To conclude the Year of Mercy the relics of St Claude de la Colombière SJ and St Margaret Mary Alacoque will visit London from 9 to 13 November 2016 for a Sacred Heart of Mercy Mission.
These two saints are the most closely associated with promoting devotion to the Sacred Heart.
St Margaret Mary Alacoque (b. 1647) was a Sister of the Order of the Visitation who received several private revelations of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Overcoming initial resistance from her community with the help of her confessor St Claude, she inspired the devotion to the Sacred Heart which spread through Europe. She was beatified in 1864 and canonized in 1929.
St Claude de la Colombière (b. 1641) was Superior of the Jesuit community in Paray-le-Monial where he was spiritual director to the local Visitation Convent and so met St. Margaret Mary. St Claude offered her guidance as to the meaning of her spiritual visions of the Sacred Heart of Christ, and he became a zealous apostle of the devotion. He was imprisoned in London during a sensitive mission to minister to Catholic members of the British royal family in 1678. Claude was beatified in 1929 and canonized in 1992.
The mission begins with the reception of the relics at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street at 5.15 pm on Wednesday 9 November. Mass celebrated by Bishop John Wilson follows at 6 pm. A talk on the London legacy of St Claude by Jan Graffius and Fr Benoît Guédas follows at 7 pm. The church will be open all night for Adoration until 8 am Thursday morning, when Mass is celebrated.
Later in the day, the relics will travel to Our Lady of Victories, Kensington, where Mass will be offered at 4 pm, followed by a talk by Fr Dominique Janthial asking Is God actually fair or merciful? From 6 pm to 10 pm, there is an opportunity to venerate the relics, followed by a prayer vigil and Holy Hour.
On Friday, the relics move to St Patrick's, Soho. Mass takes place at 7 pm, followed by a night vigil beginning at 8 pm.
On Saturday, Richard Borgman will give a talk on Mercy - God’s only answer for a world in Crisis at 10 am. From 11 am to 2 pm, there is an opportunity to venerate the relics, followed by Mass at 6pm and Night Fever from 7 pm to 10.30 pm.
On Sunday 13 November, Bishop John Wilson will celebrate the closing Mass at Our Lady of Victories.
All are most welcome to these events and to visit and venerate the relics.
For more information, please can be found here.