The Relics of SAINT MARGARET MARY ALACOQUE visited our Church on Monday, October 22. We had a special Mass at 7pm followed by veneration in our Church until 10pm. The Relics were also present at our Academy Mass on Tuesday, October 23 at 8:30am.
The Church has always honored relics (a part of a saint’s body, any part of their clothing or something closely connected to them) of the saints and martyrs because the Church recognizes that in honoring the saints and martyrs in this way we also honor Christ for whom they lived and died. Thus, relics are meant to inspire us with a greater devotion to God through a particular saint’s example; in this case, the example of St. Margaret Mary, who received visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and inspired a new devotion to Christ and a greater understanding of Christ’s love and mercy for us.
The Servants of the Pierced Hearts of Jesus and Mary, a new religious order that was recently welcomed into the Diocese of Orlando and into our Parish, obtained permission from the government of France to bring the relic to the United States and it was first venerated at a parish in the Archdiocese of Miami. The relic belongs to the order of the Visitation of Our Lady in Paray le Monial, France.
As we celebrate the Year of Faith, the reception of the relics is a wonderful moment to reflect on the saints who model a life of faith filled devotion to Jesus Christ.
Saint Margaret Mary was born in 1647 in the Diocese of Autun in France. She joined the Sisters of the Visitation at Paray-le-Monial where she advanced in the life of perfection, and was favored with mystical revelations. She was especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was responsible for spreading that devotion throughout the Church. She died on October 17, 1690.
Only three years after her death, Pope Innocent XII addressed a brief to the monastery at Dijon whereby he enriched the feast of the Sacred Heart with precious indulgences, extending the privilege of celebrating it to all Visitation monasteries. In 1765, Pope Clement XIII introduced the feast at Rome. In 1856, Pope Pious IX extended the feast to the entire Church. Finally, in the year 1920, she was beatified by Pope Benedict XV. On October 1986, Blessed John Paul II visited the Chapel of Apparitions in Paray Le Monial and prayed before the remains of the saint. On October 2005, Pope Benedict XVI venerated and prayed in deep silence before the relics of the Saint in his private chapel of the Apostolic Palace.
During the Year of Faith, a Plenary Indulgence is offered for participation in the celebration of Mass at both Annunciation and St. Margaret Mary (Mass will be held on Wednesday, October 24 at 5:30pm at St Margaret Mary in Winter Park).