what happened 350 years ago?

what happened 350 years ago?

What happened in Paray-le-Monial between 1673 and 1675?

Between 1673 and 1675, the Visitation monastery of Paray-le-Monial was the scene of various appearances of Jesus to the Visitation sister Marguerite-Marie Alacoque, who had already had mystical visions of Christ on the Cross or in Ecce Homo, during his youth:

  • December 27, 1673 : this is the first major appearance of Jesus and his Sacred Heart to Marguerite-Marie. The clairvoyant testifies in her autobiography to a vision of the Heart of Jesus, on the feast day of Saint John the Evangelist. During a Eucharistic adoration in the convent chapel, Jesus appeared to him and repeated the episode of Maundy Thursday. In the image of John who was affectionately leaning on the chest of Christ, Marguerite says: “He made me rest for a long time on his divine chest, where he discovered to me the wonders of his Love and the inexplicable secrets of his Sacred Heart..” Showing a wounded Heart radiant like a sun surmounted by the Cross in a throne of flames, Jesus explains to him in the silence of prayer: “My divine Heart is so passionate about love for Men and for you in particular that, no longer able to contain within itself the flames of its ardent charity, it must spread them through you “Finally, Christ takes the heart of the young clairvoyant, immerses it in His own then places it back in the chest of the future saint. She says she is transformed.”as if on fire and intoxicated“The same year, the Visitandine had a vision of the Holy Trinity.”in the form of three young men dressed in white, all resplendent with light, of the same age and great beauty“, accompanied by the Heart of Jesus adored by cherubs.
  • 1674 : On an undetermined date, on the first Friday of the month, still during Eucharistic adoration, Marguerite-Marie Alacoque saw the second great apparition of the Sacred Heart in front of the exposed Blessed Sacrament. Jesus presented himself to the seer “all bursting with glory with its five wounds shining like five suns…“. Chest shaped like “furnace“giving him a glimpse”his all-loving and all-kind Heart which was the living source of these flames“. This is the moment chosen by Christ to complain about the ingratitude of Man in the face of “all (s)my eagerness to do them good“. He begs, thus, the young nun to help him carry his message of love against the “ingratitude“. He also instituted Eucharistic communion on the first Fridays of the month at his Sacred Heart, as well as the practice of the Holy Hour every Thursday, from eleven o'clock to midnight. A way, according to him, to unite with his agony at Gethsemane to pray, suffer and ask for forgiveness for the sins of the world. The apparition ends with his words: “I give you the name of beloved disciple of my Heart.“.
  • June 1675 during the octave of Corpus Christi : This is one of the most important appearances of Jesus to Marguerite-Marie. On a sun-drenched day, after going to take the donkeys out of the Visitation convent, the future saint took refuge in solitude to pray. Near the hazel grove which runs along the enclosure, she suddenly hears a soft voice: “Daisy. Marguerite-Marie.” It is Jesus who calls her. In front of her, Christ with clothes torn and in pitiful condition. He is bleeding, tears run down his cheeks and he wears his crown of thorns on his head. The young woman cries with him. He then explains to him that he is “come to save men, but they become deaf to (s)his call and blind to (s)his face “. Jesus shows him again this time his burning Sacred Heart surrounded by a crown of thorns. With each of its beats, a gentle solar heat emanates from it: “Here is this heart which loved Men so much until it was exhausted and consumed to show them its love. And for gratitude, I receive from most only ingratitude.“. The sister then received Saint Francis of Assisi as her spiritual guide. Just like the delicate mission of remembering “to France, eldest daughter of (s)we Church, that this Heart awaits it. Today and until the last judgment“but also to carry his message”with attentive ears and sharp minds“. Thing was done, a few years later, in particular thanks to the precious help of his confessor, the Jesuit Saint Claude de la Colombière.

Have there been other apparitions of the Sacred Heart in Paray-le-Monial?

The events of 1673 to 1675 were not the only apparitions of the Sacred Heart to Sister Marguerite-Marie Alacoque. There will be others in the following decades. She devotes herself entirely to him and will then speak of a “mystical marriage“. Finally, on July 2, 1687, Marguerite saw the Sacred Heart and instructed the Visitandines and the Jesuits to propagate this devotion.

What happened after the apparitions?

From 1685, Marguerite-Marie was entrusted with the responsibility of “mistress of novices“of the monastery of the Visitation of Paray-le-Monial. A function that it will quickly put to good use for “bring out the devotion of the Sacred Heart” among these young future nuns. Thus, the following year, the very first altar to the glory of the Heart of Jesus was built on site. But despite the criticism, the skepticism and the humiliations of the theologians of his time in the face of what was still called “false devotion“, Marguerite persists. The same year, the feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was celebrated in Paray-le-Monial. It was not until 1687 that the very first chapel commemorating the events was built in the monastery garden.

It was only in 1765 that Rome authorized the universal celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, every 3rd Friday after Pentecost. As for her, Marguerite-Marie will be the subject of a very long diocesan investigation, delayed by the French Revolution, which will only culminate on September 18, 1864 with her beatification, then her canonization on May 13, 1920, by Benedict XV.

Over the years, many religious communities settled near the Chapel of Apparitions. The Sisters of the Visitation are always present and pray daily for the intentions of the Heart of Jesus. They welcome pilgrims who come to visit the place of Jesus' revelations to Saint Margaret Mary. The Jesuits – of which Saint Claude de la Colombière, the saint's confessor, was a member – carry out a ministry of confession for cloistered communities and pilgrims in the Saint Claude chapel, but also of evangelization to propagate the Heart of Jesus in the world. Poor Clares and Dominicans are also present on site. They pray for the salvation of the world and try to follow the recommendations left by Christ himself, between 1673 and 1675.

The Emmanuel Community has been responsible for the Sanctuary of Paray-le-Monial since 1985. On the orders of the diocese of Autun, Chalon and Mâcon, the 160 members of the community lead a prayer and praise group. at the Chapel of the Visitation.

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