Catholic Dictionary




A city in central France where Christ appeared to Margaret Mary Alacoque, a Visitation nun, on december 27, 1763, as she was praying before the Blessed Sacrament. She saw his Sacred Heart surmounted by a cross and a crown of thorns surrounding it. Many other apparitions followed. The Church approved the Communion of Reparation on the First Friday of the Month, the Holy Hour, and a special feast dedicated each year to the Sacred Heart, as a result of Our Lord's requests of Margaret Mary. In 1873 when pilgrimages were revived, English Catholics flocked to Paray le Monial, where the convent chapel became the center of attention. The Basilica of the Sacred Heart, once in the priory of the Cluniac monks and now the parish church, shares in the interest of the pilgrims, along with the Eucharistic Museum, which has a remarkable collection of books and objects of art relating to the Blessed Sacrament. Pope Leo XIII called Paray le Monial, "the town very dear to heaven."