Join us in Paray-Le-Monial this summer, for a 5-day session from the 25th to the 30th of July 2017

We are happy to invite all English-speakers who wish to join us in Paray-Le-Monial this summer.

The Sanctuaries of Paray are waiting to receive thousands of participants who are mainly French speaking. However, we will provide you with live translation in English, specific teachings / sharing groups in English and a dedicated Tour of Paray to discover the town where Jesus appeared to St Margaret Mary in the 18th century.

To know more about this session, please have a look at our video:

To register, please contact us at

One of our team members will contact you to confirm your registration.

Here are the different price options:

ADULT – 18+
TEEN – 13-17
CHILD – 12 and under

Registration fees: £50 Adult, £34 Teen, £25 Child

Accommodation for the whole stay:
Economy – Sharing a tent with 6 people, army bed, wooden floors and lights, very close to the site, need to bring sleeping bag/bedsheets + mattress protector, pillow and pillowcase. Showers and toilets outside in temporary cabins (£42/£25/£23)
Comfort – Boarding School Dormitory – 3 bed bedrooms, need to bring bed sheets, mattress protector, pillow, pillowcase, shared bathrooms in school, 10-15 minute walk from site (£71/£43/£38)

Meals for all 5 days: (£54/£54/£33)

Transportation by bus from London:
We are organising a Bus to take us all to Paray.
Leaving from Our Lady of Victories’, London W8 6SA on Monday 24 July at 10pm (£139 per person).

For those flying from abroad it might also be easier to fly to London and take the bus with us, as Paray-Le-Monial is really in the middle of nowhere…

We hope that you will join us from all over the world! We are looking forward to meeting you all and to pray together!

The Emmanuel Community in England



Paray-le-Monial is a small provincial town in east-central France. It is in the centre of the Charollais, a part of Burgundy. The River Bourbince and the Canal du Centre flow through the town which is surrounded by rolling hills. The local cattle, known as Charollais, have a distinctive cream colour.

para le monialThe town grew up around a priory and a church constructed in 977. By 1109 the monks from Cluny had established themselves around the river Bourbince and had started construction of a new church, a copy of the Abbey at Cluny. This church, originally dedicated to Our Lady, is now the Basilica of the Sacred Heart. From the bridge across the river there is good view of the Basilica facade with its three steeples (shown here).

The Visitation Order: In 1611, St Francis de Sales wrote to St Jane Frances of Chantal, with whom he founded the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary, “Our little congregation is the work of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary”. He proposed as armorial bearings a single heart, pierced by two arrows, set in a crown of thorns. The Visitation order established a convent in Paray-le-Monial in 1633. A series of events later in the 17th century involving a nun at this convent made Paray into the ‘City of Jesus’ Sacred Heart’.

The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is well-known to Catholics and it was quite common in England and Ireland to have one’s house consecrated to the Sacred Heart and a commemorative plaque placed near the front door of the house. Jesus’ Heart is symbolic of His Divine love for humanity.

The mediaeval revival of religious life by St Bernard and St Francis of Assisi led to a devotion to the Passion of Christ and particularly to honouring the Sacred Wounds. St Bonaventure had a devotion to the Sacred Heart. Various mystics such as St Lutgarde (d 1246), St Mectilde of Helfta (d 1298) and St Gertrude the Great (d 1302) had visions of Jesus regarding his Sacred Heart. St John Eudes (1601-1680) wrote an Office of the Sacred Heart and the feast was first celebrated in Rennes in 1670. However, the current devotion to the Sacred Heart can largely be traced to the visions of St Margaret Mary in Paray-le-Monial from 1673 to 1675. The mural at the back of the sanctuary in the Visitation Chapel in Paray, in addition to one of the apparitions, shows some of the saints, from both before and after Margaret Mary, who were associated with the devotion to the Sacred Heart.

St Margaret Mary was the fifth of seven children of a prosperous notary in Verosvres-en-Charollais. She was born in 1647. At the age of 4 she made a promise of perpetual virginity to Jesus. Her father died when she was 8 and she was sent to a school run by the Urbanist nuns in Charolles. When she was 11 she developed a rheumatic illness and was bed-ridden until she was 15. She returned home where relatives had moved in and taken over the household after the father’s death – they treated her mother and the children as servants and restricted their freedom.

Margaret Mary regularly prayed to Our Lady and promised to become one of her daughters and was immediately cured of her illness. She subsequently had visions of Our Lady who guided her in life. She was also during this time devoted to Jesus and experienced visions of Him. He taught her how to pray. She resisted all attempts by her mother and the family to get her to marry and she entered the order of the Visitation in Paray in 1671 as a postulant after seeing picture of St Francis de Sales which seemed to be asking her to enter his order. She became a novice after two months and was professed in 1672. A difficulty perceived by her superiors was that she was receiving supernatural favours from Jesus in conversations and visions. Her superiors indicated that this was not in the spirit of the Visitandines which allowed nothing extraordinary.

On December 27th 1673, Margaret Mary was kneeling before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the chapel and she received the first of a series of important revelations. Jesus told her that He had chosen her to announce to the world His infinite love. He took her heart and placed it within His own and then replaced it within Margaret Mary. He told her that now she was to become the beloved disciple of His Sacred Heart.

Some weeks later Jesus again appeared to Margaret Mary and presented to her an image of His wounded Heart surrounded by a crown of thorns – this image was to be shown everywhere as a symbol of His love.

paray le monial and st margaret mary It was perhaps in 1674 that Jesus again appeared to Margaret Mary and showed her his body with His five wounds shining like five suns – He then showed her again His Sacred Heart. He complained of the world’s ingratitude towards Him.

These apparitions were greeted with hostility from the Reverent Mother, the other sisters in the convent and a team of theologians asked to investigate her case.

In early 1675, Fr Claude de la Colombiere was appointed Margaret Mary’s spiritual director. He was convinced of the genuineness of the apparitions. In June 1675 Margaret Mary received the fourth of the revelations. Jesus said, “Behold this Heart, Which has loved men so much …” Jesus asked that the Friday after the Octave of Corpus Christi be set apart for a special Feast to honour His Heart.

Father de la Colombière ordered Margaret Mary to commit to writing all that she had made known to him concerning the Sacred Heart of Jesus – the Jesuit circulated this document in France and in England (where he later became chaplain to the Duchess of York) to propagate devotion to the Sacred Heart.

On October 17th, 1690, St. Margaret Mary died after a day of intense sufferings.

In 1856, Pope Pius IX extended the feast of the Sacred Heart to the entire Church. In 1899, Pope Leo XIII consecrated the world to the Heart of Jesus. Finally, in the year 1920, Margaret Mary was beatified by Pope Benedict XV.

The Emmanuel Community and Paray-le-Monial. The Emmanuel Community was founded by Pierre Goursat and Martine Lafitte in 1973. In 1975 Pierre Goursat felt that Jesus was calling Emmanuel to His Heart and he chose Paray-le-Monial for the summer gathering with other communities. The Community subsequently organised gatherings each year at Paray. Bishop Maurice Gaidon, the auxiliary Bishop of Autun (Paray is in the Diocese of Autun), who lived in Paray, encouraged Emmanuel in their spirituality. In 1985 the principal Bishop of Autun, Bishop le Bourgeois, entrusted the shrine to Emmanuel. Since that time, Emmanuel has organised summer gatherings and events throughout the year at Paray. In October 1986 Pope John-Paul II visited Paray – approximated 13000 people attended the Papal Mass.


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