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Monday, October 17, 2016

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque: "Behold this Heart which has so loved me, and been so little loved by them in return!"

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque: "Behold this Heart which has so loved me, and been so little loved by them in return!"
 St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
from Little Pictorial Lives of the Saints, 1894

Saint Margaret Mary, a soul of divine predilection, was born at Terreau in Burgundy, on July 22, 1647. During her infancy she showed a wonderfully sensitive revulsion to the very idea of sin, and while still a young child always recited the entire Rosary every day. She lost her father at the age of eight years, and her mother placed her with the Poor Clares. She was often sick and for four years was bedridden, losing almost entirely the use of her members. She made a vow to Our Lady to become one of Her daughters if She cured her, and was suddenly entirely well.

She was of a happy temperament and her heart became easily attached to human affections. God began her purification when the charge of her mother's house was confided to persons who reduced the family to a sort of servitude. Margaret Mary turned to God for strength and consolation when she was accused of various crimes she had not committed. In short, the Saint of the Sacred Heart learned to suffer for Christ, with patience, what innocence can suffer in such situations.

She desired to be a religious, but her mother could not bear to hear a word of that desire. Finally God came to her assistance through a Franciscan priest, who told her brother that he would answer to God for the vocation of his sister. In 1671 she entered the Order of the Visitation of Mary, at Paray-le-Monial, and was professed the following year. She followed all the practices of the monastery in perfect obedience, spending as much time as she could in the chapel with her Lord. After sanctifying her by many trials, Jesus appeared to her in numerous visions, displaying to her His Sacred Heart, sometimes burning as a furnace, and sometimes torn and bleeding on account of the coldness and sins of men. "Behold this Heart which has so loved men, and been so little loved by them in return!"

In 1675, she was told by Our Lord that she, with the aid of Father Claude de la Colombiere of the Society of Jesus, was to be His instrument for instituting the feast of the Sacred Heart, and for spreading that devotion everywhere. This was not accomplished without great sufferings. The good Jesuit did all in his power to make known and loved the Heart of Jesus, but when it seemed all obstacles were about to disappear, his credit diminished, and his Superiors sent him to England. He returned to France exhausted and soon died.

Saint Margaret Mary was for a time Mistress of Novices, and in this office exercised a true apostolate, working to win for the Heart of Jesus the hearts of the young girls who were aspiring to religious consecration. She was persecuted when she sent one of them home, not having seen in her the indications of a genuine vocation; the family attempted to have her deposed. She remained in the charge but was deprived of Holy Communion on the First Friday of the month. This practice was one of Our Lord's specific requests; for souls who communicate nine First Fridays in succession, He promised the most wonderful graces. The demons also persecuted her visibly; nonetheless her entire Community was finally won over to devotion to the Divine Heart.


Litany of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of heaven,
Have mercy on its.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,
Pray for us. *

Holy Mother of God, *
Holy Virgin of virgins, *
Saint John, *
Saint Francis of Sales, *
Saint Jane Frances de Chantal, *
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, *
St. Margaret Mary, Pearl of great price, *
Flower of the field, *
Lily of the valleys, *
Morning rose, *
Child, most dear to Mary, *
Incense of sweet odor, *
Palm of patience, *
Treasure of charity, *
Despiser of the world, *
Spouse beloved of Christ, *
Violet of the garden of St. Francis of Sales, *
Star shining in the midst of clouds, *
Rule of obedience, *
Model of mortification, *
Seraph before the altar, *
Sanctuary of the Heart of Jesus, *
Delight of the Heart of Jesus, *
Apostle of the Heart of Jesus, *
Plaintive dove, *
Dove most beautiful, *
Rock unmoved in the midst of tempests, *
Mistress most gentle, *
Angel of holy counsel, *
Terror of demons, *
Intercessor for sinners, *
Solace of the poor, *
Relief of the sick, *
Holocaust of Divine Love, *
New Star of the Church, *
Joy of thy holy Institute, *
Glory of thy people, *

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world:
Have mercy on us.

Antiphon: The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant
seeking good pearls, who, when he had found one of
great price, gave all that he had and bought it.

V. Grace is poured abroad in thy lips.
R. Therefore God hath blessed thee forever.

Let us pray:

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who hast wonderfully revealed to blessed Margaret, virgin, the unsearchable riches of Thy Heart: grant that we, by her merits and following her example, may love Thee in all things and above all things, and may be found worthy to obtain an eternal resting place in the same, Thy Heart. Who livest and reignest with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Prayer in Adoration of the Sacred Heart

Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, Whom I believe to be really present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar, receive this most profound act of adoration to supply for the desire I have to adore Thee unceasingly, and in thanksgiving for the sentiments of love which Thy sacred Heart has for me in this sacrament. I cannot better acknowledge them than by offering Thee all the acts of adoration, resignation, patience, and love which this same Heart has made during its mortal life, and which it makes still and which it shall make eternally in heaven, in order that through it I may love Thee, praise Thee, and adore Thee worthily as much as it is possible for me. I unite myself to this divine offering which Thou dost make to Thy divine Father, and I consecrate to Thee my whole being, praying Thee to destroy in me all sin and not to permit that I should be separated from Thee eternally. Amen.

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque


Consecration to the Sacred Heart

O Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, you revealed to the blessed Margaret Mary Your desire to rule over Christian families. Behold, in order to please You, we stand before You this day, to proclaim Your full sovereignty over our family. We desire henceforth to live Your life, we desire that the virtues, for which You have promised peace on earth, may flower in the bosom of our family; we desire to keep far from us the spirit of the world, which You have condemned. You are King of our minds by the simplicity of our faith; You are King of our hearts by our love of You alone, with which our hearts are on fire and whose flame we shall keep alive by frequently receiving the Holy Eucharist.

Be pleased, O Sacred Heart, to preside over our gathering together, to bless our spiritual and temporal affairs, to ward off all annoyance from us, to hallow our joys and comfort our sorrows. If any of us has ever been so unhappy as to fall into the misery of displeasing You, grant that he may remember, O Heart of Jesus, that You are full of goodness and mercy toward the repentant sinner. And when the hour of separation strikes and death enters our family circle, whether we go or whether we stay, we shall bow humbly before Your eternal decrees.

This shall be our consolation, to remember that the day will come when our entire family, once more united in heaven, shall be able to sing to Your glory and Your goodness forever. May the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the glorious Patriarch St. Joseph vouchsafe to offer You this our act of consecration, and to keep the memory thereof alive in us all the days of our lives.
Glory to the Heart of Jesus, our King and our Father!

Act of Reparation

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, well known in connection with devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, led the way in making reparation to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament for the coldness and ingratitude of men.

O kind and merciful Savior, from my heart I earnestly desire to return Thee love for love. My greatest sorrow is that Thou art not loved by men, and, in particular, that my own heart is so cold, so selfish, so ungrateful. Keenly aware of my own weakness and poverty, I trust that Thy own grace will enable me to offer Thee an act of pure love. And I wish to offer Thee this act of love in reparation for the coldness and neglect that are shown to Thee in the sacrament of Thy love by Thy creatures. O Jesus, my supreme good, I love Thee, not for the sake of the reward which Thou hast promised to those who love Thee, but purely for Thyself. I love Thee above all things that can be loved, above all pleasures, and above myself and all that is not Thee, promising in the presence of heaven and earth that I will live and die purely and simply in Thy holy love, and that if to love Thee thus I must endure persecution and suffering I am completely satisfied, and I will ever say with Saint Paul: Nothing "will be able to separate us from the love of God." O Jesus, supreme master of all hearts, I love Thee, I adore Thee, I praise Thee, I thank Thee, because I am now all Thine own. Rule over me, and transform my soul into the likeness of Thyself, so that it may bless and glorify Thee forever in the abode of the saints.

Four Great Disciples of the Sacred Heart