St. Margaret Mary Alacoque


I am reading autobiography of above saint and two things come to mind that I would have trouble defending:

  1. She tied cords around her body so tightly that these made her bleed. I don’t mean this disrespectfully, but people doing that today would be treated for mental illness. How do we explain this?

  2. She said that Mary asked her when she said the rosary while seated (not kneeling): “why do you venerate me so negligently?” Wow! Are we not all permitted to pray privately using any posture we want?


I do not know specifically of this Saint or the situations you mention, but I can answer them in general:

  1. Many Saints and sinners, especially during the early centuries of the Church, would perform acts of penance involving physical pain as atonement for the sins of themselves or others. I believe it was in an effort to unite their physical sufferings to those of Christ. Keep in mind that you can’t look at stuff that happened many years ago with “2008 glasses”. For example, someone looking at our young men and women today through “1600 glasses” would see tattoos and piercing and think they should be treated for mental illness.

[FONT=Arial]2) You can pray using any posture you want. I think it may be more a case that in this particular private revelation, Mary is specifically asking this Saint why she is not herself kneeling without it applying to everyone else. [/FONT]


Opus Dei still practice corporal mortification today they are under the guidance of spiritual directors, however.

Fasting is also a form of mortification. The body is a good thing, but its desires must be tempered. Some feel this is a helpful way to do it.

In Christ,


closed #4

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