Day 1: Sacred Love and the monastery that sold brick by brick

Here’s the seminary where we are staying in Ars. It overlooks the parish of St. John Vianney and is named after Bl. Pope John Paul II.

We made our way to Paray Le Monial which was about an hour trip. This is the place where St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had the visions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the 17th century.


The nun from the order of the Visitation, resting & preserved all these centuries! I was moved to pray with her at the very place where the Sacred Heart of Jesus was revealed during the time of the heresy of Jansenism. It is here were the popular devotion of red scapulars and the enthronement of Sacred Heart images began. Tomorrow, we will visit the founder of the Visitation sisters, St. Francis de Sales!

Father Heisler celebrating Eucharist in the very location where Jesus appeared to Saint Margaret Mary. We also had the blessing of praying with her Spiritual Director, Father Claude de la Columbiere, SJ. Below is the tomb that holds his skull and bones.

What’s special about this place? It is the place where Love in its truest form was revealed to the world in a time where the world had forgotten God. Love revealed in the Sacred Heart of Jesus that loves us to the point of complete and total selfgift. In his homily, Father Heisler exhorted the seminarians to be men who are formed into the heart of Jesus. Sacred love for God’s people.

Just when I thought the monks from Mount Angel Abbey were special, God brought me to the former glory of the Benedictines: Cluny Abbey. It came into existence in 910 and reached its triumph of architecture by the 12th century. Prior to Saint Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, Cluny Abbey was the glory of Christianity! It was the mother abbey for over 150 monasteries throughout Europe. The monks dispersed in 1791 and by 1798 brick by brick was sold and dismantled from this work of art and we saw its remains today!

And just for fun! Here’s something you do not see everyday while enjoying a cafe on the streets of France.  

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About TheAspiringCatholic

Welcome and thank you for visiting this page! You’ll find my personal reflections on Christian Discipleship, insights on my adventures throughout the world, one day at a time, and musing everything Catholic and musical with a cup of coffee each morning.
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