Feast Day: October 17
Margaret Mary lived in the seventeenth century. She is the famous French nun to whom Jesus showed his Sacred Heart. As a child, she was a happy little girl who loved the nuns at school. But when she was eleven, she became very sick. It was four years before she was well again. Her father had died, and an aunt had moved into their home. This aunt and her husband made Margaret Mary and her mother suffer very much. Almost every day, the teenager would hide in the garden to cry and pray. What hurt her most was seeing her mother get hurt.
Yet Margaret Mary grew to love good times. A few years later, she was considering marriage. Her mother wanted her to marry and so did her relatives. They were worried about her, especially when she brought beggar children into the garden to try to teach them. Margaret Mary hesitated a while, neither marrying nor entering the convent. At last she decided on the convent.
She joined the Visitation sisters and was a kind, humble sister. Often she made others impatient since she was slow and clumsy. But she was dear to Jesus. He began to appear to Saint Margaret Mary to show her how much he loves us all. Jesus wanted her to spread devotion to his Sacred Heart. It was a very hard thing to do. Many people thought Margaret Mary had not really seen Jesus at all. Some were angry with her for trying to spread the new devotion. This brought her great suffering. Yet she did her best to carry out the Lord's wish. Jesus blessed her hard work and pain. Today, this wonderful devotion to the Sacred Heart is practiced all over the world.
Our Lord made great promises to Saint Margaret Mary for those who are devoted to his most Sacred Heart. Some of these promises are: "I will comfort them in all their afflictions. I will establish peace in their homes. I will bestow abundant blessings on all their undertakings. I will bless every place where a picture of my Heart shall be displayed and honored." The greatest promise Jesus made is this: "My divine Heart shall be the safe refuge in the last moment to all those who receive Holy Communion on the First Friday for nine months in a row." We can ask Saint Margaret Mary to help us understand the importance of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Interviews with Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
JCLUB: Wow, you had a vision of Jesus! Was that cool or what?
Saint Margaret: Yes, Jesus appearing to me was a wonderful experience—something that doesn’t happen to very many people! But his invitation to me was the same one that everyone receives. He wanted me to tell people of his love for them, especially in the Holy Eucharist.
JCLUB: But what did Jesus say to you?
Saint Margaret: Jesus told me he loves each person very much. He knows that many people don’t know or believe that he loves them. That’s why he wanted me to tell people more about the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
JCLUB: What does that mean?
Saint Margaret: Well, the “heart” of a person is his or her most treasured place of love, right? In the picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Jesus points to his heart, “on fire” with love for us.
JCLUB: And there’s something about the first Friday of the month, isn’t there?
Saint Margaret: Yes! Going to Mass and receiving Communion on the first Friday of each month is a way to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus, who died for us on Good Friday. Jesus also asked that the feast of his Sacred Heart be celebrated in the Church. It is the Friday after the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Following in the Footsteps of Saint Margaret
Saint Margaret Mary, help us to remember how much Jesus loves us, and to share his love with everyone we meet.
Did You Know?
- Saint Margaret’s feast day is October 17. She shares the day with Saint Hedwig and a Canadian saint, Saint Marguerite d’Youville.
- When she was young, Saint Margaret liked to read about the saints, and the many ways they followed Jesus.
- Saint Margaret didn’t like cheese, but she ate it when it was served. This was a little sacrifice she offered to Jesus to show her love for him. After all, he gave his life for all of us.
Image Caption: Cortemilia. Chiesa Parrocchiale di San Michele. Rodolfo Morgari: Santa Margherita Maria Alacoque e la devozione al Sacro Cuore.
Image Credit: User:Giovanni Destefanis (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or FAL], via Wikimedia Commons