St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
St. Margaret Mary was born in Lauthecourt, France, on July 22, 1647, and entered the convent of the Visitation nuns at Paray-le-Monial in 1671. From 1673 to 1675, she was especially favored by God with mystical graces and revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Our Lord made three requests of her: (1) to spread devotion to his Sacred Heart; (2) to promote the practice of receiving Holy Communion on the first Fridays and of keeping a Holy Hour of reparation; and (3) to establish a special feast in honor of his Sacred Heart. When she tried to comply with our Lord’s instructions, she at first met opposition from her superiors and sisters.
But when St. Claude La Colombière arrived in Paray to be the sisters’ confessor, Sr. Margaret Mary informed him of our Lord’s revelations, and he assured her that these were, indeed, from God and that he would assist her in realizing our Lord’s requests. With the eventual appointment of a new superior of the convent, Sr. Margaret Mary was made mistress of novices. In this role, she was able to spread the devotion among the younger sisters. In 1686, the feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated in the convent for the first time, and two years later a chapel was dedicated to the Sacred Heart. Devotion thus began to spread to other religious houses, and from there throughout France and eventually the world. St. Margaret Mary died on October 17, 1690, and was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.