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Saint of the Day for 16 October: St Margaret Mary Alacoque

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque: the spread of the cult to the Sacred Heart


Margherita Maria Alacoque




22 July 1647, Autun, France


17 October 1690, Paray-le-Monial, France


16 October


2004 edition


18 September 1864, Rome, Pope Pius IX


1920, Rome, Pope Benedict XV


O Saint Margaret Mary, by the Sacred Heart of Jesus made partaker of his divine treasures, obtain for us, we beseech you, from this adorable Heart the graces we need. We ask them from it with confidence that has no limits. May the divine Heart deign to grant them to us through your intercession, so that once again he may be glorified and loved for you. So be it.

Protector of

Devotees of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Roman Martyrology

St Margaret Mary Alacoque, virgin, who, having entered the Order of the Visitation of the Blessed Mary as a nun, ran admirably along the path of perfection; endowed with mystical gifts and particularly devoted to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, she did much to promote its cult in the Church. At Paray-le-Monial near Autun in France, on 17th October, she fell asleep in the Lord.


The Saint and Mission

St Margaret Mary Alacoque, with her life and spirituality intensely imbued with the visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, opens up for us a luminous and provocative page on mission, understood as calling and sending in the concrete experience of God’s merciful love. His life and message become a palpable expression of how mission is not simply the act of “doing”, but first and foremost being deeply rooted in God’s love, in a constant and intimate dialogue with Him.

The visions of Paray-le-Monial, in which the heart of Jesus reveals itself to Margaret Mary, are not just the mystical ecstasies of a cloistered nun, but rather the spark that ignited a missionary fire that has endured over the centuries. The Sacred Heart does not speak to her of missionary strategies or pastoral plans, but simply reveals her vulnerable, aching, yet so ardent love for humanity. It is a love that knows no boundaries and overcomes every barrier, a love that becomes small, humble, and chooses to manifest itself in a special way through the heart of a simple nun.

Margaret Mary thus becomes, perhaps unexpectedly, a missionary figure, not because she crosses seas or borders, but because from her small monastery she emanates a message that crosses the boundaries of countries and epochs, speaking to the hearts of countless people of all times and places. Her mission is to be a channel of God’s love, witnessing with her life the ineffable beauty of being loved and the sweet urgency of responding to that love.

Mission, in the spirituality of the Sacred Heart, thus becomes an intrinsic and inevitable response to experienced love. It is not primarily a doing, but a being immersed in God’s love, which in itself becomes a fire that burns and cannot but radiate. St Margaret Mary, therefore, becomes a missionary not because she preaches in distant lands, but because her heart, united with that of Jesus, becomes a beacon that radiates the light of divine love in every corner of darkness, in every heart in search of hope.

In his message, there is the echo of a perennial invitation to the Church and to each one of us: the mission is born from a heart that listens, that lets itself be touched, that experiences love and that, almost naturally, becomes itself a message, a presence, a testimony. The mission becomes a welcoming of the other, a sharing of the gift received, a loving and discreet presence, especially where the cry of abandonment, suffering and lack of love is most piercing.

St Margaret Mary Alacoque, in her simplicity and depth, thus becomes a prophetic figure of a mission that is, first and foremost, listening, welcoming, sharing the love received, in a continuous dynamism from the heart of God to the heart of man, in an uninterrupted flow that becomes a way of salvation for the world.

The Saint and Mercy

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the merciful heart of Christ are intrinsically intertwined in the intimate weaving of devotion to the Sacred Heart, a spirituality that has profoundly influenced the Catholic Church through centuries. The revelation of the loving and wounded heart of Jesus to St Margaret Mary has become a luminous bulwark of mercy that continues to reverberate gently and firmly in the history of Christian spirituality.

In the apparitions St Margaret Mary received, the heart of Jesus is revealed in all its vulnerable power, unreservedly exposing his immeasurable love for humanity and his burning desire to be loved in return. Mercy, then, is not here a simple unilateral act of forgiveness or kindness, but a reciprocal dynamism, an open invitation to enter a circle of love that, starting from the divine heart, expands to human hearts and from them returns to the divine source.

St Margaret Mary Alacoque is not just the recipient of a revelation; she is the witness and herald of a mercy that shocks, that challenges human logic, that enters into the wounds of existence to transform them into sources of grace. Her dialogue with the heart of Christ thus becomes a model and pathway for every Christian called to experience and, in turn, to be a channel of divine mercy.

Mercy, in the dialogue between the heart of Jesus and that of Margaret Mary, is not just a theme: it is the very language with which they communicate, the palpable and lived reality in which they meet. It is not a generic love or abstract forgiveness, but a heart that loves with intensity, that suffers when love is unrequited, that rejoices when it finds a soul willing to accept it.

The spirituality of the Sacred Heart, brought to the world with tenacity and humility by St. Margaret Mary, invites us to go beyond a simple contemplation of divine mercy, urging us to experience it personally and communally. It demands that we allow ourselves to be enveloped by that love that becomes a gift, that becomes vulnerable, and to respond to that gift not with mere words, but with a love that becomes life, that becomes a choice, that becomes mercy towards our brothers and sisters.

In the life and mystical experience of St Margaret Mary, divine mercy makes its way and becomes flesh, touching the frailties and hopes of humanity. Her message, even today, does not lose its prophetic timbre and sweet urgency: the Heart of Christ burns with a love that wants to reach everyone, especially those who are wounded, marginalised and desperate. In this merciful heart, every soul can find refuge, peace and the sweet joy of being infinitely loved.


This great Saint was the confidante of the Sacred Heart. She was born on 22nd July 1647 into an honourable family, in a small village in the diocese of Autun. Burning with love for the Virgin and the august Sacrament of the Eucharist, she consecrated her virginity to God at a young age.

At the age of 15, she went through a period of relaxation: human love and divine love seemed to be competing for her; but in the end the latter triumphed. God had chosen her to reveal the ineffable treasures of his Heart. At the age of 23, she entered the Visitation monastery in ParayleMonial. It is here where the most sublime ascensions on the path to holiness begin and where we admire visions and…


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