Born in Lhautecour, France on 22 July, 1647, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque’s life was marked by her profound spirituality and unwavering devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She departed from this world in Paray-le-Monial on 17 October, 1690.
Margaret’s early years were deeply spiritual. Even as a child, she demonstrated an unparalleled love for the Blessed Sacrament, favoring prayer and contemplation over typical childhood play. After her first communion at nine, she pursued intense religious observances, which led to a four-year confinement due to paralysis. A vow to the Blessed Virgin, promising to devote herself to religious life, miraculously restored her health.
Family hardships tested Margaret’s faith. After the death of her father and subsequent family misfortunes, she sought solace in prayer and often felt the presence of Christ. As a young woman, societal pressures momentarily drew her into worldly pleasures, yet a vision of Christ’s suffering brought her back to her spiritual path.
In 1671, Margaret joined the Visitation Convent in Paray. Despite her dedication, her exceptional experiences and revelations from Christ, including the mission to promote the devotion to His Sacred Heart, were met with skepticism by her fellow sisters. Over time, her genuine humility, unwavering obedience, and boundless love proved her authenticity and the divine nature of her mission.
Among her many contributions to Christian spirituality, she introduced the Holy Hour – a period of meditation from eleven till midnight on the eve of every first Friday of the month. Her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus became the essence of her teachings and writings.
Despite initial reservations about her mission and virtues, thorough examinations confirmed her spiritual depth and teachings. Recognized for her profound impact, she was declared Venerable by Leo XII in 1824, Blessed by Pius IX in 1864, and canonized as a saint by Benedict XV in 1920. Today, she is celebrated on 17 October, and her resting place in Paray remains a pilgrimage site, drawing devotees from around the world.