St. Margaret Mary Alacoque
Mystic and Visionary of the Sacred Heart
Specially chosen by the Lord to bring the Message of His
Sacred Heart to His children.
Approximately six months passed before Jesus appeared to Margaret Mary, again. The Blessed Sacrament was exposed. Most likely, it occurred on a Friday, during the Octave of the Feast of Corpus Christi. Our Lord was radiant, brilliantly clothed in glory, “His five Wounds glowing like five suns,” flames leaping out from every part of His Sacred Humanity. Most pitiful were those flames from His Sacred Breast which was like a roaring furnace. Jesus bared His Breast, revealing His Sacred Heart which was filled with love for His children, although they wound Him so deeply.
He shared that the rejection and ingratitude of His children today pained Him even more than that which He had suffered during His Passion. But if only they would return His love, He said, in even some small way, He would count all the pain He had endured for their sake during His Passion little, compared to what He would desire to do for them. But He cried, “They repay love and mercy with coldness and indifference.”
He asked Margaret Mary to console Him by doing as much as she could to make up for their ingratitude, to be what they refused to be, and to do what they have failed to do. When Margaret Mary pleaded, she was weak and had not the strength to bring about His mission for the Church, He told her He would be her strength. She was to receive Communion as often as obedience to her Superiors would permit, but most especially on the first Fridayof each month.
Then Jesus asked Margaret Mary to make a Holy Hour every Thursday from eleven to midnight. From that time till her death, she made this Holy Hour, prostrating herself on the floor, sharing Our Lord’s Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane with Him. Was Our Lord trusting her with the hour, He had offered to His closest Apostles, that precious hour when He suffered, shedding blood and tears for the sins and agony of the world? Was He asking this from her as reparation for the sins which so excruciatingly wounded Him then and wound Him now? Or was it to strengthen her for her Way of the Cross?
Had the Apostles understood? Did they not realize how very much Our Lord in His Humanity, needed them to share this painful time in His Life? Days before, Peter, James and John had not wanted to leave Mount Tabor. We often thought the Lord brought them to the Mount of the Transfiguration to fortify them for His final Walk – to the Cross. And, we still believe that, but now, we wonder if this Holy Hourwas not also what the Lord was offering His trusted Apostles to strengthen them for the days and then the years to follow? Would they have slept if they had known that they would no longer have their Lord with them, that He would be taken away from them? Did they take Him and His being with them forever for granted? Do we take Him for granted? If we knew that we would never be able to attend Mass or spend time before the Blessed Sacrament again, that as in some European nations, we would not have Our Lord Jesus in our midst for hundreds of years, would we have to be asked to participate in the Mass or spend one hour with the Lord in Eucharistic Adoration? Would we not only kneel during the Consecration, would we not desire to prostrate ourselves before Him?
When Margaret Mary had protested she was too weak to carry out her Master’s Will, what did He offer her, to strengthen her? Reception of Holy Communion as often as obedience would allow and a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament. What is the Lord offering us to strengthen us to do His Will, to save His Church, to console Him in these days of crisis and infamy? Reception of Holy Communion often and to spend a Holy Hour before the Blessed Sacrament. It is always the same, my brothers and sisters; Jesus is with us; Jesus is alive; Jesus is our power and strength – always present to us in The Eucharist. The weapons which He gave Margaret Mary in the 17th Century are the same He gives us, today. God is constant, consistently, faithfully all-giving.
In this Great Revelation, Jesus gives us two ways to express our love for Him and to make reparation for those who do not.
First to receive Holy Communion often, especially on the first Friday of the month. To make reparation for those who mocked and taunted Our Lord, those who crucified Our Lord, those who stood by and did nothing that first Good Friday, that Jesus suffered and died for us and our sins.
Second, He asks us to spend a Holy Hour with Him, especially on Thursday evening. This is in memory of Jesus’ suffering agony in the Garden of Gethsemane and in thanksgiving for His Great Gift of Life and Love, the Eucharist – at the Last Supper. Can we spend an hour with Him, the hour we could not spend with Him that first Thursday in Gethsemane? What will we feel, the next time we attend Holy Mass and receive Our Lord eternally with us in Holy Communion? Will we give love for Love, our poor limited love in exchange for the Heavenly Love he bore us that Last Supper, a Love so great His last thoughts were of us, the night before He would face death on the Cross?
The nuns found Margaret Mary unconscious. She had been that way throughout the Third Revelation. Seeing she was so weakened physically, not able to walk or talk, they carried her to the Mother Superior. Imagine the Superior’s predicament. On one hand, she knew that Margaret Mary was virtuous, but she had misgivings, having an ongoing problem with all the phenomena that had occurred in Margaret Mary’s life. She thought, “Oh not again!”
Margaret Mary crumbled on her knees before the Mother Superior. Seeing her on the floor, burning with fever, trembling uncontrollably and having difficulty sharing what the Lord desired of her, Mother Superior refused to grant her any of Our Lord’s requests. Instead, she replied, wielding a strong tongue lashing, heaping humiliation upon disbelief, forbidding Margaret Mary to comply with any of her claimed decrees by the Lord. Margaret Mary obeyed!
Now this must have been horrendous for Margaret Mary. She knew this was the Lord and His wishes, but as with the Mystics and Saints before her, she obeyed her Superiors. And through this obedience, she was able to scuttle the devil’s plan. The devil, beginning with the Old Testament in the Garden of Eden, has always tried to get those specially chosen by God to disobey. When Our Lord walked the earth, He gave us the perfect example if we would be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect. Our Lord always obeyed first His Father in Heaven, then His earthly foster father Joseph and Mother Mary. Over the centuries of our beloved Church’s history, whenever Jesus appeared to the Saints and Mystics, like St. Teresa of Avila, He always told them to obey their Superiors and He would work through their obedience.
Margaret Mary became seriously ill, so debilitated, it came to her Superior Mother de Saumaise’s attention. She became alarmed. She had an idea; this would solve all her questions. She turned to Margaret Mary: “Why don’t you ask God to cure you? In this way, we’ll know if this comes from the Holy Spirit. Then I will grant you permission to receive Communion on First Fridays, allow your Thursdayevening hour vigils – I’ll allow everything.”
As she was to obey her Superior in all things, she asked the Lord to heal her. Our Lady, along with her Angels appeared to Margaret Mary; she embraced her and said,
“Take courage, my dear daughter, in the health I give you in the Name of my Divine Son, for you have still a long and painful road to travel, always bearing the Cross, pierced with nails and thorns and lacerated by whips. But have no fear, I shall not abandon you and I promise to protect you.”
Margaret Mary was restored to perfect health immediately, the sign her Superior accepted as proof her messages were of the Lord. But the battle was not over. Her Mother Superior judged wisely that Margaret Mary needed a strong Spiritual Director to guide her and to discern the messages she was receiving. As with St. Teresa, many potential Spiritual Directors came; they did not understand mental prayer; they had never received interior locutions or experienced an apparition by the Lord, and so, out of ignorance, they completely rejected the Revelations as coming from a Divine Source.