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Joseph de Gallifet

Priest; b. near Aix, France, May 2, 1663; d. at Lyons, Sept. 1, 1749

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Gallifet, JOSEPH DE, priest; b. near Aix, France, May 2, 1663; d. at Lyons, September 1, 1749. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age of fifteen, and on taking up his studies came under the direction of Father de la Colombiere, the confessor of Bl. Margaret Mary Alacoque. It is not surprising that from such a director he should acquire that love of the Sacred Heart which he cultivated with so much fervor as to merit the title of the Apostle of the devotion to the Sacred Heart. While on a mission of charity during his third year of probation at Lyons, he caught a fever which brought him to death’s door. So were his brethren at the fear of losing him that a certain father made a vow in his name that, if he were spared, Father de Gallifet would spend his life in the cause of the Sacred Heart. From that time he began to recover. He ratified the vow, and never slackened in his efforts to fulfill it. His superiors realizing his fitness for government advanced him to three successive rectorships—at Vesoul, at Lyons, and at Grenoble. The last-named appointment was followed by the provincialship of the Province of Lyons. In 1723, he was chosen assistant for France, an office which brought him to Rome. Here he found it in his power to work more effectively for the spread of the devotion that was dearest to his heart. Returning from Rome in 1732, he again became rector at Lyons, where he passed his declining years, a model of meekness, humility, and charity. He wrote an admirable book on the Blessed Virgin, and one on the chief virtues of the Christian religion; his greatest work, “De Cultu Sacrosancti Cordis Dei ac Domini Nostri Jesu Christi”, appeared in 1726. The main purpose of this book met with much opposition at first, and its well-supported plea for the establishment of a feast of the Sacred Heart was not crowned with victory until 1765. The zealous apostle had in the meantime gone to his reward, though he lived to see the establishment of over 700 confraternities of the Sacred Heart.



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