Image of Jesus the Merciful, painted by Ven. Louise Margaret
‘O Jesus eternal High Priest, divine Offerer of Sacrifice, Who, in an incomparable transport of love for men, Thy brethren, didst allow the Christian priesthood to issue from Thy Sacred Heart, deign to continue to pour out on Thy priests the life-giving streams of Infinite Love. Live Thou in them, transform them into Thyself; render them by Thy grace the instruments of Thy mercies; act in them and through them, and grant, that, having been completely clothed with Thee by the faithful imitation of Thy adorable virtues, they may perform in Thy Name and by the strength of Thy Spirit, the works which Thou Thyself hast accomplished for the salvation of the world.
Divine Redeemer of souls, see how great is the multitude of those who still sleep in the darkness of error; count the number of those unfaithful sheep that are walking on the edge of the eternal abyss; consider the crowds of the poor, the hungry, the ignorant and the weak, who are groaning in their state of abandonment. Return to us by Thy priests, live again in very truth in them; act through them and pass again through the world teaching, pardoning, consoling, offering sacrifice, renewing the sacred bonds of love between the Heart of God and the hearts of men. Amen.’
Venerable Louise Margaret Claret de la Touche (1868-1915)
-A reflection by Sr. Margaret Joseph who has taken Ven Louise Margaret as one of her patrons
I was introduced to Mother Louise Margaret through her book The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood. I was actually given this book because of my love of the Sacred Heart and prayer for priests and upon reading it, I turned it over to find the picture of a Visitation Nun! The author!!! This precious book was composed by her as a result of an appearance of the Lord to her begging her to pray for priests. The main message in her book and in her writings is that God is Love and Infinite Love (her term for God) wishes to use priests especially to pour His mercy and love into the world. First and foremost though, they must receive His Love and allow themselves to be led into the secret recesses of His Heart where the Lord has special graces for them. Every priest is endowed with the fullness of Christ but it is up to them to let Him shine through. The Lord showed her how the Love of Christ desires never to leave us, never to be far from us, and so He left the priesthood as a tangible way for the people to experience the closeness of God. She led a life of much suffering but gave herself fully to the Lord and made a vow of abandonment so that the Lord could use her as He wished. Let us follow her example to pray priests deeper into the Heart of Christ!
From the document by the Congregation for the Clergy on Eucharistic Adoration and the spiritual motherhood of priests:
Over the course of many years, Jesus prepared the Venerable Louise Margaret Claret de la Touche for her apostolate for the renewal of the priesthood. The Lord appeared to her on 5 June 1902, while she was in adoration: “Praying to him for our little novitiate, I asked him to give me some souls I might form for him. He replied: ‘I will give you the souls of men.’ Being profoundly astonished by these words, the sense of which I did not understand, I remained silent...until Jesus said: ‘I will give you the souls of priests.’ Still more astonished I asked him: ‘My Jesus how will you do that?’ ...Then he showed me that he has a special work to do, which is to enkindle the fire of love again in the world, and that he wishes to make use of his priests to accomplish it.” “He said to me: ‘Nineteen centuries ago, twelve men changed the world; they were not merely men, but they were priests. Now, once more twelve priests could change the world...but they must be holy.’”
Subsequently, the Lord let Louise Margaret see the outcome of the Work. “It is a special union of priests, a Work, which encompasses the whole world. ... Priests who will form part of this work will undertake, among other things, to preach Infinite Love and mercy, but first his heart must be penetrated by Jesus and enlightened by his spirit of love. They must be united among themselves, having but one heart and one soul, and never impeding one another in their activities.” Louise Margaret wrote so impressively about the priesthood in her book “The Sacred Heart and the Priesthood”, that priests believed the anonymous writer to be a fellow priest. A Jesuit even exclaimed, “I do not know who wrote this book, but one thing I do know, it is not the work of a woman!”