The Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque was born at Terrau, in the province of Burgundy, France, on the 22d of July, 1647. Her family was highly respectable; her father having held the office of judge for Terrau, as well as for several of the neighboring towns. From an early age little Margaret showed great devotion towards the Blessed Virgin. When eight years old she lost her father, and, as she was the only daughter living, she was placed at school with the Dames Urbanistes, a title given the Religious of Saint Clare who followed the mitigated rule sanctioned by Pope Urban VIII. At the end of two years her mother had to remove her, as she was visited with a severe illness which lasted four years. The bones pierced her skin, and she almost lost the use of her limbs. She says, in her own Life, that a promise was made that, if she was cured, she would belong to the Blessed Virgin and be one of her daughters. She had no sooner made the vow than she was cured.
In her twenty-third year she entered the little convent of the Order of the Visitation at Paray, on 25 May 1671. It contained at that time thirty-three choir sisters, three lay sisters, and three novices. To go into the details of her convent life would take up too much space. A valuable biography has been written by Father Tickell, S.J. Her whole life was devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion founded by her. All through her life she was particularly favored by our divine Lord. She died in the odor of sanctity, on 17 October 1690, in the forty-fourth year of her age, in the arms of the two sisters to whom she had herself predicted this several years before. Her body was deposited in the burial-place of the community, but in 1703 the coffin was opened, and the precious bones collected and placed in an oak case near the same spot, where they remained until the expulsion of the Sisters by the Revolutionists of 1792.
Paray-le-Monial has lately attracted much attention in consequence of pilgrimages being made to the Blessed Margaret Mary’s shrine. On 16 June 1823, the present monastery was dedicated, and the relics of the Blessed Margaret Mary placed in an oratory adjoining the choir, but were afterwards put in a tomb, where they remained until her beatification. The decree establishing her heroic character was prepared in May 1S46, by the present Pope, Pius IX, who visited the monastery in August of the same year, Orders were given for the prose cution of the cause in April 1864, and on 24 June the decree of beatification was published; on 6 September 1866 His Holiness signed the order for resuming the cause of canonization. A pilgrimage from England, under the lead of the Duke of Norfolk, and with the sanction of the hierarchy of England, to Paray-le-Monial, took place in September 1873, and attracted special attention everywhere.
- “Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque”. , 1874. CatholicSaints.Info. 17 January 2017. Web. 25 April 2017. <>