|Painting by Corrado Giaquinto in 1765.|
From early childhood, Margaret was described as showing intense love for the Blessed Sacrament (the Eucharist), and as preferring silence and prayer to childhood play. After her First Communion at the age of nine, she practised in secret severe corporal mortification (including carving the name "Jesus" into her chest as an adolescent) until rheumatic fever confined her to bed for four years. "The heaviest of my crosses was that I could do nothing to lighten the cross my mother was suffering."At the end of this period, having made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life, she was instantly restored to perfect health.
She refused marriage, and at age 24 she entered the convent at and was professed the next year. Two years later, she experienced her first vision of Christ. She began a series of revelations that were to continue over the next year and a half. In them Christ informed her that His human heart was to be the symbol of his divine-human love and that she was His chosen instrument to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart. By her own love she was to make up for the coldness and ingratitude of the world—by frequent and loving Holy Communion, especially on the first Friday of each month, and by an hour's vigil of prayer every Thursday night in memory of his agony and isolation in Gethsemane. He also asked that a feast of the Sacred Heart be established.
Rebuffed by her superior in her efforts to follow the instruction she had received in the visions, she eventually won her over but was unable to convince a group of theologians of the validity of her apparitions, nor was she any more successful with many of the members of her community. She received the support of the community's confessor for a time, who declared that the visions were genuine. Opposition in the community ended when another was elected Superior. She later saw the convent observe the feast of the Sacred Heart privately and two years later, a chapel was built to honor the Sacred Heart. Soon observation of the feast of the Sacred Heart spread to other convents. She died at the age of 43 while being anointed. "I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus." She was canonized in 1864. She, St. John Eudes, and
Blessed Claude La Colombiere are called the "Saints of the Sacred Heart".The devotion to the Sacred Heart was officially recognized and approved seventy-five years after her death. When her tomb was canonically opened in July 1830, two instantaneous cures were recorded to have taken place. Her incorrupt body rests under the altar in the Sacred Heart chapel, and many striking blessings have been claimed by pilgrims attracted there from all parts of the world.
Promises of the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
Of the many promises Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to Saint Margaret Mary in favor of souls devoted to His Sacred Heart the principal ones are as follows:
1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
2. I will give peace in their families.
3. I will console them in all their troubles.
4. I will be their refuge in life and especially in death.
5. I will abundantly bless all their undertakings.
6. Sinners shall find in my Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
8. Fervent souls shall rise speedily to great perfection.
9. I will bless those places wherein the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and venerated.
10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
11. Persons who propagate this devotion shall have their names eternally written in my Heart.
12. In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays, for nine consecutive months, the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments; and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.
"And He [Christ] showed me that it was His great desire of being loved by men and of withdrawing them from the path of ruin that made Him form the design of manifesting His Heart to men, with all the treasures of love, of mercy, of grace, of sanctification and salvation which it contains, in order that those who desire to render Him and procure Him all the honour and love possible, might themselves be abundantly enriched with those divine treasures of which His heart is the source." — from Revelations of Our Lord to St. Mary Margaret Alacoque
|Painting of Blessed Mary of the Divine Heart|
and Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque in
adoration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
- against polio
- against the death of parents
- devotees of the Sacred Heart
- polio patients
Prayers to Saint Margaret Mary:
|The Sacred Heart of Jesus|
So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory. Lord, pour out on us the riches of the Spirit which you bestowed on Saint Margaret Mary. May we come to know the love of Christ, which surpasses all human understanding, and be filled with the fullness of God.
O Sacred Heart of Jesus, to You I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying You. This is my irrevocable will, to belong entirely to You, and to do all for Your love, renouncing with my whole heart all that can displease You.
I take You, O Sacred Heart, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the reparation for all the defects of my life, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. Be You O merciful Heart, my justification before God Your Father, and screen me from His anger which I have so justly merited. I fear all from my own weakness and malice but placing my entire confidence in You, O Heart of Love. I hope from Your infinite Goodness. Annihilate in me all that can displease or resist You. Imprint Your pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget You or be separated from You.
I beseech You, through Your infinite Goodness, grant that my name be engraved upon Your Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of Your devoted servants. Amen.