Letter of Margaret Mary Alacoque to Mother de Saumaise (1689-06-17)
Shortly before her death, in 1689, Marguerite Marie Alacoque wrote several letters to Mother de Saumaise, in which she described the request of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, addressed to the King of France Louis XIV, regarding the consecration of France to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
The second letter. June 17, 1689
The second letter was written on coming out of ecstasy, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart itself, Friday after the octave of the Blessed Sacrament, June 17, 1689.
There is to the devotion of the Sacred Heart a private and a social side. Margaret Mary begins with the first.
In fine, my dear Mother, are we not all consumed in the burning heat of His pure love? It will reign, this amiable Heart, in spite of Satan, his imps and his agents. This word transports me with joy. But to be able to express to you the great graces and benedictions it will attract upon all that shall have procured it the most honor and glory is what I cannot do in the way that He has given me to understand it.
He has made me see the devotion to His Sacred Heart as a beautiful tree, destined from all eternity to spring up and take root in the midst of our Institute, and to extend its branches into the houses that compose it, so that each may gather from it fruits most pleasing to her liking and taste. But He desires that the daughters of the Visitation should distribute abundantly to all that will eat of it the fruits of this sacred tree. By this means He desires to restore life to many; and, by withdrawing them from the way of perdition, and destroying the empire of Satan in their heart, to establish in them that of His love.
But He does not wish to stop here. He has still greater designs, which can be executed only by His almighty power.
He desires, then, it seems to me, to enter with pomp and magnificence into the palaces of kings and princes, therein to be honored as much as He has been despised, humiliated, and outraged in His Passion. May He receive as much pleasure therein at seeing the great ones of the world abasing and humbling themselves before Him as He once felt bitterness at beholding Himself annihilated at their feet!
Here are the words that I heard on this point:
France is the King and the King is France
Margaret Mary spoke only of the king. The king personified all the souls of France. «The state, it is me» (fr. «L'état, c'est moi»).
From the earliest ages, France had always had a sacred standard.
It was not borne to vulgar combats.
This sacred standard rested in the sanctuary of St. Denis. It was removed from its sacred shrine only when the monarch headed the army, when it was solemnly sought in the hour of greatest danger, or when it was to be carried afar to the holy wars.
It was a standard of this kind that God had given to Joan of Arc. He had prescribed its form and emblems, and coimitated to it the secret virtue that roused exhausted France to unhoped-for triumphs.
Through the lips of the virgin of Paray, God asked of the King of France something of the same kind, a sacred standard which was to symbolize an act of faith. It was to be borne side by side with the nation's flag, and, in a voice that could be distinctly heard above the proverbial bravado of her enemies, proclaim that France places her trust in the blessing of God.