Consecration of France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Shortly before her death, in 1689, Marguerite Marie Alacoque wrote several letters to Mother de Saumaise, in which she described the request of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, addressed to the King of France Louis XIV, regarding the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The first letter. February 23, 1689
The first letter to Mother de Saumaise was written on February 23, 1689.
…I hope the divine Heart will become an inexhaustible source of mercy. It wishes only to establish its reign among us, in order to grant us more abundantly its precious graces of sanctification and salvation.
The second letter. June 17, 1689
In fine, my dear Mother, are we not all consumed in the burning heat of His pure love? It will reign, this amiable Heart, in spite of Satan, his imps and his agents. This word transports me with joy. But to be able to express to you the great graces and benedictions it will attract upon all that shall have procured it the most honor and glory is what I cannot do in the way that He has given me to understand it.
He has made me see the devotion to His Sacred Heart as a beautiful tree, destined from all eternity to spring up and take root in the midst of our Institute, and to extend its branches into the houses that compose it, so that each may gather from it fruits most pleasing to her liking and taste. But He desires that the daughters of the Visitation should distribute abundantly to all that will eat of it the fruits of this sacred tree. By this means He desires to restore life to many; and, by withdrawing them from the way of perdition, and destroying the empire of Satan in their heart, to establish in them that of His love.
But He does not wish to stop here. He has still greater designs, which can be executed only by His almighty power.
He desires, then, it seems to me, to enter with pomp and magnificence into the palaces of kings and princes, therein to be honored as much as He has been despised, humiliated, and outraged in His Passion. May He receive as much pleasure therein at seeing the great ones of the world abasing and humbling themselves before Him as He once felt bitterness at beholding Himself annihilated at their feet!
Here are the words that I heard on this point:
The third letter. August 12, 1689
I declare to you, my dear Mother, that your silence regarding the two long letters that I have had the honor to write you has given me a little pain. I know not to what to attribute it, except that perhaps I have set down my thoughts too freely and simply. I should perhaps have kept them concealed under an humble silence. You have only to tell me this, and I assure you that it will greatly gratify my inclination never to speak of these things, but to bury them in the secret of the Sacred Heart of my Divine Master. He is witness of the violence that I must do myself to speak of them. I should never have resolved to do so, had He not made known to me that it is for the interest of His glory; and for that I should cheerfully sacrifice millions of lives, if I had them, through my great desire to make Him known, loved, and adored. But perhaps you have not received my letters, and that would be still more afflicting to me.
Margaret Mary to Louis XIV. Letter to Mother de Saumaise. August 25, 1689
Live + Jesus!
The Eternal Father, wishing to repair the bitterness and agony that the Adorable Heart of His Divine Son endured in the palaces of earthly princes [The Protestant Revolt, esp. Germany], amidst the humiliations and outrages of His Passion, wishes to establish His empire in the heart of our great monarch, of whom He desires to make use in the execution of His designs, which is to have an edifice erected in which shall be a picture of His divine Heart, to receive the consecration and homage of the king and all the court.
Moreover, this divine Heart wishes to make itself the defender of the sacred person of the king, his protector against all his enemies. Therefore has it chosen him as its faithful friend, to have the Mass authorized by the Holy Apostolic See, and to obtain all the other privileges that ought to accompany devotion to this divine Heart.
It is by this divine Heart that God wishes to dispense the treasures of His graces of sanctification and salvation, by bestowing His benediction on the king's undertakings, according a happy success to his arms, and making him triumph over the malice of his enemies.
Louis XVI. Act of Consecration of France
Thou seest, O my God, the wounds that rend my heart, the depth of the abyss into which I am fallen, and the innumerable evils that encompass me on all sides! To my own frightful misfortunes and those of my family are joined, to overwhelm my soul, those that sweep over the face of my kingdom. The cries of the unfortunate, the groans of oppressed religious sound in my ears. An interior voice again warns me that perhaps Thy justice reproaches me with all these calamities, because in the days of my power I did not repress their principal sources, namely, the license of the people and irreligion; because I myself have furnished triumphant heresy with arms by favoring it with laws which have increased its strength and rendered it audacious.
O Jesus Christ, Divine Redeemer of all our iniquities, it is into Thy Adorable Heart that I desire to pour out my afflicted soul. I call to my aid the tender heart of Mary, my august protectress and my mother, and the assistance of St. Louis, my patron and the most illustrious of my ancestors! Open, O Adorable Heart, and from the pure hands of my powerful intercessors receive graciously the satisfactory vows my confidence inspires me to make, and which I offer Thee as the simple expression of my sentiments.
If, by an effect of Thy infinite goodness, O God, I regain my liberty, my crown, and my royal power, I solemnly promise:
1. To revoke as soon as possible all the laws that shall be pointed out to me, whether by the Pope, or by a council, or by four bishops chosen among the most virtuous and enlightened of my kingdom, as contrary to integrity and purity of faith, to the discipline and spiritual jurisdiction of the Holy Roman, Catholic, Apostolic Church, and notably the civil Constitution of the Clergy.
2. Within a year to take, with the Pope and bishops of my kingdom, all necessary measures to establish in canonical form a solemn Feast in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which shell be celebrated to perpetuity throughout France on the first Friday after the octave of the Blessed Sacrament. This shell always be followed by a public procession, to repair the ourages and profanations commited in the holy temples by schismatics, heretics, and bad Christians, during the time of our troubles.
3. Within three month, counting from the day of my deliverance, to go in person to the Church of Notre Dame in Paris or to any other principal Church of the place in which I may be, and on a Sunday or feast, at the foot of the main altar, after the Offertory of the Mass, and in the hands of the celebrant, pronounce a solemn act of consecration of my person, family and kingdom to the Sacred Heart of Jesus with the promise to give my subjects an example of the honor and love due this Adorable Heart.
4. During the course of a year, counting from the day of my deliverance, to erect and decorate at my own expense, in the church that I shall choose for that purpose, a chapel in which an altar shall be dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and which shall serve as an eternal monument of my gratitude, and of my unlimited confidence in the infinite merits and the inexhaustible treasures of grace inclosed in that Heart.
5. Lastly, I resolve to renew every year, wherever I may be, on the day upon which the feast of the Sacred Heart is celebrated, the Act of Consecration contained in the third article, and to assist at the public procession that shall follow the Mass of that day.
To-day I can pronounce this engagement only in secret, but I am willing, if necessary, to sign it with my blood. The most beautiful day of my life will be that on which I shall be able to publish it aloud in the church.
O Adorable Heart of my Saviour: may my right hand be forgotten, and may I myself be forgotten, if ever I forget Thy benefits and my promises, if ever I cease to love Thee and to place in Thee my confidence and consolation!