Feast of the Sacred Heart

Byron Bullock has sent me a link to the Fountain of Elias, which I have copied and excerpt here. The Fountain of Elias is an additional blog writen by Elena-Maria Vidal whose work is no stranger here at Le Fleur de Lys.

"I have come to cast a fire on the earth: what will I, but that it be kindled?" (Luke 12:49)

During the first millennium of Christianity, many saints wrote with unction of the pierced side of Our Lord, from which flowed "blood and water" (John 19:34), symbolizing the sacraments of the Church. It was not until the later ages, "when the charity of many [had] grown cold" (Matthew 24:12), that Our Lord chose to reveal the hidden treasures of His Sacred Heart. The gnostic excesses of the Manicheans, the upheavals of the Protestant revolt, and the chilling exaggerations of Jansenism required as an antidote the gradual but compelling manifestations of the love and mercy of the Heart of God.

It was in the thirteenth century that mystic souls such as St. Bonaventure, St. Mechtilde, and St. Gertrude began to write explicitly about devotion to the Sacred Heart, focusing on the infinite love which pursues and surrounds us. more

More thanks to Byron and Elena-Maria!

Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, priez pour nous!

Solemnity of the Sacred Heart

We should love and feel compassion for those who unjustly oppose us, since they harm themselves and do us good, for they adorn us with crowns of everlasting glory.
-- St Anthony Mary Zaccaria

The Wounded Sacred Heart of Jesus

...God has chosen France as the "Eldest Daughter". In return for his patronage he has asked very little, only obedience and steadfastness to the faith...

...In 1676, Our Lord Jesus Himself introduced the devotion to His flaming Heart to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun of the Visitation. He promised, “I will bless every house in which an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored...” he also asked that an image of His Scared heart be added to the Arms of France and that France be consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The confessor of Ste Margaret Mary, St Claude de Colombiere, presented this request to Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet a theologian in the court of Louis XIV and recommended that this idea be rejected. It was and Louis' rejection cost France dearly. The end of the Reign of Louis XIV was marked by a series of devastating wars, so many in fact that upon his death bed Louis remarked, "I have loved war too much". His own heir having died before him and the crown passed to his grandson.

Louis XV also did not add the Sacred heart to the Arms of France nor did he consecrate France to the Sacred Heart, his son died and the Crown passed to a grandson again, in the person of Louis XVI. When in the hour of his extremity Louis XVI did consecrate France to the Sacred Heart, it was too late for him, and as he was held captive very few ever learned about this consecration. The Sacred Heart did not appear on the Arms of France.

Devotion to the Sacred Heart sustained Ste Marie-Antoinette the Queen martyr in her hour. The emblem of the Sacred Heart was carried by the Royal and Catholic army in the Vendee, and worn on the breasts of its inhabitants. The acts of Louis XVI and the soldiers of the Vendee, expiated by their blood in a small way the crimes of the masonic republic. The wearing of the this Sacred Heart badge act probably saved France for the Church.

In his time a new Empire was proclaimed (falsely) by a nephew of the Ogre, Napoleon Bonaparte. This Louis Napoleon, having failed in his every endeavour, was finally was subdued by the Prussians in the Franco-Prussian War. This Emperor in whose reign a small girl, a non-entity was graced by a vision of the Immaculate Conception, also refused to add the Sacred Heart to the Tricolour. Having failed to do so, he lost his Empire, and France was touched by the grip of a new revolution, the Commune, who attempted to emulate the revolution of 1789 by killing priests and religious. It was during this time that Our Lady Of Pontmain, visited that small village and appeared to 4 Children and the village priest led the village in the Rosary...

On January 17, 1871, twelve-year-old Eugène Barbedette and his brother were doing their chores in the barn when, around 6:00 in the evening, they looked outside and saw a woman suspended about twenty feet above the house of a neighbor. She wore a dark blue dress covered with stars and a golden crown. Quickly a small group gathered, but only the children could see the lady. Two other children were brought to the barn and immediately they also could see her. The parish priest began to lead the group in the rosary. As the children watched, a white banner was unrolled beneath the woman's feet and words began to appear: "But pray, my children. God will soon answer your prayers. My Son allows himself to be moved."(1) Then four candles appeared beside her. The woman spread her arms to the people and then disappeared around 9:00 p.m.

The next day the villagers learned that a Prussian army hitherto advancing on the village was withdrawing. The night the apparition took place in Pontmain, the German leader, General von Schmidt, received an unexpected order that commanded him to withdraw his troops. The war ended a week later with an armistice signed in Paris on January 28, with the French admitting defeat. Pontmain and western France were spared, and all the soldiers conscripted from Pontmain returned home unharmed. The Virgin Mary had interceded and saved Pontmain because of the prayers of the villagers. A Church on the premises dedicated to Our Lady of Prayer was consecrated on October 15, 1900. Today it is visited by some 350,000 pilgrims annually. The statue in front of the basilica is located on the site of her appearance.

The Grace of The Crucified Christ shown for a short time on the people of France once more.

And then there was Claire Ferchaud...

Born on May 5 in 1896, she was hurriedly dressed in a white gown and taken to the local church where she was Baptised Claire-Yvonne-Marie-Louis. She was born in Saint-Laurent-sur-Sèvre, in the small village of Loublande, in the Vendéen hedged farmland called the Bocage. She attended the school of the Sacred Heart and during her childhood, she was subject to apparitions. Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and Saint Joan of Arc appeared to her and asked her to deliver for them messages.

By the end of 1916, Jesus shows to Claire his heart "lacerated by the sins of humanity " and crossed by a deeper wound atheism. She confides in the parish priest of Loublande, the Abbot Audebert. Then Jesus entrusts to her a mission: to contact President Poincaré regarding her conversion with Jesus, being the placing of the Sacred Heart on French flags, which will insure the final victory of the armies of France against the Germans.

In accordance with the wishes of Our Saviour, she writes this missive, and her letter is sent to the President Poincaré January 16 1917. He ignores it. By the intervention and help of a prominent royalist representative, the small mystic is received on March 21 at the Elysée palace where she arrives to deliver this message: "The President was to ask the Bishops to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and to ask the parliament to place the 'Sacred Heart' image on the white portion of the French flag... President Poincaré seemed to consent to her suggestions, but strangely once again nothing in fact is done. Clair sends to President Poincaré a second letter on the 1st of May, again he does nothing. On May 7, she then sends the letter of warning to 14 generals of the army, asking "that the picture of the Sacred Heart, signs hope and of good day, shine officially on our national colors". Only one complies (2), and that Division of the Army saves Paris from the advancing German Army in the 2nd Battle of the Marne. The Sacred Heart will be invoked during this conflict by faithful millions of, but never will be placed on the standards.

Clear withdraws to her home to accomplish the other mission that God inspired in her: to found a congregation to repair the insult done to the Sacred Heart, "in substitution to the refusal by the France to recognize officially God for master". She will take the name of Sister Claire of Crucified Jesus. The community will receive the blessing of Pope Pius XII!

During 1918, there thousands of pilgrims invade the town of Loublande simply to be near Clair and the Sacred Heart. The height of these pilgrimages occurred on June 7 1918 with a procession of torches which 10,000 pilgrims participate! ...But the peace signed in 1918, as had announced by Claire Ferchaud, would not be "final". A greater holocaust is yet to come. Clair asks for and is granted a perpetual Mass for France, which was approved by Mgr Humbrecht, the bishop of Poitiers, on June 11, 1918.

The picture of the " Sacred Heart of Jesus broken for our sins", which was painted under the directions of Claire Ferchaud (a reproduction which is exposed in the chapel of the house of the Sacred Heart of Loublande) is seen widely in Royalist and Catholic places of the faith.

Today the Royalists of France are represent on their color the sacred heart, sometimes as the Chouans and sometimes as it was requested By Christ through Clair Ferchaud.

But until France and the world consecrate their countries individually peace will not come nor wil the enemies of the church be crushed.

I respectfully call upon S.A.R. Louis Alphonse, as legitmate heir of the Crown of France to Publically Consecrate France to the Sacred Heart.

Dieu Suave le Roy!
Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, priez pour nous!

A link to a place from which you may obtain a tricolour with the Sacred Heart is here...

(1)"Mais priez mes enfants, Dieu vous exaucera en peu de temps. Mon Fils se laisse toucher".
(2) Some references in English say none complied.


I feel that old sick feeling again.

I will never change my beliefs about the Faith passed down to me from my forefathers.

Father Gregroy has posted this link at his blog Subimonk, this will demonstrate how the Protestant Churches work. Saying to themsleves "I can translate the Bible, in my own way and twist is to meet what I think, and no Pope or his church will tell me otherwise. I won't be confused by the truth of the Church." This is what the "Reformers" said. look at what it got them... There are currently "over 33,000 distinct denominations in 238 countries..." this does not count the churches of 100 people or less, but only "One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church... Satan has been working overtime.

Oh, for the charism of projectile vomiting at will!


Thanks Father!


Don't you wish yourgirlfriend was .....

This is the reason I do not have a tattoo, even after 22 years in the Marines.
Looking at the Fox News network I came along this...

"...Kimberley Vlaeminck, 18, is now suing the tattoo artist who she claims went way beyond what she had asked for. The Belgian teen says she woke up in pain after falling asleep as Rouslan Toumaniantz drew the permanent ink designs. She then discovered 56 "frightening" black stars of different sizes from her nose to ear and brow to chin.

"I wanted him to tattoo on just three little points but he suggested three stars, saying it would look prettier,” Vlaeminck said.

"When he started the tattooing I didn't want to feel the pain and so I went to sleep. I woke up when he was starting to tattoo my nose and I saw what he had already done. I counted 56 stars, it's frightening..."

OK I don't know about anybody else but when I have some one poking me with something sharp in the face I just can't get to sleep... More.

...And here is a picture of the "artiste"... Mdme Vigee-la Brun don't look!

above: Rouslan Toumaniantz aka "All the girls like me Toumaniantz"

All this leads up to this article by Elena-Maria's article on being Modest, not Frumpy. This style is much more attractive than a woman who wish to look like barbarians. ...And while I am at it... Women who wear purfume should do so conservatively so that it draws the man closer, not in gallons to repel men and any other creature, ie: bugs. Never use it as deoderant! that was my two scents worth.


Vol AF 447: les autopsies suggèrent que l'appareil s'est brisé en plein vol / Autopsies suggest Air France jet broke up in sky

Vol AF 447: les autopsies suggèrent que l'appareil s'est brisé en plein vol, selon des experts

SAO PAULO - Les autopsies des corps de victimes du vol AF447 d'Air France suggèrent que l'appareil s'est brisé en plein vol, selon des experts.

Les victimes de l'accident, qui ont été examinées, présentent de multiples fractures aux jambes, aux hanches et aux bras, a indiqué mercredi à l'Associated Press un porte-parole de l'équipe médico-légale brésilienne chargée des autopsies, tenu à l'anonymat.

Selon Frank Ciacco, expert médico-légal qui a travaillé par le passé à l'Autorité américaine des transports, ces blessures suggèrent que l'appareil pourrait s'être disloqué en plein vol. Une thèse également alimentée par la découverte de larges morceaux de l'Airbus A330-200 d'Air France qui s'est abîmé dans l'Atlantique le 1er juin avec 228 personnes à bord.

Selon Frank Ciacco, les corps et les débris seraient bien plus fragmentés, si l'appareil s'était désintégré seulement au contact de l'eau.

par Yahoo! Québec

Corresponding article in English

Associated Press Writers

SAO PAULO (AP) -- Autopsies revealed fractures in the legs, hips and arms of Air France disaster victims, a Brazilian official said Wednesday. Experts said those injuries - and the large pieces of wreckage pulled from the Atlantic - strongly suggest the plane broke up in the air.

With more than 400 bits of debris recovered from the ocean's surface, the top French investigator expressed optimism about discovering what brought down Flight 447, but he also called the conditions - far from land in very deep waters - "one of the worst situations ever known in an accident investigation."

French investigators are beginning to form "an image that is progressively less fuzzy," Paul-Louis Arslanian, who runs the French air accident investigation agency BEA, told a news conference outside Paris.


from Father Tim in Blackfen...

Father Tim has a great posting, here.

This is how the Church is passed down to the newer generations.

It was the Cure'd'Ars who dressed in a ragged cassock so that the altar and his vestments were beautiful.

All for the Glory of God.

Jhesu + Marie,

Duc Charles d’Orléans at Bolingbroke

Jackie at The Mysteries of Jehanne d’Arc posted this interesting missive on the captured Duc Charles d'Orleans at Bolingbroke Castle. Jackie lives very close to the is ancient edifice.

In the year 1425…

‘During the four years while this state of suspense continued both in France and England, the only practical matters that Charles had with which to fill his thoughts in his virtually solitary confinement in Bolingbroke were the everlasting financial affairs of his brother (Jean), for the money for whose release he was still being pressed.’ more
Most Christian, Noble Kingdom of France ~ Charles d’ Orléans

…Praying to God that before I reach old age

A time of peace may everywhere arrive

As I long for with all my heart

And that I should see all your ills soon end

Most Christian, Noble Kingdom of France

ore is nown about his natural brother http://xenophongroup.com/montjoie/dunois.htm a Companion of the Maid than about Duc Charles.

Jhesu + Marie,

Sacred Heart Badge

This is the Sacred Heart Badge as worn by the Counter-Revolutionaries during the Terror and the Catholic uprising in the Vendee. Any person who was caught wearing this badge faced immediate execution by the "tolerant" French revolutionary government as being a reactionary, clerical and counter to the goals of the Revolution. Marie-Antoinette is mentioned as wearing one on her person as was Madame Royale.

In 1676, Our Lord Jesus Himself introduced the devotion to His flaming Heart to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French nun of the Visitation. He promised, “I will bless every house in which an image of My Heart shall be exposed and honored.” He also revealed His wish that people not only have a picture to venerate in their homes, but also carry a small picture with them.

When the Sacred Heart Badge was first presented to Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1870, he exclaimed, “this is an inspiration from Heaven. Yes, from Heaven,” and proceeded to grant the badge a blessing for all time so that subsequent badges need never be re-blessed by a priest. He then added, “and I want Satan to be unable to cause any harm to those who wear this badge.

The badge was adopted by the great Catholic resistance movements, such as that of the Chouans against the French Revolution, Andreas Hoffer’s Tyroleans against Napoleon, the Cristeros against the anti-Catholic Mexican government in the beginning of the twentieth century, and the Carlists against the Communist Revolution of 1936–1939 in Spain. The Cuban Catholics facing Castro’s firing squads also had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and died crying, “Long live Christ the King!”

With a history such as that of the Sacred Heart Badge, ANF’s Director Robert Ritchie could not help but be enthusiastic about spreading this devotion in America today, so in need of divine aid. Indeed, what better token of Faith and Divine protection could we wish for America?

Today the badge is different from the above only in that it now portrays the portrait of Jesus pointing to His Heart.

Sacre Coeur de Jesus.

First posted in 2007

St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

"...We cultivate a very small field for Christ, but we love it, knowing that God does not require great achievements but a heart that holds back nothing for self..." -- St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

A girl in my confirmation class chose this name as her patron Saint. Embarking on a history of the Sacred Heart I found that Saint Rose was among the first of a new congregation of women called Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This being the week of the Sacred Heart I thought I would post this short biography of this remarkable woman.

The Vatican web site says this...

ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE Was born August 29, 1769 in Grenoble, France. She was baptized in the Church of St. Louis and received the name of Philip, the apostle, and Rose of Lima, first saint of the new continent. She was educated at the Convent of the Visitation of Ste. Marie d'en Haut, then, drawn to the contemplative life, she became a novice there when she was 18 years old.

At the time of the Revolution in France, the community was dispersed and Philippine returned to her family home, spending her time nursing prisoners and helping others who suffered. After the Concordat of 1801, she tried with some companions to reconstruct the monastery of Ste. Marie but without success.

In 1804, Philippine learned of a new congregation, the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and offered herself and the monastery to the Foundress, Mother Madeleine Sophie Barat. Mother Barat visited Ste. Marie in 1804 and received Philippine and several companions as novices in the Society.

Even as Philippine's desire deepened for the contemplative life, so too her call to the missions became more urgent - a call she had heard since her youth. In a letter she wrote to Mother Barat, she confided a spiritual experience she had had during a night of adoration before the Eucharist on Holy Thursday: "I spent the entire night in the new World ... carrying the Blessed Sacrament to all parts of the land ... I had all my sacrifices to offer: a mother, sisters, family, my mountain! When you say to me 'now I send you', I will respond quickly 'I go"'. She waited, however, another 12 years.

In 1818 Philippine's dream was realized. She was sent to respond to the bishop of the Louisiana territory, who was looking for a congregation of educators to help him evangelize the Indian and French children of his diocese. At St. Charles, near St. Louis, Missouri, she founded the first house of the Society outside France. It was in a log cabin - and with it came all the austerities of frontier life: extreme cold, hard work, lack of funds. She also had difficulty learning English. Communication at best was slow; news often did not arrive from her beloved France. She struggled to remain closely united with the Society in France.

Philippine and four other Religious of the Sacred Heart forged ahead. In 1820 she opened the first free school west of the Mississippi. By 1828 she had founded six houses. These schools were for the young women of Missouri and Louisiana. She loved and served them well, but always in her heart she yearned to serve the American Indians. When she was 72 and no longer superior, a school for the Potawatomi was opened at Sugar Creek, Kansas. Though many thought Philippine was too sick to go, the Jesuit head of the mission insisted: "She must come; she may not be able to do much work, but she will assure success to the mission by praying for us. Her very presence will draw down all manner of heavenly favors on the work".

She was with the Potawatomi but a year; however, her pioneer courage did not weaken, and her long hours of contemplation impelled the Indians to name her, Quah-kah-ka-num-ad,"Woman-Who-Prays-Always". But Philippine's health could not sustain the regime of village life. In July 1842, she returned to St. Charles, although her heart never lost its desire for the missions: "I feel the same longing for the Rocky Mountain missions and any others like them, that I experienced in France when I first begged to come to America...".

Philippine died at St. Charles, Missouri, November 18, 1852 at the age of 83.

Thus though the revolution attempted to destroy the Church in France, the blood of the Martyrs of the Faith watered the roots of the Church in America.

Prayer in Honor of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

This is the opening prayer taken from the Mass for the optional memorial of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne.

Gracious God, you filled the heart of Philippine Duchesne with charity and missionary zeal, and gave her the desire to make you known among all peoples. Fill us who honor her memory today, with that same love and zeal to extend your kingdom to the ends of the earth. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.

Jhesu + Marie,

God In The Streets of New York City

A reposting.For some unknown reason this article was deleted when ai added a comment . It is here via a blog called Peligrinaggio / crossing the Ponte Sisto. If my Italian serves that means the first Pilgrim. It may be found here. I will be posting this to my blog list.

Thanks to Phil, and a tip of the beret.



Secrets of His Sacred Heart

Byron Bullock who sends me short articles has sent this in preparation for the Feast of the Sacred Heart...

Secrets of His Sacred Heart

Psalm 26 expresses her experience: “Thou hast said, 'Seek thou my Face.’ My heart says to Thee, 'Thy Face, O Lord, do I seek’” (Ps 26:8). That one verse expresses the exchange underlying every call to intimacy with Christ. He says, “Seek thou my Face.” I respond, “Thy Face, O Lord, do I seek.” One who perseveres in seeking the Face of Christ is brought ineluctably to knowledge of the secrets of His Sacred Heart.

The Face and the Heart

The Face of Jesus Crucified, perceived in a shocking flash of beauty and of love, impressed Itself upon Lutgarde’s heart. She began to live “hidden in the secret of the Face of the Lord” (cf. Ps 30:21). Psalm 30 contains, in effect, two promises that have given hope to monastics down through the ages: “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy Face. . . . Thou shalt protect them in Thy tabernacle” (Ps 30:21). For Lutgarde, it became clear that she was to live hidden in the Face of Christ and to lodge in the tabernacle of His pierced Heart.

Draw Me to Thy Piercèd Side

Thanks Byron, and a tip of the beret to you once again!

The original may be found at Vultus Christe...

Jhesu + Marie,

The Secret of Knighthood

In her mission to rescue France from the English Jehanne la Pucelle lamented the lack of Chivalry amongst the knights and soldiers she was charged with. Every effort was made by her to restore chivalry to her men. Perhaps it was this selflessness which helped to inspire her soldiers to great feats, their only reward being eternal happiness. In this same way great cathedrals were built not to satisfy a master masons grand schemes for immortality, but for the glorification of God.

Maria-Elena has posted a link to a site which reflect upon the Secret of Kinighthood... more

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Elena-Maria, at Tea at Trianon, and Mary Victrix.

Jhesu + Marie,
Image of Saint Louis IX. The King who represents all the attributes of a knight.

Sacré-Cœur de Jésus

Jhesu + Marie,



Claude La Colombière, troisième enfant du notaire Bertrand La Colombière et Marguerite Coindat, naquit le 2 février 1641 à St. Symphorien d'Ozon dans le Dauphiné.

La famille s'étant déplacée à Vienne (France), Claude y fit ses premières études, qu'il compléta ensuite à Lyon jusqu'aux classes de Rhétorique et de Philosophie.

C'est alors qu'il se sentit appelé à la vie religieuse dans la Compagnie de Jésus; mais nous ne connaissons pas les motifs de son choix et de sa décision. Par contre, dans ses écrits, il nous a livré cet aveu: "J'avais une horrible aversion pour la vie que je choisissais". Cette affirmation se comprend facilement pour qui connaît la vie de Claude, dont la nature, sensible au charme des relations familiales et aux amitiés, était portée vers l'art et la littérature et attirée par tout ce qu'il y avait de plus digne dans la vie de société. Mais il n'était pas homme à se laisser guider par le sentiment.

A 17 ans, il entre au Noviciat de la Compagnie de Jésus, installé à Avignon. C'est là qu'en 1660 il passe du Noviciat au Collège pour terminer ses études de philosophie. Il y émet aussi ses premiers voeux de religion. A la fin des cours, il est nommé professeur de Grammaire et de Littérature; tâche qu'il assumera pendant cinq ans dans ce Collège.

En 1666 il est envoyé à Paris pour étudier la Théologie au Collège de Clermont; il reçoit à la même époque une charge de haute responsabilité. Sa compétence notoire pour les études d'humanités, unie à des dons exquis de prudence et de finesse, amènent les Supérieurs à le choisir comme précepteur des fils de Colbert, Ministre des Finances de Louis XIV.

Ses études terminées et ordonné prêtre, il retourne de nouveau à Lyon: il y est professeur pendant quelque temps, et ensuite se consacre entièrement à la prédication et à la direction de la Congrégation Mariale.

La prédication de La Colombière se distingue surtout par sa solidité et sa profondeur; il ne se perdait pas en idées vagues, mais s'adressait avec à propos à un auditoire concret. Son inspiration évangélique avait le pouvoir de transmettre à tous sérénité et confiance en Dieu. La publication de ses sermons produisit dans les âmes, comme elle continue à le faire, de grands résultats spirituels; en effet, si l'on considère l'endroit où ils ont été prononcés et la brièveté de son ministère, ils semblent avoir moins vieilli que les textes d'orateurs plus célèbres.

L'année 1674 est décisive dans la vie de Claude. Il fait son Troisième an de probation à la "Maison Saint-Joseph" de Lyon et au cours du mois traditionnel d'Exercices Spirituels, le Seigneur le prépare à la mission qu'il lui avait destinée. Les notes spirituelles de cette époque nous permettent de suivre pas à pas les luttes et les triomphes de son caractère, singulièrement sensible aux attraits humains, mais aussi généreux envers Dieu.

Il fait le voeu d'observer toutes les Constitutions et les Règles de la Compagnie. Il ne s'agissait pas là comme but essentiel de se lier à une série d'observances minutieuses, mais de reproduire le vivant idéal apostolique décrit par saint Ignace. Puisque cet idéal lui paraissait magnifique, Claude l'adopta comme un programme de sainteté. Cela répondait à une invitation de Jésus Christ lui-même. La preuve en est qu'il fut ensuite pénétré d'un sentiment de libération et d'extension de son horizon apostolique, comme il en témoigne dans son journal spirituel.

Le 2 février 1675 il fait la Profession solennelle et est nommé Recteur du Collège de Paray-le-Monial. Certains s'étonnèrent qu'un homme si éminent fut envoyé dans un endroit aussi retiré que Paray. On en trouve l'explication dans le fait que les Supérieurs savaient qu'au Monastère de la Visitation, une humble religieuse, Marguerite Marie Alacoque, à laquelle le Seigneur révélait les trésors de son Coeur, vivait dans une angoissante incertitude; elle attendait que le Seigneur lui-même accomplisse sa promesse de lui envoyer son "fidèle serviteur et parfait ami", qui l'aurait aidée à réaliser la mission à laquelle il la destinait: manifester au monde les richesses insondables de son amour.

Dès que le P. La Colombière fut arrivé à destination, Marguerite Marie, après l'avoir rencontré plusieurs fois, lui manifesta toute son âme et les communications qu'elle croyait recevoir du Seigneur. Le Père, de son côté, l'approuva entièrement et lui suggéra de mettre par écrit tout ce qu'elle éprouvait dans son âme, l'orientant et l'encourageant dans l'accomplissement de la mission reçue. Lorsqu'il fut certain, à la lumière de la grâce divine manifestée dans la prière et le discernement, que le Christ désirait le culte de son Coeur, il s'y livra sans réserve, comme nous en avons le témoignage dans son engagement et ses notes spirituelles. On y voit clairement, que, déjà avant de recevoir les confidences de Marguerite Marie Alacoque, Claude, en suivant les directives de saint Ignace dans les Exercices Spirituels, était arrivé à contempler le Coeur du Christ comme symbole de son amour.

Après un an et demi de séjour à Paray, en 1676, le P. La Colombière part pour Londres, où il a été nommé prédicateur de la Duchesse d'York. Il s'agissait d'un ministère très délicat, étant donné les événements religieux qui à l'époque agitaient l'Angleterre. Avant la fin d'octobre de la même année, le Père occupait déjà l'appartement qui lui avait été réservé au palais de St. James. En plus des sermons qu'il prononce dans la chapelle et la direction spirituelle, orale et écrite, à laquelle il se livre, Claude peut consacrer du temps à instruire solidement dans la vraie foi plusieurs personnes qui avaient abandonné l'Eglise romaine. Même au coeur des plus grands dangers, il eut la consolation de voir plusieurs conversions, au point d'avouer, après un an: "Je pourrais écrire un livre sur la miséricorde dont Dieu m'a rendu témoin depuis que je suis ici".

Un travail si intense et un climat pernicieux eurent raison de sa santé; des symptômes d'une grave affection pulmonaire commencèrent à se manifester. Cependant Claude continua courageusement son genre de vie.

A la fin de 1678, il fut arrêté a l'improviste sous l'accusation calomnieuse de complot papiste. Après deux jours, on l'enferma dans la sinistre prison de King's Bench, où il resta trois semaines, en proie à de graves privations, jusqu'à ce qu'un décret royal lui signifiât son expulsion de l'Angleterre.
Toutes ses souffrances rendirent encore plus précaire son état de santé, qui, avec des hauts et des bas, ne fit qu'empirer à son retour en France.

Pendant l'été 1681, déjà très gravement atteint, il fut renvoyé à Paray. Et le 15 février 1682, premier dimanche du Carême, à la soirée, il fut pris d'un crachement de sang qui mit fin à ses jours.
Le Pape Pie XI a béatifié Claude La Colombière le 16 juin 1929. Son charisme, aux dires de S. Marguerite Marie Alacoque, fut d'élever les âmes à Dieu, en suivant le chemin de l'amour et de la miséricorde que le Christ nous révèle dans l'Evangile.


CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE, third child of the notary Bertrand La Colombière and Margaret Coindat, was born on 2nd February 1641 at St. Symphorien d'Ozon in the Dauphine, southeastern France. After the family moved to Vienne Claude began his early education there, completing his studies in rhetoric and philosophy in Lyon.

It was during this period that Claude first sensed his vocation to the religious life in the Society of Jesus. We know nothing of the motives which led to this decision. We do know, however, from one of his early notations, that he "had a terrible aversion for the life embraced". This affirmation is not hard to understand by any who are familiar with the life of Claude, for he was very close to his family and friends and much inclined to the arts and literature and an active social life. On the other hand, he was not a person to be led primarily by his sentiments.

At 17 he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Avignon. In 1660 he moved from the Novitiate to the College, also in Avignon, where he pronounced his first vows and completed his studies in philosophy. Afterwards he was professor of grammar and literature in the same school for another five years.

In 1666 he went to the College of Clermont in Paris for his studies in theology. Already noted for his tact, poise and dedication to the humanities, Claude was assigned by superiors in Paris the additional responsibility of tutoring the children of Louis XIV's Munster of Finance, Jean Baptiste Colbert.

His theological studies concluded and now a priest, Claude returned to Lyon. For a time he was teacher in the College, then full-time preacher and moderator of several Marian congregations.

Claude became noted for solid and serious sermons. They were ably directed at specific audiences and, faithful to their inspiration from the gospel, communicated to his listeners serenity and confidence in God. His published sermons produced and still produce significant spiritual fruits. Given the place and the short duration of his ministry, his sermons are surprisingly fresh in comparison with those of better-known orators.

The year 1674 was a decisive one for Claude, the year of his Third Probation at Maison Saint-Joseph in Lyon. During the customary month of the Exercises the Lord prepared him for the mission for which he had been chosen. His spiritual notes from this period allow one to follow step-by-step the battles and triumphs of the spirit, so extraordinarily attracted to everything human, yet so generous with God.

He took a vow to observe all the constitutions and rules of the Society of Jesus, a vow whose scope was not so much to bind him to a series of minute observances as to reproduce the sharp ideal of an apostle so richly described by St. Ignatius. So magnificent did this ideal seem to Claude that he adopted it as his program of sanctity. That it was indeed an invitation from Christ himself is evidenced by the subsequent feeling of interior liberation Claude experienced, along with the broadened horizons of the apostolate he witnesses to in his spiritual diary.

On 2nd February 1675 he pronounced his solemn profession and was named rector of the College at Paray-le-Monial. Not a few people wondered at this assignment of a talented young Jesuit to such an out-of the-way place as Paray. The explanation seems to be in the superiors' knowledge that there was in Paray an unpretentious religious of the Monastery of the Visitation, Margaret Mary Alacoque, to whom the Lord was revealing the treasures of his Heart, but who was overcome by anguish and uncertainty. She was waiting for the Lord to fulfill his promise and send her "my faithful servant and perfect friend" to help her realize the mission for which he had destined her: that of revealing to the world the unfathomable riches of his love.

After Father Colombière's arrival and her first conversations with him, Margaret Mary opened her spirit to him and told him of the many communications she believed she had received from the Lord. He assured her he accepted their authenticity and urged her to put in writing everything in their regard, and did all he could to orient and support her in carrying out the mission received. When, thanks to prayer and discernment, he became convinced that Christ wanted the spread of the devotion to his Heart, it is clear from Claude's spiritual notes that he pledged himself to this cause without reserve. In these notes it is also clear that, even before he became Margaret Mary's confessor, Claude's fidelity to the directives of St. Ignatius in the Exercises had brought him to the contemplation of the Heart of Christ as symbol of his love.

After a year and half in Paray, in 1676 Father La Colombière left for London. He had been appointed preacher to the Duchess of York - a very difficult and delicate assignment because of the conditions prevailing in England at the time. He took up residence in St. James Palace in October.

In addition to sermons in the palace chapel and unremitting spiritual direction both oral and written, Claude dedicated his time to giving thorough instruction to the many who sought reconciliation with the Church they had abandoned. And even if there were great dangers, he had the consolation of seeing many reconciled to it, so that after a year he said: "I could write a book about the mercy of God I've seen Him exercise since I arrived here!"

The intense pace of his work and the poor climate combined to undermine his health, and evidence of a serious pulmonary disease began to appear. Claude, however, made no changes in his work or life style.

Of a sudden, at the end of 1678, he was calumniously accused and arrested in connection with the Titus Oates "papist plot". After two days he was transferred to the severe King's Bench Prison where he remained for three weeks in extremely poor conditions until his expulsion from England by royal decree. This suffering further weakened Claude's health which, with ups and downs, deteriorated rapidly on his return to France.

During the summer of 1681 he returned to Paray, in very poor condition. On 15th February 1682, the first Sunday of Lent, towards evening Claude suffered the severe hemorrhage which ended his life.

On the 16th of June 1929 Pope Pius XI beatified Claude La Colombière, whose charism, according to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, was that of bringing souls to God along the gospel way of love and mercy which Christ revealed to us.
Sacré-Cœur de Jésus, priez pour nous.!
www.vatican .va

Father De La Colombiere

I first ran into this Saint in the 80's, (seems so long ago) in a small book entitled "Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence: The Secret of Peace and Happiness". It was and remains a favorite book. I never have a copy long for I am usually giving them away as soon as I get one. It is the book for prisons.

Getting ready for The Feast of the Sacred Heart, I was looking into Paray-le-Monial, Saint Marguerite-Marie and her confessor, Father De La Colombiere. I happily found that joseph had posted Father De La Colombiere's Prayer . an excerpt is below. How fortunate.

...Let others look to creatures, to wealth and talent for happiness; let them rely on the guiltlessness of their lives, the rigor of their penance, the number of their good works, or the earnestness of their prayers ; for me, Lord, my trust is my very trust itself. That trust in Thee has never, nor will it ever, deceive a soul.. I am therefore assured that I shall enjoy eternal happiness, since I so steadfastly hope for it, and since I look to Thee for it, my God... more

Thanks and a tip of the beret to Joseph.