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Mary of the Divine Heart Heart. Personalities Colombiere, Claude de la

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

French Roman Catholic nun and mystic, who promoted devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in its modern form.

Born: 22 July 1647; Lhautecour, France
Died: 17 October 1690; Paray-le-Monial, France

From early childhood, Margarita showed a strong love for Christ and looked forward to the age when she would be able to take communion. Margarita preferred silence and prayer to children's games. After her first communion, at the age of 9, Margarita secretly engaged in the practice of mortification. The torture of the flesh was so severe that the resulting paralysis bedridden her for four years. After Margarita made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to devote herself to a religious life, her health was quickly fully restored.

On May 25, 1671, Margarita entered the Order of Visitors, the Order of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Elizabeth (Lat. Ordo Visitationis Mariae, OVM). The monastery where Margarita entered is located in Paray-le-Monial. On August 25, 1671, the vesting took place. On November 6, 1672, she took irrevocable monastic vows.

Life with God

Margarita Maria differed from the surrounding nuns in her amazing simplicity, there was simplicity itself. But her spirit was constantly seeking and finding God [L.Wheaton, The Pearl of Paray in Catholic world, Vol.111, by Paulist Fathers].

I saw Him, I felt Him near me, and understood Him much better than if I had seen and heard Him with my corporal senses.

L.Wheaton, The Pearl of Paray
in Catholic world, Vol.111 by Paulist Fathers

Separated for God

It is You Who are sending me away. You draw me altogether to Yourself and I cannot do things like others.

L.Wheaton, The Pearl of Paray
in Catholic world, Vol.111 by Paulist Fathers

Live for God

She prayed very fervently and for a long time, she knelt motionless for hours, sometimes she could kneel before Holy Communion all night. One Holy Week, on the night of Thursday to Friday, she prayed on her knees for 12 hours straight. Sometimes, after a very intense prayer for many hours, she almost lost consciousness and the sisters had to carry her from the temple to the cell [Emile Bougaud, Life of Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque, Ch.IX].

Revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ

Margarita Maria had three revelations in which the Lord revealed His Heart to her and revealed its secrets [Emile Bougaud, Life of Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque, Ch.IX]:
    she received the first of three revelations on December 27, 1673, the feast of St. John the Evangelist,
    the second revelation was, apparently, in June 1674, on Friday of the octave of the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ, and
    the third revelation was on June 16, 1675, on the octave of the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ

During the third revelation of the Heart of Jesus to the nun Margarita Mary, which took place on June 16, 1675, Jesus Christ asked to establish a special feast dedicated to the Sacred Heart. In this matter, Sister Margarita found support from the confessor of the convent, Father Claude de la Colombière.

On Friday, June 21, 1675, Sister Marguerite Marie and Father Claude de la Colombière solemnly consecrated themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus [L.Wheaton, The Pearl of Paray in Catholic world, Vol.111, by Paulist Fathers].

After some hesitation, the abbess of the community also supported the activities of Margarita Maria. Margarita was entrusted with leading the novices, to whom she explained the meaning of consecrating herself to the Sacred Heart. Many sisters of the community began to celebrate the feast of the Heart of Jesus, and in 1687 a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ was built in the monastery.

Holy Hour

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque began this practice in 1673. She had a vision of Christ, who asked her to empathize with Him by praying on her knees with her head bowed to the ground from eleven o'clock in the evening until midnight on the night of the first Friday of each month. Thus He asked her to abide with Him and become an accomplice in the mortal sorrow that He experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane, having been abandoned by the apostles.

Every night, between Thursday and Friday, I will make you partaker of that sorrow unto death which it was my will to suffer in the Garden of Olives. ... To join with me in the humble prayer which I then offered to my Father, you shall rise between eleven o'clock and midnight; you shall prostrate yourself with me for one hour, with your face to the ground, both to appease the anger of God by imploring mercy for sinners, and to sweeten in some way the bitterness I felt when my Apostles abandoned me, being unable to watch one hour with me.

Devotion of the Holy Hour
Fortnightly Review. Vol.XXI, — Illinois. — 1914.
pages 180-181.

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