Saint Claude La Colombière (kneeling, down on the right, looking up at the Apparition).
He is the other great saint of Paray-le-Monial whose memory goes hand in hand with that of Margaret Mary ; the very same that Jesus pointed out to the Visitation sister as her “faithful servant and perfect friend”. He was born on February 2nd 1641, in Saint-Symphorien-d’Ozon (Isère) ; and he was called back to God on February 15th 1682, in Paray-le-Monial. He was canonised by Saint John Paul II in 1992, his feast day is on February 15th. In 1658 he enters the Company of Jesus (Jesuits) ; he is ordained priest. He arrives in Paray-le-Monial in 1675, he meets Margaret Mary, he is convinced straight away by the authenticity of her mystical life, he becomes her confessor and her spiritual guide. The message of the Sacred Heart turns his life around so much so that he becomes a passionate follower of it. His growing thirst for the Love of the Heart of Jesus be known and honoured by all will make of him an intrepid preacher of the Mercy of God. He will fight with vehemence against the current Jansenism that threatens Catholicism in France at that time. “I have seriously offended You, O most lovable Redeemer ; but it would be a lot worse if I would offend You in thinking that You are not good enough to even forgive my faults…When I will have fallen a hundred times and my crimes be a hundred times worse looking than they are, I would still hope in You” (Saint Claude, prayer to obtain Divine Mercy).
My God, I believe most firmly that You watch over all those who hope in You, and that we can want for nothing when we rely upon You in all things, therefore I am resolved for the future to have no anxieties, and to cast all my cares upon You.
People may deprive me of worldly goods and of honours ; sickness may take from me my strength and the means of serving You ; I may even lose Your grace by sin ; but my trust shall never leave me.
I will preserve it to the last moment of my life, and the powers of hell shall seek in vain to wrestle it from me. Let others seek happiness in their wealth, in their talents ; let them trust to the purity of their lives, the severity of their mortifications, to the number of their good works, the fervour of their prayers ; as for me, O my God, in my very confidence lies all my hope. “For You, O Lord, singularly has settled me in hope”.
This confidence can never be in vain. “No one has hope in the Lord and has been confounded”. I am assured, therefore, of my eternal happiness, for I firmly hope for it, and all my hope is in You. “In You, O lord, I have hoped ; let me never be confounded”.