Friday, March 30, 2007



On 27 December 1673, Sister Margaret Mary Alacoque, while praying before the Blessed Sacrament, saw in a vision the Sacred Heart at Paray-le-Monial, in central France.

In that very first apparition, Jesus revealed to the young nun His immense and great merciful love for all mankind. Thereafter, two other apparitions followed: one at the beginning of 1674 and the other on July 2 of the same year, always while Sr. Margaret Mary was praying before the Blessed Sacrament.

According to Sister Mary, "He was in a flame of glory; His five wounds burning like suns, flames issuing from all parts of His human form, especially from His divine breast which was like a furnace and which He opened to disclose His utterly affectionate and lovable Heart, the source of all these flames. He revealed to me the indescribable wonders of His pure Heart for humankind. But His eager love had been met only with coldness and rebuffs."

Jesus asked her to "Do me the kindness of at least making up for all their ingratitude. First of all, you are to receive Me in the Holy Eucharist as often as obedience allows. Accept all mortification and humiliation that may result as a token of My Love. Besides this, you are to receive Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month. Then every Thursday night, you are to get up between eleven o'clock and midnight for an hour, lying face downwards not only to allay God's anger by asking mercy for sinners; but also to soothe in some way the heartaches, I felt when my Apostles deserted me, when I had to reproach them for being unable to watch with Me even for an hour."

A fourth apparition took place on 16 June 1675. It was during that apparition that Jesus requested that a feast honoring the Sacred Heart be established on the First Friday after Corpus Christi (in June). Jesus appeared to her and said. "I am asking you to have the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi set apart as a special feast in honor of my Heart, a day in which to receive Me in Holy Communion and make a solemn act of reparation for the indignities I have received while exposed on the altars of the world."

In those apparitions, Jesus showed to Sr. Margaret Mary His Heart afire with love for all human beings, crowned with thorns (which symbolized the sins of mankind) and pierced with the lance of human sinfulness and ingratitude.

"Behold the Heart that has loved mankind so much," said Jesus, "and which receives so much ingratitude in return."

Not only did Jesus reveal to Sr. Margaret Mary all the depth of His merciful love for all, but also asked the saintly nun to offer REPARATION for the ingratitude and the terrible offenses with which sinners respond to His immense Love. Of these grave offenses, Jesus specifically mentioned the indifference toward the Blessed Sacrament, its profanations, and the unfaithfulness of the persons consecrated to Him.

Among the ways to offer reparation for all these offenses, Jesus singled out the holding of a Holy Hour of Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, the Consecration to Him, and the devout reception of Holy Communion on the First Friday of each month.

An integral part of Devotion to the Sacred Heart is thus inspired by the desire of our Lord to have Catholics make solemn reparation for the neglect, indifference and ingratitude of the majority that results in Jesus Christ being left alone, abandoned and forgotten in our altars; never visited to offer consolation for such neglect, though He has given us the miracle of His Divine Presence in the Most Holy Blessed Sacrament, as a supreme gift in His desire to be always with us.

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