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The text is taken from the Catholic Encyclopedia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09653a.htm and the image from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:St_Margaret_Mary_Alacoque_Contemplating_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus.png


St Margaret Mary Alacoque
Contemplating the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Painting by Corrado Giaquinto in 1765

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Our parish Saint


Religious of the Visitation Order. Apostle of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, born at L'Hautecour, France, 22 July, 1647; died at Paray-le-Monial, 17 October, 1690.

Her parents, Claude Alacoque and Philiberte Lamyn, were distinguished less for temporal possessions than for their virtue, which gave them an honourable position. From early childhood Margaret showed intense love for the Blessed Sacrament, and preferred silence and prayer to childish amusements. After her first communion at the age of nine, she practised in secret severe corporal mortifications, until paralysis 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, she was instantly restored to perfect health. The death of her father and the injustice of a relative plunged the family in poverty and humiliation, after which more than ever Margaret found consolation in the Blessed Sacrament, and Christ made her sensible of His presence and protection. He usually appeared to her as the Crucified or the Ecce Homo, and this did not surprise her, as she thought others had the same Divine assistance. When Margaret was seventeen, the family property was recovered, and her mother besought her to establish herself in the world. Her filial tenderness made her believe that the vow of childhood was not binding, and that she could serve God at home by penance and charity to the poor. Then, still bleeding from her self-imposed austerities, she began to take part in the pleasures of the world. One night upon her return from a ball, she had a vision of Christ as He was during the scourging, reproaching her for infidelity after He had given her so many proofs of His love. During her entire life Margaret mourned over two faults committed at this time--the wearing of some superfluous ornaments and a mask at the carnival to please her brothers.
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