Our Patron Saint: St. Margaret Mary Alacoque - 1647-1690
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque was born in a remote village of France in 1647. Even in early childhood, her piety was noticed by many. At age twenty-four she entered the Convent of the Visitation, a teaching order in Paray-le-Monial, France.
In this convent she received several visions where Jesus revealed His Sacred Heart as a symbol of His love for mankind. The first revelation occurred on December 27, 1673 and for eighteen months afterwards Christ appeared to her, instructing her in a devotion. His message was that people were to venerate His Heart under the form of the Sacred Heart represented by a wound, a crown of thorns, a burning flame atop of it, and encircled with blazing light. He asked Sister Margaret Mary to receive communion frequently, which was uncommon then, and to spend time in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament on the first Friday of each month.
She suffered wholly because of her holiness and the visions that many refused to believe. She remained constant to her faith in Christ's love.
The convent at Paray-le-Monial began observing the feast of the Sacred Heart in 1685. A chapel was built to honor the Sacred Heart two years later. Soon, observation of the feast spread to other Visitation convents, as well as throughout France.
After serving as novice mistress and assistant superior, Sister Margaret Mary died at the age of forty-three on October 17, 1690 at Paray-le-Monial. In 1920, Pope Benedict XV proclaimed her a Saint. Her Feast day is October 17th.
The devotion was officially recognized and approved by Pope Clement XIII in 1765, seventy-five years after her death. Her visions and teachings have had considerable influence on the devotional life of Catholics, especially since the inauguration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the Roman calendar in 1856.
Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary for those devoted to His Sacred Heart
- I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
- I will establish peace in their families.
- I will console them in all their troubles.
- They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of their death.
- I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
- Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
- Tepid souls shall become fervent.
- Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
- I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
- I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
- Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be effaced.
- The all-powerful love of My Heart will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under my displeasure, nor without receiving their Sacraments; My heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.
*About local artist Virginia Thomas and her rendering of the "The Apparition of Jesus to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque”.