Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Devotion to The Sacred Heart, Its Theology, History and Philosophy part 10.

By  Rev. Joseph J. C. Petrovits, J.C.B., S.T.L.

Claude de la Colombiere, S.J and St. Margaret Mary
Father de la Colombiere was instrumental in introducing the devotion into the royal court of Paris. His writings, especially a work published in 1677, were received with admiration. Being full of rare unction, elevation, and almost illimitable noble sentiments, they made a worshipper of the Sacred Heart of nearly every one that read them. 18 Finally, the Evangelical Daughters, as the Visitandines are styled, through Mother de Saumaise in 1688, received permission from the Ecclesiastical Superiors to render a solemn worship to the Sacred Heart in the Church of the Visitation of Dijon. Through the solicitude of this same Superior there was a booklet printed the same year at Dijon. It contained an Office and Litany in honor of the Sacred Heart, in the form of reparation for all the affronts Christ receives in the Blessed Sacrament. This brochure was reprinted at Moulins the following year and, after having been slightly amplified by Father Croiset, was widely diffused in the neighboring provinces and in Lyons. Several editions of it were exhausted the very same year.

Father Croiset, actuated by the incredible demand as manifested by the rapid disposal of so many repeated editions, conceived a project of writing a more comprehensive treatise on the devotion. It is likely that his plan was submitted to Blessed Margaret Mary.

Not only did it meet with her approval, but she became his correspondent and co-laborer, and her views of the devotion were incorporated into the monumental work which promised to be one of the most authentic and valuable that ever left the press. Alas, she was not to read its printed pages. As the work was nearing its completion Blessed Margaret Mary, after a holy life, fortified with the sacrament of Extreme Unction, died an edifying death, having received Holy Communion the day before. This took place on October 17, 1690, when she was in her forty-third year.