Saint Claude la Colombiere Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque
 

The Sacred Heart of Jesus

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Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, Apostle of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1647 – 1690)

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque was born on July 22, 1647 at L'Hautecour, in the province of Burgundy France to Claude Alacoque and Philiberte Lamyn. As a child, she studied under the Poor Clares at Charolles. Her father Claude died when she was just 8 years old which left her family in dire straits and which was not helped with the presence of greedy relatives. She was confined to bed with rheumatic fever from the age of 11 to 15.

Around this time age she developed a great devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and made a vow to Our Lady to herself to consecrate herself to religious life. Around this time Margaret continued her dovotion to the Blessed Sacrament and Christ made His presence known to her. She later wrote, "At that time, all my desire was to seek happiness and comfort in the Blessed Sacrament." On May 25 1671 at the age of 23 she joined the Order of "Our Lady of the Visitation" at Paray-le-Monial in 1671. During the retreat before her profession she had a vision of Jesus in which He said, "Behold the wound in my side where you are to make your abode now and forever." She made her final vows on November 6, 1672 and took the religious name Mary. Later Our Lord appeared to her to give her the mission of spreading devotion to His Sacred Heart. She did this with the help and guidance of her Jesuit Spiritual Director and confessor, Pere Claude La Colombière. He himself suffered a lot as well and was canonised by the Church. Our Lord continued to appear to her in visions and on December 27, 1673, the feast of Saint John the Evangelist, as she knelt at the grill before the exposed Blessed Sacrament, she experienced a vision in which the Lord told her to take the place that Saint John had occupied at the Last Supper, and that she would act as His instrument.

Jesus revealed His Sacred Heart as a symbol of His love for mankind, saying, "My divine Heart is so inflamed with love for mankind ... that it can no longer contain within itself the flames of its burning charity and must spread them abroad by your means." She described that His Heart was on fire and surrounded by a crown of thorns. Our Lord told her that the flames represented His love for humanity, and the thorns represented man's sinfulness and ingratitude. Jesus informed her that her mission was to establish the devotion to His Most Sacred Heart, and He revealed twelve promises to those who practice the devotion. She had three more visions over the next year and a half in which Jesus instructed her in a devotion that was to become known as the Nine Fridays.

Christ also inspired Margaret Mary to establish the Holy Hour and to receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the final revelation, the Lord asked that a feast of reparation be instituted for the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi. Margaret Mary told her superior, Mother de Saumaise, about the visions and was treated with contempt. She was forbidden to carry out any of the religious devotions that had been requested of her in her visions. She became ill from the strain, and her superior, looking for a divine sign, vowed to believe the visions if Margaret Mary was cured. Margaret Mary prayed and recovered, and her superior kept her promise. There was a group within the convent who remained skeptical, however. Her superior ordered Margaret Mary to present her experiences to theologians, but they were judged to be delusions. In 1688 just two years before Margaret mary died the church of the Sacred Heart was built at Paray-le-Monial. Devotion to the Scared Heart of Jesus has spread throughout the world. Saint Margaret Mary died on October 17 1690.

As she received the Last Sacrament she said, "I need nothing but God, and to lose myself in the heart of Jesus.". She was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920. The devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was officially recognised and approved by Pope Clement XIII in 1765, seventy-five years after her death. Margaret Mary was declared Venerable in March, 1824 by Pope Leo XII, and she was pronounced Blessed on September 18, 1864 by Pope Pius IX. The inauguration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus occurred in 1856, and Margaret Mary was canonized by Benedict XV in 1920.

Devotion to the Merciful heart of Jesus

The Twelve Promises of the Sacred Heart
As given by Our Lord to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

  1. I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life.
  2. I will give peace in their families.
  3. I will console them in all their troubles.
  4. They shall find in My Heart an assured refuge during life and especially at the hour of death.
  5. I will pour abundant blessings on all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall become fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall speedily rise to great perfection.
  9. I will bless the homes in which the image of My Sacred Heart shall be exposed and honored.
  10. I will give to priests the power to touch the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who propagate this devotion shall have their name written in My Heart, and it shall never be effaced.
  12. I promise thee in the excess of the mercy of My Heart, that its all-powerful Love will grant to all those who shall receive Communion on the First Friday of Nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance; they shall not die under My displeasure, nor without receiving the Sacraments; My Heart shall be their assured refuge at that last hour.


The Chaplet of Divine Mercy

The opening prayers of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.

The Sign of the Cross

We begin and end these prayers by making the sign of the Cross. We can then say the above 3 O' clock prayer (this prayer is optional for the Chaplet) followed by one "Our Father" one "Hail Mary" and the "Apostles Creed"

Three o'Clock Prayer

(Jesus asked St Faustina to say this prayer at 3 O'clock.)

"You expired Jesus,
but the source of life gushed forth for souls
and an Ocean of Mercy
opened up for the whole world.
O Fount of Life,
unfathomable Divine Mercy,
envelop the whole world
and empty Yourself out upon us."
"O Blood and Water which gushed forth
from the Heart of Jesus
as a fount of Mercy for us,
I trust in You"

Please remember though that at every Hour it is Three o'Clock somewhere in the world.

The Our Father

Our Father,
Who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name,
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven,
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen

The Hail Mary

Hail Mary,
Full of Grace,
The Lord is with you,
Blessed are you among women,
and Blessed is the Fruit of your womb, Jesus,
Holy Mary,
Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death. Amen.

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Creator of Heaven and Earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended into hell;
on the third day He rose again, from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of Saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the Resurrection of the body
and Life Everlasting. Amen.

On the large beads we say this prayer:

"Eternal Father we offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of your dearly Beloved Son our Lord Jesus Christ in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world."

then on each of the ten small beads we say:

"For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."

We repeat that process of large bead and ten small beads for the five decades around the rosary ring. Conclude the five decades (the full rosary ring) with this prayer said three times

Holy God,
Holy Mighty One,
Holy Immortal One,
Have Mercy on us,
and on the Whole World. Amen

We can finish with the "Sign of Cross" again.

The world needs Mercy and if Mercy is asked for then Mercy will be given but if Mercy is not asked for then Justice will be given.

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