used to the fact that I easily caught almost every one of my deputies or presidents of subordinate companies on inconsistencies or lack of logic… Imagine my astonishment when, reading the Diary, I had not a single comment about Faustina!” he told Aleteia. “There is no internal inconsistency there. It’s painfully logical. I decided that she couldn’t have written it herself, she really is the secretary of the Lord Jesus. She wouldn’t be able to give a coherent lecture in a 600-page book about how we should live.”
The reading had a profound impact on him. “I was fascinated by God, his perfection in every dimension,” he said. “God tells man: You have the choice between my infinite merciful love or my justice. It’s all up to you. You are free! choose. I finally felt what it means to be a free man… I have the right to choose.”
God tells man: You have the choice between my infinite merciful love or my justice. It’s all up to you
Divine Mercy in prison
When he was arrested and imprisoned some time later on the pretext of tax evasion, the Diary was his “strongest and only weapon,” he told Polish website Opoka. “There was nothing left for me in prison except the promise of the Lord Jesus that if I trusted him, he would take my problems upon Himself. My brain was bursting with various dark thoughts. ‘I wonder what will be?’ I started saying in my cell, ‘Jesus, I trust in You,’” he told the website. “God takes over our problems when a person has the courage to respond to God’s love with unconditional trust, no matter what happens. As we can trust and accept God’s will, problems resolve themselves. If they do not resolve, it means that something needs to be changed.”
To make known the words of Saint Faustina, he would end up distributing free of charge no fewer than a million copies of her Diary.
Today, Roman Kluska has embarked successfully on an enterprise of sheep breeding and organic farming, but he continues to support projects rooted in Christian values and to testify unceasingly that confidence in the mercy of God is never counterproductive, even when it comes to worldly matters.