Mother Cabrini was fourteen when Margaret Mary Alacoque was beatified. The year was 1864. At the time, Francesca Cabrini was attending a school run by the Daughters of the Sacred Heart in the nearby town of Arluno. The beatification was undoubtedly cause for great rejoicing there.

Following the example of Margaret Mary Alacoque, young Francesca Cabrini placed her own heart in the Heart of Jesus. She trusted the Sacred Heart implicitly, continually, fervently.

In 1899, Leo XIII consecrated the entire human race to the Sacred Heart. That year Mother Cabrini purchased the property on which the Shrine now sits, naming the school she established here Sacred Heart Villa. She wrote to the Missionary Sisters, “How I wish that we could become so spiritual as to obtain a hundredth part of the union with the Sacred Heart that Blessed Alacoque possessed!”

Blessed Margaret Mary remained one of Mother Cabrini’s favorite intercessors throughout her life. In later letters she referred to Margaret Mary Alacoque as the Institute’s special protectress. Writing while en route from Panama to Buenos Aires she encouraged the Missionary Sisters to call on Blessed Alacoque, exclaiming,

“Completely abandoned to the infinite mercy of her beloved Jesus, like a true, strong, Missionary with luminous and generous charity, she knew how to triumph over all obstacles and was rewarded by seeing the Sacred Heart of Jesus known, loved and glorified by a great number of devotees before her death. As a reward for such generous action, Blessed Margaret Mary now contemplates in heaven the beauty of the Divine Heart of Jesus, enjoying peace, joy and sovereign delights. She can talk to Him openly at any moment, can implore and obtain even prodigious graces.” (To the Ends of the Earth, p. 131)

Margaret Mary Alacoque was canonized in 1920. The Shrine has a first-class relic of her in our collection, should you wish to stop by to venerate it.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, pray for us.

A Prayer of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Lord Jesus, let my heart never rest until it finds You, who are its center, its love, and its happiness. By the wound in Your heart pardon the sins that I have committed whether out of malice or out of evil desires. Place my weak heart in your own divine heart, continually under your protection and guidance, so that I may persevere in doing good and in fleeing evil until my last breath. Amen.

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