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St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Cloister

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Cloister   by Br. Mickey McGrath, OSFS

Artist's Narrative:

Lord Jesus, let my heart never rest until it finds You,
who are its center, its love, and its happiness.
By the wound in Your heart
pardon the sins that I have committed
whether out of malice or out of evil desires.

Place my weak heart in Your own divine Heart,
continually under Your protection and guidance,

so that I may persevere in doing good
and in fleeing evil until my last breath. Amen.
—Sacred Heart Prayer by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Her feast day is October 17.

Art Collection: 
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Margaret Alacoque was born at L'Hautecourt, Burgundy, France, on July 22, 1647. She was the fifth of seven children of Claude Alacoque and Philiberte Lamyn. Her father died of pneumonia when Margaret Alacoque was about eight yeras old, after which more than ever she found consolation in the Blessed Sacrament. Margaret Alacoque was sent to the Urbanist Sisters "The Poor Clares school" at Charollesat Charolles to study. She loved the peace and order of the convent life, and the nuns were so impressed by her devotion that she was allowed to make her First Communion at the age of nine.

When she was 11, Margaret Alacoque was stricken with rheumatic fever, and the resulting paralysis forced her to be bedridden for the next four years until the age of fifteen. It was during this time that she developed an intense devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life.

Margaret Alacoque was healed from this rheumatic fever by a vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. During her suffering, she developed an intimate relationship with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist. In the vision, Our Lady prompted Margaret Alacoque to give her life to God. In 1671 after receiving a vision of Christ's Scourging, she entered the Order of Our Lady of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial, on May 25, 1671, at the age of 23. She pronounced her final vows on November 6, 1672 and took the name Mary.

Our Lord appeared to Mary and revealed devotions to His Sacred Heart. She was favored with many apparitions, the most special ones took place between 1673 and 1675. In one of these apparitions Jesus said to her: “Look at this Heart which has loved people so much, and yet they do not want to love Me in return. Through you My divine Heart wishes to spread its love everywhere on earth.” Jesus made at least twelve promises to her telling her how he would help those who honor His Sacred Heart.

Born: July 22, 1647 at L'Hautecourt, Burgundy, France

Died: October 17, 1690; body incorrupt

Canonized: 1920 by Pope Benedict XV