Maria Vargo focused on theater and music from childhood, but it took a conversion for her to see that using her talents for God is what brings her joy.
Vargo, a native of St. Louis, Mo. portrays the role of St. Faustina in "Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy," a play from St. Luke Productions, based in Battle Ground, Wash. The show is touring the nation, and just finished a run in N.Y. It's on to Illinois and St. Louis next month.
It tells the story of St. Faustina Kowalska, a 20th century Polish mystic whose personal encounters with Jesus have inspired a popular world-wide devotion to divine mercy.
Vargo, whose father is a deacon at St. Augustine Parish in north St. Louis, changed the course of her life during a visit to Lourdes in 2008. Admitting her own past mistakes, she now gives talks on sexual abstinence to young people. She produced a Christian CD, "Fire Tries Iron" and started work at a faith-based theater company in 2010 as artistic director. "She's come to the conclusion, in her own life, that all goodness comes from the Lord and that's where she's going to put herself, and that has led to this beautiful role of Faustina," her father told the St. Louis Review.
Performances are set for California for much of January. The next Oregon show is set for Jan. 30 in Ashland before a March tour to the Midwest.