Thursday, February 21, 2013

Claude de la Colombière, Confessor to St. Margaret Mary – Visionary of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

by M. J. Joachim

Imagine if you will, a young nun performing her daily duties, while having strange visions and hearing voices in her head. She is completely devoted to Christ, second guessing these things, perhaps considering them a spiritual trial. Plagued by the visions and words she’d hear, Sr. Margaret Mary speaks to her Mother Superior, a woman who is cautious, but has some vague belief in what she might be saying.

Meanwhile, all the other nuns start to notice something is different about Sr. Margaret Mary. Intentionally or not, they begin to ostracize her and treat her unkindly, thinking she’s just a little too weird and not as much like they are as she should be.

Mother Superior tries to help by providing a knowledgeable confessor. Unfortunately, the particular priest she chose believes Sr. Margaret Mary’s visions are of the devil and indicates this must be a test from God. Sr. Margaret Mary is already very frightened, but this makes her all the more anxious.

France was having a difficult enough time dealing with break-offs from the Church. Reformers, Protestants and various other groups were challenging Catholicism – wars were highly charged, many in the name of defending God.

Here’s this little nun, utterly confused and full of self-doubt in the worst way, until one day, Fr. Claude de la Colombrière was sent to preach at the Visitation convent. Sr. Margaret Mary was instructed (in her heart – she heard a voice again) to confess to Fr. Claude, who immediately affirmed her apparitions and supported her cause to spread devotion to the Sacred Heart.

True story! This is how it all started. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus has become one of the most widely honored and loved devotions in the Catholic Church, because one holy and devout priest, gave a simple nun, who most people thought was crazy, the benefit of the doubt!

That’s all for now.
Thank you for visiting Being Catholic,

M. J.

Photo credit:  Claude de la Colombière, Public Domain
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