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St. Margaret Mary and the Sacred Heart

“Look at this Heart which has loved men so much, and yet men do not want to love Me in return. Through you My Divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.”from St. Margaret Mary Alacoque’s vision of Jesus

Today, October 16th, the Church honors and remembers the life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, known as Marguerite-Marie in her native France, who piously promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. From the time she was a young child, Margaret had a love for the Blessed Sacrament, and preferred silence and prayer over typical play. After receiving first Holy Communion at the age of nine, she practiced mortification secretly, until paralysis left her confined to her bed for four years. She made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to pursue religious life and was then instantly restored to health. During her adolescence, at a time when Margaret’s family was suffering in poverty due to the death of her father and an injustice done to a relative, the girl sought solace in the Blessed Sacrament. She received visions of Christ during these years, usually as the Crucified or Ecce Homo; she was not surprised by these visions, assuming such events occurred to all people.

After joining the Visitation Convent at Paray-le-Monial in 1671, she began in 1873 to receive visions revealing the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She was rebuffed by her superior and by theologians for a time, about the validity of the visions, but remained humble, obedient, and charitable to those who persecuted her until the truth of the mission given to her by Our Lord convinced those who opposed her.

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