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About Devotion To The Sacred Heart:The Story Of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
Catholic Tradition.Org ^ | 00/00/00 | staff

Posted on 10/16/2002 4:40:52 PM PDT by Lady In Blue



About Devotion to the Sacred Heart:
   The Story of Saint Margaret 
Mary Alacoque

A Brief History of the Devotion
Introduction to the Devotion

A Brief History of the Devotion

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a devotion that focuses attention on the physical Heart is the symbol of His redemptive love. Although tradition often situates the beginning of the practice of the devotion to the year 1000, it might be more accurate to place its birth during the time of the great mystics [St. Anselm and St. Bernard] between 1050 and 1150. By the middle ages, because of a strong emphasis on the Passion of our Lord, and because of the efforts of St. Bonaventure and St. Gertrude the Great, the devotion became popularized as a means of worshipping the mystery of Christ, living in the Church.

This devotion was promoted by great Saints, including St. Albert the Great, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Francis de Sales, as well as the great religious orders, such as the Benedictines, the Dominicans, and the Carthusians. However, it must be recorded that the Saint who is most often associated with this devotion is St. Margaret Mary Alacoque [1647-1690]. After she received the Vision of the Sacred Heart, which popularized the devotion, she was scorned by her mother superior who thought her to be delusional. The Saint took ill. Mother superior told St. Margaret Mary that she would believe the miracle of the vision if the Saint were cured. She was and St. Margaret was able to promote the devotion under the guidance of her spiritual director, St. Claude Colombiere. Several books have been published on her extensive letters, sayings and the revelations given to her by Our Lord.

Her private revelations promoted the establishment of a liturgical feast day and the practice of offering reparation for the outrages committed against the Blessed Sacrament on the First Fridays and the Promises of the Sacred Heart. To read more about the devotion, Catholic Family News publishes a monthly article in serial form.

St. Alphonsus was heavily influenced by St. Margaret Mary in his own devotion to the Sacred Heart.

In modern times it was Pope Pius IX who, in 1856, established the Feast of the Sacred Heart and encouraged the efforts of the Apostleship of Prayer-------a confraternity of faithful Catholics who encourage groups, families, and communities to consecrate themselves to the Sacred Heart.. In 1928 Pope Pius XI issued his encyclical Miserentissimus Redemptor on reparation to the Sacred Heart. In 1956 Pope Pius XII published his encyclicalHaurietis aquas on the nature of devotion to the Sacred Heart.

The devotion is usually practiced in preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart following the Second Sunday after Pentecost. It is also practiced in conjunction with the monthly
First Friday observance that is traditional in many parishes.

Introduction to the Devotion

The devotion of all devotions is love for Jesus Christ. A devout author laments the sight of so many persons who pay attention to various devotions, but neglect devotion to the Sacred Heart. there are are many preachers and confessors who say great things, but speak little of love for Jesus Christ.

The love of Jesus Christ ought to be the principal devotion of a Catholic. Lack of devotion to the Sacred Heart is the reason for frequent relapses into serious sin, because people pay scant attention, and are not sufficiently encouraged to acquire the love of Jesus, which is the golden cord which unites and binds the soul to God. . . The Father will love us in the same proportion as we love Jesus Christ. . . We will never be formed in the image of the Lord, nor even desire to be formed in His image, if we do not meditate upon the love which Jesus Christ has shown us.

For this purpose it is related in the life of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a nun of the Visitation Order, that our Savior revealed to this servant His wish that the devotion and the Feast of His Sacred Heart should be established and propagated in the Church. In this way, devout believers would, by their adoration and prayer, make reparation for the injuries His Heart constantly receives from ungrateful humanity when He is exposed in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. It is also related that while this devout nun was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, Jesus Christ showed her His Heart surrounded by thorns, with a cross on the top, and in a throne of flames.

"Behold the Heart," she reports that Jesus spoke to her, "that has loved humanity, and has spared nothing for them, even to consuming itself to give them pledges of Its love, but which receives from the majority of people, no other return but ingratitude, and insults toward the Sacrament of Love."

The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, is nothing more than an exercise of love toward our loving Savior. Therefore, the principal object of this devotion, the spiritual object of this devotion, is the love with which the Heart of Jesus is inflamed toward all. Let us now attempt to satisfy the devotion of those who are enamored of Jesus Christ, and who desire to honor him in the Most Holy Sacrament, by a novena of holy meditations and affections to His Sacred Heart.

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About Saint Margaret Mary From Another Source:

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Typed up by SUE BURTON.


Margaret Alacoque, the fifth of seven children of Claude
Alacoque and Philiberte Lamyn, was born at Lhautecour in
old Burgandy, now East Central France, on July 22, 1647.
She was baptized Margaret, adding the name Mary only at the
time of her Confirmation in 1669. At the age of four she took
a vow of chastity, though "I did not then understand what I
had done, nor what was meant by the words 'vow' and 'chastity'"
From her earliest years she was tenderly devoted to the
Blessed Sacrament and to the Blessed Virgin.

Her father died when she was eight. When she was eight and
a half, she was sent to the school of the Urbanist Nuns at
Charolles, where she received the only two years of formal
education she ever had.

At the then early age of nine, she made her first Holy Communion.
"This Communion shed such bitterness over all my little pleasures
and amusements that I was no longer able to enjoy any of them,
although I sought them eagerly." Shortly after this she succumbed
to long illness. "But I fell into so pitable a state of ill health
that for about four years I was unable to walk. My bones pierced
my skin. Consequently I was removed from the convent at the end
of two years. since no remedy could be found for my illness, I was
consecrated to the Blessed Virgin with the promise that, if she
cured me, I should one day be one of Her daughters. Scarcely
had I made this vow, when I was cured and taken anew under the
protection of Our Lady."

Though her father, a royal notary, had been in good financial
circumstances, Margaret and her mother were after his death
subjected to domestic persecution and captivity in their home by
some of their relatives. This drew the girl more to mental prayer,
and brought her closer to Christ in His suffering. Eventualy, her
mother again became mistress in her own house and prevailed upon
her now seventeen-year-old daughter to consider marriage. This
brought about an inner conflict and a struggle began in her soul
between the devil and the world on one hand and Our Lord and her
vow on the other. Satan: "Poor fool, what do you mean by wishing
to be a nun? You will become the laughing stock of the world, for
you will never be able to persevere." Her Savior after the scrouging:
"Would you take this pleasure, whereas I never had any and delivered
Myself up to every kind of bitterness for love of you and to win
your heart? Nevertheless, you would still dispute with Me!"

"I had indeed committed great crimes," she writes, "for once during
the days of Carnival, together with other young girls, I disguised
myself through vain complacency. This has been to me a cause of bitter
tears and sorrow during my whole life, together with the fault
I committed in adorning myself in worldly attire through the same
motive of complacency towards the persons above mentioned."

She was induced against her better judgement to apply for admission
into the Ursuline Order at Macon, but was suddenly called home
just "as they were ready to open the convent door to me". On May
25, 1671, she paid her first visit to her "dear Paray,' where as
soon as I entered the parlor, I heard interiorly these words:
'It is here that I would have you be'" She took the habit August 25,
1671, and made her profession November 6, 1672, as the first daughter,
of the new superior, Mother de Saumaise, who was to figure so largely
in her later life.

Christ had carefully prepared His servant for her great mission,
through suffering, prayer and special guidance. Her sufferings
were to continue to the end, her prayer would become ecstatic,
the Savior Himself would be her personal spiritual director till
death. In this way she would be able to present to the world the
Devotion to the Sacred Heart in its modern form.

Our Lord made many revelations to Margaret mary-perhaps forty. The
most striking of these began on December 27, 1673; they ended with
the greatest of them all, "Behold this Heart," in June 1675. It was
during this year that Claude de la Colombiere, a saintly young priest
of the Society of Jesus, was providentially sent to Paray-le-Monail
and appointed extraordinary confessor to the Visitandine community
of which Margaret Mary was a member. He encouraged and reassured
her, and himself became an apostle of the Devotion of the Sacred
Heart for the few years of life that remained to him. The notes
of His Retreat made in London in 1677, where he was sent after
only eighteen months in Paray, were to be a great instrument in
promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Margaret Mary was mistress of novices from 1685 to 1686. Her death
came on October 17, 1690. Her body still rests at Paray-le-Monial.
The process with a view to her canonization was begun in 1715.
She was declared Venerable in 1824, Blessed in 1864, and became
St. Margaret Mary on May 13, 1920.

This brief sketch of her life is continued and expanded in detail
in the letters here presented.
C.A. Herbst,S.J.


To Mother Marie-Francoise de Saumaise, at Dijon
(End of June 1678)

Most Honored And Dear Mother,

It was not without mortification nor from lack of friendship that
I chose to deprive myself of the sweet consolation of writing to
you and telling you that I shall always have the same esteem for
Your Charity. Since you are well aware that Our Good Master has
intimately united my heart and yours, I am not at all afraid that
they will ever be separated except by Himself. Since words fail
me to express the gratitude I feel for your motherly tenderness,
it must suffice to say that I shall continue to remember it in
quite a special way before Our Lord. I beg Him to bestow on you
His most precious graces and loving caresses during this wonderful
time of retreat. I am sharing its delights with you.

A word about the blessings with which His goodness is favoring me
at present. I can only describe them by saying that my whole life,
body and soul, is nothing but a cross. Yet I cannot complain,
nor do I desire any consolation than that of not having any in
this world and of living hidden away in Jesus Christ crucified,
suffering and unknown, so that no one will have any compassion
on me nor remember me except to increase my suffering. I flatter
myself, dear Mother, that you are too interested in me not to
rejoice at this. Thank Our Lord who, after Himself, has nothing
more precious than His love and His cross. By His Mercy He
shares them with me. I know I am most unworthy, too, of the
one He has has given us in the person of our most honored Mother.

I cannot sufficiently express my esteem and affection for her
charity. i have already experienced this charity many times,
and can assure you that I think Our Lord will fulfill His
promise through her. I beg Him with all my heart to do so in
order that He may draw from this all the glory He desires. It
was this dear Mother who told me to write at this time. Because
of a slight indisposition, and also because you will be overwhelmed
with letters just now, I would have put it off. do not hurry to
answer; for no matter how you treat me, I will not doubt your
afection for me. In time and eternity, in the Sacred Love of Jesus,
I shall be Sister Margaret Mary
Blessed be God!

Birth: 1647 Death: 1690
Feastday October 17.

The Twelve Promises of Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary
for those devoted to His Sacred Heart:

1-I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2-I will establish peace in their families.
3-I will console them in all their troubles.
4-They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially
at the hour of their death.
5-I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
6-Sinners shall find in My Heart the source of an infinite ocean of mercy.
7-Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8-Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
9-I will bless the homes where an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.
10-I will give to priests the power of touching the most hardened hearts.
11-Those who propagate this devotion shall have their names written in
My Heart, never to be effaced.
12-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.



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1 posted on 10/16/2002 4:40:52 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; Salvation; nickcarraway; NYer; JMJ333
Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us!
2 posted on 10/16/2002 5:10:42 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue

O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,

fountain of every blessing,

I love you and I adore you

and with a lively sorrow for my sins,

I offer you my poor heart.

Make me humble, patience, pure

and wholly obedient to your will.

Grant good Jesus that

I may live in you and for you.

Protect me, in the midst of danger.

Comfort me, in my afflictions.

Assist me, in my temporal needs.

Give me health of mind, body & spirit.

Grant your blessings on all that I do.

Give me a happy life & a Holy death.


3 posted on 10/16/2002 5:15:51 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: Lady In Blue
4 posted on 10/16/2002 5:16:11 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Lady In Blue
5 posted on 10/16/2002 6:55:06 PM PDT by TotusTuus
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To: Lady In Blue
What a lovely thread! I missed it last night because I was asleep very early, but it was a present to wake up to. Have a wonderful day, LIB! God bless.
6 posted on 10/17/2002 7:21:43 AM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Salvation; Lady In Blue
Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
O most holy heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore you, I love you,
and with lively sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine.
Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to your will.
Grant, Good Jesus, that I may live in you and for you.
Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions.
Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs,
your blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death.

A minor variant for your consideration.
God Bless

7 posted on 10/17/2002 10:11:58 PM PDT by polemikos
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To: Salvation
Thank you very much,Salvation for such a beautiful post!
8 posted on 10/18/2002 8:43:32 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: nickcarraway
Thanks for the bump.
9 posted on 10/18/2002 8:45:54 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: TotusTuus
10 posted on 10/18/2002 8:48:10 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: JMJ333
Thank you JMJ333 for your kind words.And you're welcome!
11 posted on 10/18/2002 8:50:39 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: polemikos
What a beautiful prayer,polemikos.Thank you for sharing it with us.
12 posted on 10/18/2002 8:53:29 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
Bumping on Oct. 16, 2003.

Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on us!
13 posted on 10/16/2003 8:37:51 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue

BTTT of 06-04-04

14 posted on 06/04/2004 6:20:51 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue

BTTT on 10-16-040, Feast Day of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque!

15 posted on 10/16/2004 8:52:54 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; goldenstategirl; ...
Saint of the Day Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Saint of the Day Ping List.

16 posted on 10/16/2004 9:25:18 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue
American Cathlic's Saint of the Day

October 16
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Margaret Mary was chosen by Christ to arouse the Church to a realization of the love of God symbolized by the heart of Jesus.

Her early years were marked by sickness and a painful home situation. "The heaviest of my crosses was that I could do nothing to lighten the cross my mother was suffering." After considering marriage for some time, Margaret entered the Order of Visitation nuns at the age of 24.

A Visitation nun was "not to be extraordinary except by being ordinary," but the young nun was not to enjoy this anonymity. A fellow novice (shrewdest of critics) termed Margaret humble, simple and frank, but above all kind and patient under sharp criticism and correction. She could not meditate in the formal way expected, though she tried her best to give up her "prayer of simplicity." Slow, quiet and clumsy, she was assigned to help an infirmarian who was a bundle of energy.

On December 21, 1674, three years a nun, she received the first of her revelations. She felt "invested" with the presence of God, though always afraid of deceiving herself in such matters. The request of Christ was that his love for humankind be made evident through her. During the next 13 months he appeared to her at intervals. His human heart was to be the symbol of his divine-human love. By her own love she was to make up for the coldness and ingratitude of the world—by frequent and loving Holy Communion, especially on the first Friday of each month, and by an hour's vigil of prayer every Thursday night in memory of his agony and isolation in Gethsemane. He also asked that a feast of reparation be instituted.

Like all saints, Margaret had to pay for her gift of holiness. Some of her own sisters were hostile. Theologians who were called in declared her visions delusions and suggested that she eat more heartily. Later, parents of children she taught called her an impostor, an unorthodox innovator. A new confessor, Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, a Jesuit, recognized her genuineness and supported her. Against her great resistance, Christ called her to be a sacrificial victim for the shortcomings of her own sisters, and to make this known.

After serving as novice mistress and assistant superior, she died at the age of 43 while being anointed. "I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus."


Our scientific-materialistic age cannot "prove" private revelations. Theologians, if pressed, admit that we do not have to believe in them. But it is impossible to deny the message Margaret Mary heralded: that God loves us with a passionate love. Her insistence on reparation and prayer and the reminder of final judgment should be sufficient to ward off superstition and superficiality in devotion to the Sacred Heart while preserving its deep Christian meaning.


Christ speaks to St. Margaret Mary: "Behold this Heart which has so loved men that it has spared nothing, even to exhausting and consuming itself, in order to testify its love. In return, I receive from the greater part only ingratitude, by their irreverence and sacrileges, and by the coldness and contempt they have for me in this sacrament of love.... I come into the heart I have given you in order that through your fervor you may atone for the offenses which I have received from lukewarm and slothful hearts that dishonor me in the Blessed Sacrament" (Third apparition).

17 posted on 10/16/2004 9:29:47 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue

Jesus appearing to St Margaret Mary Alacoque showing His Sacred Heart 1673 Paray-le-Monial, France
18 posted on 10/16/2004 9:31:03 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue

This is a kind of Sacred Heart prayer (at least it's based on the ejaculation, Jesus meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine).

My Sweet Jesus,
gentle and humble of heart,
You lovingly see beyond the surface
of how we dress,
how wealthy we are,
how well thought of by our friends,
and see us as we truly are,
an imperfect child of God,
yet something that you cherish
and long to make whole.

Teach me, Lord,
to have a heart like yours,
centered on Heaven,
Let me be an able vessel of your mercy,
a lantern for your light,
an instrument of your peace.

In my love of you, Lord,
keep me safe from self-righteousness,
looking down at others
who may not feel as I do,
worship as I do,
pray as I do.
Yet let me always remember
that they are your children too,
and every bit as worth as I,
if not more,
of your love and concern
and treat them accordingly.

In my love of you, Lord,
help me to keep from causing anger,
or hurt
in my desire to honor you
by saying words harshly,
or by making a bad example,
or arguing a point
past the point of reason.
Be thou my center,
let all my actions reflect your loving ways
and not my needs to be right,
or smarter,
or more witty
than my fellow man.

Lord, teach me to be gentle,
to avoid anger,
to love with a free and open heart
for your glory,
to do your work,
this day and always, Amen.

Susan E. Stone, 2004

19 posted on 10/16/2004 9:31:35 AM PDT by Knitting A Conundrum (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing)
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To: Lady In Blue; narses; Canticle_of_Deborah; Pio; pascendi; sdsurfer; ELS; Convert from ECUSA; ...

Here is something we have all forgotten to sing, due to the demonic efforts of liturgists and publishers to destroy the Catholic heritage of Sacred Music. It is a German hymn: "Dem Herzen Jesu Singe" with ext by Aloys Shlor, and set to a German hymn tune of the same name:

1. To Jesus heart, all burning With fervent love for men,
My heart with fondest yearning Shall raise the joyful strain:

(Refrain) while ages course along, blest be with loudest song: the Sacred Heart of Jesus, by ev'ry heart and tongue!

2. O heart for me on fire With love no man can speak, my yet untold desire God gives me for Thy sake.

3. Too true, I have forsaken thy love fo willful sin;
Yet now let me be taken Back to thy grace again.

4. As thou art meek and lowly, And ever pure of heart,
So may my heart be wholly Of Thine the counterpart.

The tune is very elegant and beatiful. The words are beautiful - not because of mere poetic form, because they are a love song, simply expressed. And the words speak of simple, childlike devotion.

Of course, they pale before the glories of Marty Haugen, Dan Schutte, GIA, OCP, and other variants of TeletubbieMusik we are forced to listen to today.

But those very sad wannabe musicians could never write these words. Firstly becuase to do so requires faith. Secondly, becuase these words are those of humble access to divine mercy and gratitude.

Not mindless ego renewal

All love to Thee, Most Sacred Heart!

20 posted on 10/16/2004 3:22:58 PM PDT by thor76 (Our Lady of La Sallette, pray for us. Marie Julie Jehany, pray for us!)
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