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Saint Margaret Mary of Alacoque english 3,11.21

Saint Margaret Mary of Alacoque


Who is Margarita María de Alacoque?


 “Only out of love for you, my God, I submit to writing this out of obedience, asking your forgiveness for the resistance I have put into executing it. But since You know better than anyone the great disgust I feel when doing it, You are the only one who can give me the strength to overcome it, since I receive this obedience as coming from You ”. (Autobiography).


  Youth: preparation time


Margarita María was born on July 22, 1647 in Vérosvres, a small town near Paray-le-Monial. She receives baptism on the 25th. She is the fifth among seven siblings.


Her father, Claudio Alacoque, a royal notary, died in 1655, and her mother, Filiberta Lamyn, unable to take care of her five remaining children, had to resolve to take 8-year-old Margarita to the boarding school of the nuns. by Charolles. But she stays there only two years.


  As a result of a strange illness that prevents her from moving, she Margarita does not stay there for more than two years. But her grace has already touched her:


“My only Love, how much I owe you for having warned me from my tender age, becoming the owner and possessor of my heart, although you knew well the resistance that I had to make you!


   As soon as I was aware of myself, you made my soul see the ugliness of sin.


The Blessed Virgin always took great care of me; I turned to Her for all my needs and she saved me from great dangers. I did not dare to address hers, her divine Son, but always to Her


At a very young age, Margarita feels internally driven to give herself to God in religious life. And during her illness, when no remedy was found, she consecrated herself to the Blessed Virgin: “I promised her that if she cured me, she would one day be one of her daughters. As soon as I made this vow, I received health accompanied by a new protection from the Virgin. She rebuked me for my faults and taught me to do the will of God ”.



 However, once her health was restored, she Margarita confesses that she only thought of having fun, caring little about her promise. But life in the family is difficult. The adolescent will suffer and little by little she will turn to God. Meanwhile, theirs intend to marry her: good matches are presented. She is twenty years old. Yet “the desire for religious life was so ardently rekindled in my heart,” she writes, “that I resolved to be a religious, whatever the cost. But alas! it could not be carried out until four years later ”.


The Lord prompts her internally. «Finding myself one day in an abyss of astonishment, seeing that so many defects and infidelities as he found in me were not capable of causing him nausea, he replied:» It is that I want to make of you as a compound of my love and my mercies «».


The family ends up giving in. “Many convents were proposed to me without being able to decide on any, but as soon as Paray was named, my heart expanded with joy, and I instantly consented. As I entered the parlor, I internally heard these words: «This is where I love you.» It was May 25, 1671.


Entrance to the monastery


«Having finally arrived, the day so desired – June 20, 1671 – to say goodbye to the world, I have never felt so much joy and firmness in my heart.» However, at the moment of entering the Monastery, he felt violently a last inner assault: «But instantly it was shown to me that the Lord had broken the sack of my captivity and had clothed me with his mantle of joy.» Her joy transports her in such a way that she exclaims, «This is where God wants me.»


 The Order of the Visitation of Saint Mary


 In 1610, Saint Francis de Sales (1567-1622), Bishop of Geneva, –a consummate teacher of spirituality, doctor of the Church–, had founded in Annecy with Saint Jeanne Frances de Chantal a new feminine community of religious life accessible to all classes of people, especially those who did not feel called to the lifestyle of the monasteries of their time. He wanted to give God “daughters of prayer” who would experience the joy of his dedication in heart-to-heart dealings with the Lord.



 The founder writes: «Our little congregation is the work of the Heart of Jesus and Mary.» “The Heart of Jesus, her crucified husband, will be the home and rest of the visitors on this earth … the sweetness and humility, which are the foundation of the Order, give them the privilege of bearing the name of Daughters of the Heart of Jesus ”.


First communications from the Lord


One day, already in the monastery, Margarita María asked the novice mistress to teach her how to pray, for which she felt a great hunger. She answers him: «Go and put yourself before our Lord like a canvas before a painter.» «My Sovereign made me know that that canvas was my soul, on which he wanted to trace all the features of his painful life, and that he would print them after having purified it of all the stains that remained, already from a fondness for earthly things, already of love to myself ”.


 After a period of postulancy, on August 25, 1671, Margarita María received the habit of the Visitation. “My divine Master made me know that this was the time of our betrothal, that I should love him preferentially. He immediately declared to me that, in the manner of the most passionate lovers, he would make me like, during this time, all that is sweeter in the softness of his love. «


 The date of religious profession is approaching, but the superiors hesitate. Margarita María complains to the Lord who answers: “Tell your Superior that there is no reason to fear receiving you, because I answer for you… I will make you more useful to religion than she thinks; but in a way that she is not yet known except by Me… I will know how to find the means to fulfill my designs ”. Mysterious words!


November 6, 1672 is the day of perpetual profession. “My divine Master wanted to receive me through his wife. He told me: «She is always ready and willing to receive me, because from now on I want to make my home in you, to converse and stay with you.»


From this moment on he favored me with his divine presence ”.

The Lord also makes him know the mystery of her Passion and Death, which gives him, forever, a great love for the Cross.

From now on, the Lord is going to reveal himself more to Margarita María. He will entrust you the secrets of her Heart. The great demonstrations go from December 1673 to June 1675.

The great revelations


  The first is on December 27, 1673, the feast of Saint John. He relates it like this:


One day, being in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I found myself totally penetrated by this divine presence; but so strongly that I forgot myself and the place I was in, and I abandoned myself to this Spirit, giving my heart to the force of his love. He made me rest for a long time on his divine chest, in which he discovered all the wonders of his love and the inexplicable secrets of his Sacred Heart, which until then had always kept me hidden. Here he discovered them for the first time. He told me: «My Divine Heart is so passionate with love for men, and for you in particular, that since it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its ardent charity, it must communicate them through you, and manifest itself to all in order to enrich them with the precious treasures that I discover for you, which contain the sanctifying and healthy graces necessary to separate them from the abyss of perdition. I have chosen you as an abyss of indignity and ignorance, so that it may all be my doing. «»


Later, at the beginning of 1674, undoubtedly on a Friday, this manifestation takes place of which he will speak a long time later: “This divine Heart was presented to me as on a throne of flames, brighter than a sun and transparent as a crystal. He was surrounded by a crown of thorns, symbolizing the wounds made by our sins, and with a cross, which meant that from the first moment of his Incarnation, that is, from the first moment in which this Sacred Heart was formed, the cross was planted in it ”.


Also in 1674, in the month of June, around the feast of Corpus Christi: “Once again, the Blessed Sacrament being exposed, after feeling completely withdrawn into myself by an extraordinary recollection of all my senses and powers, Jesus Christ, my divine Master, appeared to me, all radiant with glory, with his five wounds, which shone like five suns, and everywhere flames came from his sacred humanity, especially from his adorable chest, which looked like an oven. And opening it, he discovered his lover and his kind Heart, which was the living source of such flames.


It was then that he discovered to me the inexplicable wonders of his love, and the excess to which he had been driven by love of men, from whom he received only ingratitude and contempt.

He told me: «Be attentive to my voice, and to whatever I ask of you to prepare you to carry out my plans.»

Conformity to the suffering Christ

During the period of the apparitions, the cross of the Lord is manifested. Health tests and internal tests are multiplying. As Pope John Paul II wrote in 1990, «Saint Margaret Mary knew the grace of love through the cross.» Grace to love, grace to conform to the suffering Christ. Grace to participate in the communion of saints, in the salvation of her brothers and sisters.


It is the time of physical suffering, of trial, even of temptation. “The Lord warned me that Satan had asked permission to test me in the fire of contradictions and humiliations, of temptations and abandonments, like gold in the crucible… He assured me that I had nothing to fear, because He would fight for me… but that I I had to watch… It didn’t take me long to hear the threats from my pursuer. None of this bothered me in the least; I felt so empowered on the inside! «


On this path of purification, of preparation for the mission, the Blessed Virgin Mary encourages her: “Be of good cheer, my daughter, for you still have to walk a long and painful path always on the cross. Do not fear, I will not abandon you ”.


The Great Revelation



And we come to the most decisive manifestation in June 1675:

“Being once in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, one day of its octave, I received from God excessive graces of his love… Then, discovering his Divine Heart he told me:« Here is this Heart, which has loved men so much, that Nothing has been reserved until it is exhausted and consumed to show you its love, and in response I receive nothing but ingratitude from most of them, either for their irreverence and sacrileges, now for the coldness and contempt with which they treat me in this Sacrament of Love. But What is even more sensitive to me is that it is hearts that are consecrated to me that treat me this way.

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That is why I ask you to be dedicated the first Friday after the octave of the Blessed Sacrament to a particular feast to honor my Heart, communing on that day and repairing your honor … I also promise you that my Heart will expand to spread abundantly the influences of your divine love for those who render him this honor and those who seek to have it paid to him. «


And when I answered that I did not know how to fulfill what I had wanted for so long, he ordered me to address his servant, since he had sent him to fulfill this plan.


his is Father Claudio de la Colombière, of the Society of Jesus, who, indeed, had to confirm Margarita Maria on her path, and work with his Jesuit brothers in spreading the Message.


 Only four years have elapsed since the entry of Margarita María into the Visitation of Paray. For another fifteen, she will continue her life in the cloister. She will be novice mistress for two years. Two Superiors will elect her as her Assistant (subprioress or vicar). In addition, she will take care of all the works at the service of the community, standing out for her humility and charity.


 First broadcast of the message


 The cult of the Sacred Heart, considered at first in the Monastery as a «new devotion», is slow to be accepted. The novices are the first who, on July 20, 1685, honor the Heart of Jesus, «making a small altar on which they placed their image drawn with a pen, to which they paid the tributes that this divine Heart suggested.» Some sisters of the community are reluctant, until on June 21, 1686, the entire Monastery celebrates the feast of the Heart of Jesus.

 Later, writing to Fr. Croiset, Margarita María will say: “I wish I could tell everything I know about this devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and discover to the whole earth the treasures of graces that Jesus Christ encloses in his adorable Heart, and that he wants to pour out abundantly on all who practice it! ”. And she continued with this ardent exhortation: «I beg you, do not forget anything to inspire the whole world.»


This plea appears over and over again in most of his letters. Some refer to the publication of books.


The Mother of Saumaise, who had been superior of the Visitation of Paray between 1672 and 1678, back in her monastery in Dijon, transmits to her all that she had lived with Saint Margaret Mary.


Sister Joly enthusiastically enters into this spiritual current, lives it intensely and wants to publish in 1686 a kind of manual, known as the «Dijon book,» in which devotion is explained and practices, prayers, a trade, a Mass and some litanies.


Other books are also printed. Margarita María expresses her joy at seeing these publications that will help to extend the Reign of Jesus.


In other letters he insistently asks for the printing of an image, for, according to the Lord’s promise, he will abundantly pour out all kinds of blessings in the places where he is honored.


Margaret Mary makes a special effort to obtain from Rome the approval of the Mass composed in Dijon. The Monastery of this city celebrates it in 1689 with the authorization of the Bishop of Langres.

 The Saint has the great joy of knowing that the devotion extends even abroad. «Now I will die happy, because the Sacred Heart of my Savior begins to be known.»


 The last days


 At the end of her life she writes: “I have had three ardent desires: to love Jesus Christ perfectly; suffer for his love, die in the heat of this love ”. She seems to have filled them because she no longer wants anything, according to what she wrote.


 Contemporaries tell us about her last days: «She found herself ill the day before the day she was about to enter her retreat … She went to bed nine days before his death, and used them to prepare for the coming of the Bridegroom» .


 According to her doctor, her illness was benign, «but she insistently repeated that he would die from her.»


He asked for communion, knowing well that it was the last he would receive. “All the sisters who visited her admired the extraordinary joy that the thought of her death caused him. However, she had a moment of a strange fear – last purification – she later recovered a great calm ”.


“On October 17, an hour before her death, she summoned her superior and asked her to administer the anointing of the sick. She gave thanks for everything ”. She exhorted her sisters: «Love Love, but love Him with perfection.» It is her last legacy. “And she added that she no longer had anything to do in this world, but go to immerse herself in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Then, after pronouncing the holy name of Jesus, she gently gave up her spirit. «


The forty-three years of her life have passed, a life marked by joy, the cross, her identification with Jesus, her only Love; and the gift of a mission: to make known to the world the Love of God made flesh in Jesus, Man-God.

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Margarita María was beatified by Pius IX on September 18, 1864 and canonized by Benedict XV on May 13, 1920.


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