Marguerite Alacoque was born on July 22nd, 1647 in Verosvres, Charolais. Raised in a pious family, the little girl manifested a great love for Christ, especially in the Eucharist. At the age of five, she made this promise to Jesus: “My God, I consecrate my purity to you and vow you perpetual chastity.” When she was eight years old, her father died. Marguerite and her mother were taken in by relatives, who unfortunately were violent. Marguerite often retreated into prayer and practiced various mortifications. She began to have visions of Christ on the Cross or during the Passion. The Lord taught her to pray.
On June 20th, 1671 Marguerite entered the convent of the Visitation of Paray-le-Monial after hearing Jesus say to her: “This is where I want you.” One day, when she asked the mother superior how to pray, she answered: "Go and stand before Our Lord present in the tabernacle, and tell him that you want to stand before him like a waiting canvas before a painter." Marguerite experienced mystical and ecstatic experiences that made her feel the intimate presence of Jesus. One day, when she was praying under a still-famous hazelnut grove, Jesus revealed to the young novice how much his passion had been the testimony of his infinite love for men. The Lord revealed her vocation to her: to unite with him in his Passion, and thus to be an apostle of his love. She received revelations from Jesus about his Passion. On November 6, 1672, the young novice made her religious profession and took the name of Margaret Mary. She was then sent to the infirmary as a nurse's assistant. Marguerite had many special graces. One day, she received the Child Jesus in her arms, another time she had a vision of Saint Francis of Assisi given to her as a spiritual guide. Between 1673 and 1675, Margaret Mary had her three great apparitions, in which she received the great revelation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
In 1675, a young Jesuit father, Claude de la Colombière, was appointed superior of the Jesuit community of Paray-le-Monial, and was chosen to be the spiritual father of Sister Margaret Mary. After listening carefully to the young mystic, he realized that it was the Spirit of God who was acting through her, and he then advised her to give in humbly. Father Claude asked her to write down everything that was going on in her. Although reluctant, she would do so out of obedience.
In 1678 Margaret Mary gave Jesus her whole being, he made her "Heir of his Heart". In 1684, she experienced the grace of spiritual marriage with Christ. Named mistress of novices, she taught them the worship of the Sacred Heart. At the convent, the sisters were attentive to the message of Jesus and began to live out his requests: the holy hour and the veneration of the image of the Heart of Jesus. In the garden of the monastery, a chapel dedicated to the Sacred Heart was built. In 1686, Father Rolin asked Sister Margaret Mary to write her autobiography. In the same year, she made the "vow of perfection".
Margaret Mary died on October 17, 1690. While the people proclaimed her a saint immediately, she was not beatified until 1864 by Pius IX and canonized by Benedict XV in 1920. She is celebrated on October 16th.
Saint Margaret Mary had a special relationship with Jesus since childhood. During her religious life at the convent of the Visitandines, she had visions and apparitions of Jesus, who entrusted her with revelations about his Passion and the secrets of his Sacred Heart. These secrets constitute the message that Jesus wished to reveal to the whole world. At the request of her confessor, Sister Margaret Mary wrote her autobiography. These writings deliver us the message of the Heart of Jesus.
On December 27th, 1673, the young nun had a vision of the Heart of Jesus: "He made me rest for a long time on his divine chest, where he discovered to me the wonders of his love and the inexplicable secrets of his Sacred Heart: "My divine Heart is so passionate about love for men and for you in particular that, since it can no longer contain in itself the flames of its ardent charity, it must spread them through you".
In June 1675, during the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Christ said to her: “This is the Heart that has loved men so much, that it has spared nothing to the point of exhausting itself and consuming itself to show them its love, and for gratitude I receive only ingratitude by their irreverence and sacrilege and by the coldness and contempt they have for me in this sacrament of love.” Jesus expresses to Sister Margaret Mary his suffering for the ingratitude of men, especially during participation in the Eucharist.
Christ asks that devotion to his Sacred Heart be lived. The Holy Hour consists in keeping company with Jesus from eleven o'clock to midnight on Thursday evening, remembering his agony at the Garden of Olives. The Feast of the Sacred Heart, celebrated three weeks after Pentecost, was instituted in 1765 and extended to the whole Church in 1856. Jesus stressed the importance of Eucharistic communion on this day.
Eternal Father, I offer you the Heart of Jesus Christ, your beloved Son, as he offered himself as a sacrifice for me.
Receive this offering that I make to you, as well as all the desires, all the feelings, all the affections, all the movements, all the acts of this Sacred Heart.
They are mine, since he sacrificed himself for me, and I want in the future to desire only him.
Receive them in satisfaction for my sins, and in thanksgiving for your blessings.
Receive them and grant me by his merits, all the graces that are necessary for me, and above all the grace of the final perseverance.
Receive them as so many acts of love, worship, praise that I offer to your divine majesty, since it is through the Heart of Jesus that you can be worthily honored and glorified.
To discover the message entrusted by Jesus to Saint Margaret Mary, here is a beautiful week of prayer with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. There is also the Novena at the Sacred Heart, which can be prayed in preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart or at any other time of the year to discover the wonders of the Heart of Jesus.