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SAINT CLAUDE LA COLOMBIÈRE - Saints of the Sacred Heart Series

We continue our series in preparation for the Great Jubilee of the Sacred Heart of Jesus by learning from our friend St. Claude la Colombiere. Thanks to her openness to God's will, she helped St. Margaret Mary Alacoque to write the message that our Lord Jesus Christ would give her.

O Most Holy Heart of Jesus, source of all blessing, I adore you, I love you and with living sorrow for my sins I offer you this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure, and totally obedient to your will. Grant me, good Jesus, to live in you and for you.

Protect me in the midst of danger. Comfort me in my afflictions. Give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, your blessing in all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Amen.

Saint Claude de la Colombière was born on February 2, 1641 in St. Symphorien, Dauphiné in France. He studied Rhetoric and Philosophy at Lyons. At the age of 17 he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus in Avignon. In 1660 he passed from the Novitiate to the College in the same city to complete his studies in philosophy and to take his first religious vows. At the end of the course he was appointed professor of Grammar and Literature, a position he held for five years at the College.

La Colombière's preaching was always distinguished by its solidity and profundity; he did not lose himself in vagueness, but skilfully addressed the concrete audience and with such a vigorous evangelical inspiration that he instilled in everyone serenity and trust in God. The editions of his sermons produced—and continue to produce today—abundant spiritual fruits; for, considering the place and duration of their ministry, they are less aged than those of other preachers of greater fame.

On February 2, 1675, he made his solemn profession and was appointed Rector of the College of Paray-le-Monial. There were those who were surprised that such an eminent man should be assigned to such a remote city as Paray. The explanation lies in the fact that the Superiors knew that here, in the Monastery of the Visitation, there lived in anguished uncertainty a humble nun, Margaret Mary Alacoque, to whom the Lord was revealing the treasures of his Heart; and she hoped that the Lord Himself would fulfill His promise to send her a "faithful servant and perfect friend of hers" who would help her fulfill the mission to which He had destined her: to manifest to the world the unfathomable riches of His love.

 "faithful servant and perfect friend of hers" who would help her fulfill the mission to which He had destined her

Once in her new destination and after her first encounters with Margaret Mary, she opened her spirit to him entirely and, therefore, also to the communications she believed she received from the Lord. Father gave his full approval and suggested that he write down what was happening in his soul, while guiding and supporting it in the fulfillment of the mission he had received. He assured her that the divine revelations were authentic and not imaginary visions, as her sisters and the priests of the city told her. He commanded him to write down the revelations and both were the first to consecrate themselves to the Heart of Jesus.

His whole life was centered on the Heart of Jesus, thanks to the divine light he received in prayer and discernment, he was sure that Christ desired the worship of his Heart, he gave himself to it without reservation, as his dedication and his spiritual notes testify. In these it is clear that, even before the confidences of Margaret Mary Alacoque and following the directives of St. Ignatius, Claudius had arrived at the contemplation of the Heart of Christ as a symbol of his own love.

During his stay in London, as chaplain to the Duchess of York, he spread devotion to the Heart of Jesus and is therefore considered the first apostle of this devotion in England. Through letters and talks he also spread this devotion in different convents in France. This devotion in which Jesus' love and affection for all men is manifested and his desire to be received into communion, especially on First Fridays, asking for the institution of a feast for his Sacred Heart, was a great antidote to the Jansenist heresies that had spread in France and other countries.

Jansenius and his followers regarded God as a distant and distant being, little fond of sentimentality and expressions of affection. They did not promote frequent communion or trust in his mercy. And they saw God more as a righteous than as a loving and merciful father.

And, although in the midst of great dangers, he enjoyed the consolation of seeing many return, so much so that at the end of a year he said, "I could write a whole book about the mercies I have witnessed since I have been here." This intensity of work and the climate undermined his health and the first symptoms of a lung condition began to manifest. But Fr. Claudio continued with his same plan of life. At the end of 1678 he was suddenly arrested, on the slanderous charge of papist conspiracy. Two days later he was transferred to the dreadful prison of King's Bench, where he remained three weeks under severe privation, until he was expelled from England by royal decree. On his return to France, his health having deteriorated considerably, he was sent back to Paray. On February 15, 1682, the first Sunday of Lent, at dusk he was struck by a severe hemoptysis that put an end to his life.

Today, when devotion to the Heart of Jesus seems normal to us, we must thank St. Margaret Mary of Alacoque and St. Claudius for having given us these revelations on behalf of God and for being the foundations of this devotion. In a vision, Jesus united both saints, as brother and sister, and also wanted to unite both Congregations, Jesuits and Salesians, in the great mission of spreading this devotion throughout the world.

May the love of the Heart of Jesus fill our spirit and may we be holy missionaries of this devotion among those around us.

Born: February 2nd, 1664

Died: February 15, 1682

Feast: February 15

Patron: Toy makers and turners.


His whole life was centered on the Heart of Jesus, thanks to the divine light he received in prayer and discernment, he was sure that Christ desired the worship of his Heart.


Sacred Heart of Jesus, teach me how to forget myself entirely, for this is the only way to enter into You. So therefore whatever I will do will be yours, grant that I will never do anything that is not worthy of you. Saint Claude de la Colombiere

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