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Feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

October 16 @ 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The fifth of seven children, Margaret was the only daughter of Claude and Philiberte Alacoque. When she was eight, her father died and the family was left without control of his assets. Instead, relatives of Claude took over the farm and household, and treated Philiberte and her children almost as if they were servants. The farm and household returned to the family’s ownership when Margaret’s eldest brother came of age.

From a young age, Margaret already had a strong devotion for the Blessed Sacrament and, at age nine, was permitted to receive her First Holy Communion. Shortly after, Margaret fell ill. Her illness plagued her for the next four years, leaving her bedridden and close to death. Margaret made a vow to Our Lady that if she were to recover, she would devote the rest of her life to her. Almost immediately Margaret was back to full health.

Her mother wanted Margaret to marry. After attending a ball one night, Margaret had a vision of Christ appearing to her, bloody and wounded, telling Margaret that she had forgotten Him and the vow she’d made to Our Lady. At twenty, she resolved to enter a convent; at twenty-two, she made her profession at the convent of the Visitation at Party-le-Monial where she added Mary to her name.

The nuns of the Order of the Visitation were known for their humility and selflessness, two virtues that Margaret Mary excelled at. Around this time Margaret Mary began bodily mortifications and penances which she continued for the rest of her life. She was assigned to the infirmary, although it is said that she was not very skilled at her tasks.

The first of Margaret Mary’s visions that began at the convent took place on December 27, 1673. The Lord told her that the love of His heart must spread and manifest itself to man, and that He would reveal the graces of His Sacred Heart through her. The revelations from the Lord to Margaret Mary continued over the next eighteen months. When she told her Superior, Mother de Saumaise, about her visions, Margaret Mary was reprimanded. This caused her to collapse, leading to serious illness. The Mother Superior decided she had been too harsh in her dealings with Margaret Mary and said she would take it as a sign that the visions were authentic. Upon Margaret Mary’s recovery, her Superior summoned some theologians (including a Jesuit and Benedictine) to listen to her story. However, these theologians deemed her visions to be hallucinations and suggested that she start eating more hardy meals. This caused Margaret Mary great distress until eventually a Jesuit, Fr. Claude de la Columbiere, became convinced of the genuineness of the revelations after speaking with her. Fr. Claude de la Columbiere helped inaugurate the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in England.

In 1682, Fr. Claude de la Columbiere passed away. In that same year, Margaret Mary was appointed assistant and novice-mistress by the new Mother Superior. This, along with a reading out loud from Fr. Claude’s writings about Margaret Mary’s visions ended opposition from nuns in the convent and the community alike. In 1686, the convent began to privately observe the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Two years later, a chapel honoring the Sacred Heart was built in Paray-le-Monial and soon, observation of the feast spread to other Visitation convents.

Margaret Mary fell ill for the final time at age 43. She passed away on October 17, 1690 while being anointed, saying, “I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus.” It took 75 years after her death for the devotion to the Sacred Heart to be officially recognize by the Church when Pope Clement XIII approved it in 1765. Today, it is one of the highest ranking and widely celebrated feasts.

Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to Thee I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying Thee. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to Thee, and to do all for Thy love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease Thee.

I take Thee, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be Thou, O Most Merciful Heart, my justification before God Thy Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice, but placing my entire confidence in Thee, O Heart of Love, I hope all from Thine infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist Thee. Imprint Thy pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget Thee or be separated from Thee.
I beseech Thee, through Thine infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Thy Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Thy devoted servants.


– St. Margaret Mary Alacoque


October 16
12:00 am - 11:59 pm
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