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saint margaret mary alacoque
The only daughter of Claude and Philiberte Lamyn Alacoque, who had also several sons. From early childhood, Margaret was described as showing intense love for the Blessed Sacrament, and as preferring silence and prayer to childhood play.
After her First Communion at the age of nine, she practiced in secret severe corporal mortification, until rheumatic fever confined her to bed for four years.
At the end of this period, having made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to Religious Life, it is said she was instantly restored to perfect health.
In recognition of this favour, she added the name Mary to her baptismal name of Margaret. According to her later account of her life, she had visions of Jesus Christ, which she thought were a normal part of human experience and continued to practice austerity.
Alacoque lost her father at a young age, and the family's assets were held by a relative who refused to hand them over, plunging her family into poverty. During this time, her only consolation was frequent visits to pray before the Blessed Sacrament in the local Church.
When she was 17, however, the family regained their fortune and her mother encouraged her to socialize, in the hopes of her finding a suitable husband. Out of obedience, and believing that her childhood vow was no longer binding, she began to accompany her brothers in the social events, attending dances and balls.
One night, after returning home from a ball for Carnival dressed in her finery, she experienced a vision of Christ, scourged and bloody. He reproached her for her forgetfulness of him; yet He also reassured her by demonstrating that his Heart was filled with love for her, because of the childhood promise she had made to his Blessed Mother.
She worked to prove the genuineness of her vocation and her visions of Jesus and Mary relating to the Sacred Heart. She was initially rebuffed by her Superior and was unable to convince theologians of the validity of her visions. A noted exception was the Jesuit Claude de la Colombière, later a canonized Saint, who supported her.
Alacoque received several private revelations of the Sacred Heart, the first on 27th December 1673 and the final one 18 months later. The visions revealed to her the form of the devotion, the chief features being reception of Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month, Eucharistic adoration during a "Holy hour" on Thursdays, and the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart.
She stated that in her vision she was instructed to spend an hour every Thursday night to meditate on Jesus' Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Holy Hour practice later became widespread among Catholics.
The devotion to the Sacred Heart was officially recognized 75 years after Alacoque's death.
Catholic Bishop's Conference of England and Wales
Statement on the National Lockdown
Saints of the Week
Monday 11th October:
Thursday 14th October:
Saint Callistus, Pope
Tuesday 12th October:
Saint Wilfrid, Bishop
Friday 15th October:
Wednesday 13th October:
Saint Edward the Confessor
Saturday 16th October:
Saint John XXIII, Pope
Saint Teresa of Jesus
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
6:00 p.m. Alexandre Rosario Fernandes RIP
10:00 a.m. John O'Neill RIP
11:30 a.m. Mass Intention for the Camu Family
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Next Meeting: 27th October
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Give everything to the poor and follow me