A few years after she entered the Order of the Visitation in Paray-le-Monial, France, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647 - 1690) received private revelations from the Lord in which He asked her to help promote the devotion to His Sacred Heart.
Beginning on December 27, 1673, the Feast of St. John the Evangelist, and continuing for 18 months, St. Margaret Mary received several private revelations regarding the devotion.
As an obedient nun, she shared these with her superior who scoffed at the idea that St. Margaret Mary could possibly have such a calling let alone have seen the Lord.
Thus began many years of suffering for her as her story was discounted by fellow sisters, superiors, theologians, and priests. Throughout this time, St. Margaret Mary suffered through torturous interrogations that concluded with the pronouncement that she was delusional.
Her sufferings were not relieved until St. Claude de la Columbiere, a Jesuit priest met with St. Margaret and assured her that what she had received was real.
The priest began to promote the devotion, which although not a completely new one, began to gain new found energy because of St. Margaret Mary's revelations and the support that the Jesuits gave to it.
Perhaps, St. Margaret Mary had been prepared for her ordeal of suffering by her experience to answer her own calling to the religious life.
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