Monday, October 16, 2006

Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

Today we celebrate the memory of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque. I was supposed to observe Saint Teresa of Avila today, since her feast fell on a Sunday this year, and I kept my patron Saint Callistus last Saturday. However, Father Tom Green, SJ (one of the priests I know who are really familiar with the Roman calendar) reminded me that it is Saint Margaret Mary's today and so I will keep this day in her memory but also remember dear Saint Teresa. (Father Tom observed Saint Teresa last Saturday.)

This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pius XII's Encyclical on the Devotion to the Sacred Heart, Haurietis Aquas, which, of course, mentions Saint Margaret Mary:

But surely the most distinguished place among those who have fostered this most excellent type of devotion is held by St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who, under the spiritual direction of Blessed Claude de la Colombiere who assisted her work, was on fire with an unusual zeal to see to it that the real meaning of the devotion which had had such extensive developments to the great edification of the faithful should be established and be distinguished from other forms of Christian piety by the special qualities of love and reparation. (95)

Margaret indeed, did her best to be faithful to the mission entrusted to her by the Lord, to lead the people once again to his Sacred Heart, in an age that has so forgotten the love of God and was more fearful of his justice. She did this at the cost of much suffering and persecution, that however did not deter her from proclaiming the message entrusted to her. Good that she had a very good spiritual director-the Jesuit Blessed Claude de la Colombiere, who was always by her side to strengthen, guide and console her.

And so let us ask the Lord today, through the intercession of Saint Margaret Mary, for the grace to be faithful to our call despite hardships, and also for the gift of good and holy companions in our journey to him.

Saint Margaret Mary, pray for us!

(Today is also the memorial of Saint Hedwig, a holy duchess and a generous patron of the Church, and of Saint Gerard Majella, young religious and patron of expectant mothers.)

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