She was born on 22nd July 1647 in Lautecour, at the age of twenty-four she joins the Order of the Visitation, founded by Saint Francis of Sales.
Margaret, become sister Mary, remained twenty years in the order, and from the beginning she offered herself as victim "to the Heart of Jesus".
Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-1690)
She received in return extraordinary graces. Besides she was submitted to extraordinary and continuous penances and mortifications which she bore with painful joy. Blessed Claudius La Colombière became precious and authoritative guide of the mystical nun of the Visitation and told her to write down, in her Autobiography, her ascetical experiences so they become known to the people. According to the suggestions of the Saint it was established the festivity of the Sacred Heart and the practise of the first Nine Fridays of the month.
Some of the many experiences written by the Saint
One time while I was in front of the most Holy Sacrament on the day of the Corpus Domini, I suddenly saw one person wrapped by so burning flames that it seemed that I was burning, too. The pity condition it experienced in made me cry.
It said that he was that religious Benedictine who had listened to my confession a time and had ordered me to receive the Saint Communion. In order to reward him for such a useful suggestion, God had allowed him to ask me to give relief to his pains, telling me what I would have to suffer for three months.
I promised, after being allowed by the Mother Superior. He told me that the first cause of his great suffering was due to the fact that he had preferred his own interest in spite of God’s Glory, because of his attachment to his reputation, the second one was the lack of charity towards the brethren and the third that Got did not like his excessive natural affection towards the creatures, which he had shown during the spiritual conversations.
It would be difficult to say how much I had to suffer in those 3 months. He never went away from me and I felt like having one side of my body wrapped by flames, with so hard pains that I was groaning and crying nearly continuously. The Mother Superior, very pity, gave me good penances, above all of discipline, so that the external pains suffered for charity gave relief to the others to which the holiness of love submitted me to show how those poor souls suffer.
At the end of the 3 months, I saw him again: he was very different: joyful and in the Glory, he was going to enjoy the eternal happiness; he thanked me and said that he would protect me in front of God. I became ill, but, as soon as he went away, I recovered.
One time I saw in dream a dead religious telling me that she was suffering a lot in Purgatory: God made her to suffer an incomparable pain showing her one of her relatives who had gone into hell. She told me continually: "Pray God for me. Offer your suffering joined to those of Jesus Christ, in order to alleviate mine. Give me everything you will make until the first Friday of May, day in which you will receive the Communion for me". And so I did after being allowed by the Mother Superior.
I suffered, atrocious suffering...
After the Communion for which she had asked me, she told me that the atrocious torments had diminished, since a mass had been said in honour of the passion, but she had to remain for a long time in Purgatory, where she suffered the pains due to the lukewarm souls in serving God. I was free from pains: she had told me that they would not diminish until she was not consoled.