The devotion to the Sacred Heart is an extremely popular devotion, especially for families who have consecrated a space or statue in their home. But, what about the sister, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, who experienced the visions of the Sacred Heart? Who was she?
Visions as a Sister
Margaret Mary was born in 1647 to a devout family in France. Her father died when she was young, and after his death, she struggled with rheumatic fever. Despite her illness, she felt called to religious life, but pursued a social life as she grew. However, as an adolescent, she saw a vision of Jesus being scourged. She then decided to enter the religious life at age 22. Soon after, she entered the Visitation sisters at Paray-le-Monial.
Throughout her time as a sister she experienced numerous visions of Jesus in which He told her she was His instrument to spread devotion to His Sacred Heart. He told her to help encourage devotion to “the heart that so loved mankind”.
In these visions, Jesus told her to form the Nine Fridays and Holy Hour and to help establish the Feast of the Sacred Heart. The mother superior in the convent initially did not believe her, but her confessor declared that her visions were genuine and devotion to the Sacred Heart began slowly, beginning in her own convent. The devotion wasn’t approved until 1765 by Pope Clement XIII, 75 years after she had died. In addition, she was canonized in 1920. Her feast day is October 16.
Why a Sacred Heart?
Margaret Mary Alacoque was a French Visitation sister in the 1700s who experienced many visions of Christ, in which He told her that she was to help spread devotion to His Sacred Heart. Devotion grew privately and slowly, but gained great popularity after her death, which included a Feast of the Sacred Heart, Friday devotions and Holy Hours.
Who would be friends with St. Margaret Mary Alacoque?
- Those suffering long and paralyzing illnesses
- Those who’ve lost parents (she’s their patron!)
- Devotees to the Sacred Heart
- Visitation sisters, teachers, students
- Those struggling to be believed
The Litany of the Sacred Heart
This is one of the most beautiful litanies and the whole text can be found here. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque’s desire was to spread the devotion to the Sacred Heart, and reciting this litany does just that. I’ve only pasted a snippet below.
Heart of Jesus…
…of infinite majesty,
…holy temple of God,
…tabernacle of the Most High,
….house of God and gate of heaven,
…glowing furnace of charity,
…vessel of justice and love,
…full of goodness and love,
…abyss of all virtues,
…most worthy of all praise,
…king and center of all hearts,
…in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge
Heart of Jesus…
…in whom dwells all the fullness of the Divinity,
..in whom the Father is well pleased,
…of whose fullness we have all received,
…desire of the everlasting hills,
…patient and rich in mercy,
…rich to all who invoke you,
…fount of life and holiness
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