St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a 17th-century Visitation nun, encountered extraordinary revelations from Jesus, significantly influencing the Christian landscape. These visions, centered around Jesus's divine love and mercy, nurtured the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The First Revelation
In December 27, 1673, St. Margaret experienced her first significant revelation. During this divine encounter, Jesus allowed her to rest her head upon His heart, feeling the warmth and rhythmic beat of divine love.
St. Margaret said:
“One day…I was praying before the Blessed Sacrament, when I felt myself wholly penetrated with that Divine Presence, but to such a degree that I lost all thought of myself and of the place where I was, and abandoned myself to this Divine Spirit, yielding up my heart to the power of His Love.
“He made me repose for a long time upon His Sacred Breast, where He disclosed to me the marvels of His Love and the inexplicable secrets of His Sacred Heart, which so far He had concealed from me. Then it was that, for the first time, He opened to me His Divine Heart.”
Jesus said to St. Margaret:
“My Divine Heart is so inflamed with love for men, and for you in particular that, being unable any longer to contain within Itself the flames of Its burning Charity, It must spread them abroad by your means, and manifest Itself to them (mankind) in order to enrich them with the precious graces of sanctification and salvation necessary to withdraw them from the abyss of perdition. I have chosen you as an abyss of unworthiness and ignorance for the accomplishment of this great design, in order that everything may be done by Me.”
Great Blessings Wherever the Image of the Sacred Heart is Honored
A few months later, Jesus showed St. Margaret His heart surrounded by thorns, symbolizing the sins of humanity that pierced His heart. He conveyed His longing for humanity's love, expressed through frequent communion, particularly on the first Friday of each month, and through a Holy Hour of meditation on His sufferings every Thursday night.
Jesus said that everywhere that His image is exposed, He would bestow great blessings:
“Everywhere this holy image was exposed to be honored, He would pour fourth His graces and blessings. This blessing was, as it were, a final effort of His love. He wanted to bestow upon men during these final centuries such loving redemption in order to snatch them from the control of Satan, whom He intended to destroy.”
Great Gifts to Those Who Will Devote Themselves to His Sacred Heart
Jesus revealed to St. Margaret His desire for men to honour His Sacred Heart. He promised to bestow great gifts on those who honour His Sacred Heart. St. Margaret shares her encounter with Jesus for the second time on July 2, 1674 below:
“The Divine Heart was presented to me in a throne of flames, more resplendent than a sun, transparent as crystal, with this adorable wound. And it was surrounded with a crown of thorns, signifying the punctures made in it by our sins, and a cross above signifying that from the first instant of His Incarnation…”
“My Divine Master revealed to me that it was His ardent desire to be known, loved and honored by men, and His eager desire to draw them back from the road to perdition, along which Satan is driving them in countless numbers, that induced Him to manifest His Heart to men with all the treasures of love, mercy, grace, sanctification and salvation that It contains.”
“This Heart of God must be honored under the form of His heart of flesh, whose image He wanted exposed, and also worn on me and on my heart.
“He promised to pour out into the hearts of all those who honor the image of His Heart all the gifts it contains in fullness, and for all those who would wear this image on their persons He promised to imprint His love on their hearts and to destroy all unruly inclinations.
The Impact of the Revelations
The impact of these divine encounters with Jesus extended far beyond the life of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. They influenced the Church's teachings, inspired countless faithful, and led to the global establishment of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These revelations have offered spiritual sustenance, imbued believers with a deeper understanding of Jesus's divine love and mercy, and encouraged a life lived in imitation of Jesus's Sacred Heart.
The revelations of Jesus's Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque laid the foundation for a profound devotion that has deeply touched countless souls. This devotion calls on us to reciprocate Jesus's divine love, embrace His mercy, and live in a way that reflects the love and kindness of His Sacred Heart. It is a devotion that brings peace and hope, urging us to remember the words of St. Padre Pio, "In the most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust."