St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was born in a small town in France in 1647. As a child, Margaret was quiet and very focused on prayer. One day, she became very sick, and so made a promise to Jesus’ mother, Mary, that if she became well again she would consecrate herself to religious life. Margaret immediately regained her health, and so added the name Mary to her baptismal name in honor of this miracle.
As a young teen, Margaret Mary entered society, attending balls and celebrations, with the hope to one day be married. One evening, she received a vision of Jesus Christ, who reminded her of the promise she had made to his mother as a child. Shortly after, Margaret Mary entered the Visitation convent in 1671. Margaret Mary received several visions of Jesus Christ and the Sacred Heart during this time. Jesus told her that his heart showed his immense love for his people, and instructed Margaret Mary to become a messenger of this love. Jesus revealed several different devotional practices to Margaret Mary, all of which she made habit in her religious life—such as receiving Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month, Eucharistic adoration during the “Holy Hour” on Thursdays to meditate on Jesus’ Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, and celebrating the Feast of the Sacred Heart (now celebrated on October 16).
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.