St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. First Revelation (1673-12-27)
The most astonished feature of the life of Margaret Mary is the length and ecstatic character of her prayer. On certain days, for example, when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed, she prayed the whole day before it. For hours she remained motionless on her knees, without support, her hands joined, her eyes lowered.
The Sisters, not knowing how to describe such a state, compared her to a statue of marble, and called her an "ecstatic". Frequently she came from prayer flushed and trembling, unable to stand and ready to faint. Three or four times, even, it was necessary to carry her swooning under the assaults: a love too strong for mortal to bear.
It was during such intense prayers Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque had three grand revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The beginning of Revelation
The first of three revelations took place on the feast of St John the Evangelist, December 27, 1673.
Margaret Mary wrote:
Once, being before the Blessed Sacrament and having a little more leisure than usual, I felt wholly filled with this Divine Presence, and so powerfully moved by it that I forgot myself and the place in which I was. I abandoned myself to this Divine Spirit, and yielded my heart to the power of His love. He made me rest for a long time on His divine breast, where He discovered to me the wonders of His love and the inexplicable secrets of His Sacred Heart, which He had hitherto kept hidden from me. Now He opened it to me for the first time, but in a way so real, so sensible, that it left no room to doubt, though I am always in dread of deceiving myself.
“Divine Heart is so passionately in love with men”
The new devotion was going to be the grand effort of the Heart of Jesus, wich is passionately in love with men, and wishing at any cost to draw them from the abyss of perdition. Divine Heart had as yet only shown itself to chosen souls, and in showing it to them had made them faint from love. Jesus could no longer contain the flames of this burning charity in His Heart, which wished to save all men.
His pierced side opened, and His Heart longed to come forth. Now the Heart of Jesus wished to show itself to the people, and in revealing the hidden secrets of love, it might succeed in melting the ice that was being heaped up in the midst of them. Jesus said that for the accomplishment of His design, He made use of her; but that all should be done by Himself.
This as it seems to me, is what passed:
Before disappearing, Jesus asked if she desired to give Him her heart. But let her speak for herself:
He demanded my heart, and I supplicated Him to take it. He did so, and put it into His own Adorable Heart, in which He allowed me to see it as a little atom being consumed in that fiery furnace. Then, drawing it out like a burning flame in the form of a heart, He put it into the place whence He had taken it saying:
“Behold, My beloved, a precious proof of My love. I inclose in thy heart a little spark of the most ardent flame of My love, to serve thee as a heart and to consume thee till they last moment. Until now thou hast taken only the name of My slave; henceforth thou shalt be called the well-beloved disciple of My Sacred Heart.”
Saint Margaret Mary was in a very exhausted state after Divine encounter. She was making a great efforts to return to this world. (Such a state will experience Fatima children after a meeting with Angel.)
After so great a grace, one that lasted so long and during which I knew not whether I was in heaven or on earth, I remained several days wholly inflamed, wholly inebriated. I was so out of myself that it was only by doing violence to myself could utter a word, I was obliged to make so great an effort to eat and recreate that my strength was exhausted in my endeavor to endure my suffering.
Margaret was led to Mother Saumaise, her superioress, but couldn't talk to her reasonable. And to Sisters she experienced only one aspiration: to prostrate and confess to them her sins.
I experienced so great a plenitude of God that I was not able to express myself to my Superioress as I wished.
It would have been a great consolation to me to have made my general confession aloud in the refectory, that my Sisters might see the depth of my corruption; for then they would attribute to me none of the graces I received.
Invisible wound — Stigmata
Besides this sentiment of profound humility, the first fruit of the luminous apparition, Margaret preserved an ineffaceable mark of divine love. She did not bear it visibly, but all her life she retained an invisible wound in her side.
The pain of this wound is so precious to me, causes me transports so lively, that it burns me alive, it consumes me.
Divine memory renewed on every first Friday of the month
This divine memorial did not grow faint with time, for the Lord renewed it every first Friday of the month, and again showed her His Heart.
The Sacred Heart is shown me as a sun brilliant with sparkling light, whose burning rays fall direct on my heart. I then feel myself inflamed with such a fire that it seems about to reduce me to ashes.
The day following this lively and ineffaceable apparition, in which Margaret Mary had learned two things, - the first, that God could not contain in His Heart the secrets of His love; the second, that He would make use of her to reveal them to the world, - the life of our saint resumed its accustomed course. Very nearly six months were granted her to recover from the profound impression just received, - and she had much need of them. Six months of peace, recollection, silence, brilliant progress in humility and the love of God!
And now, at the moment she least expected, comes the second revelation! More penetrating, more luminous than the first, it made a still deeper impression on her soul. She fell ill from the violent emotion it caused; so ill that all thought she must die.