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England’s other forgotten Catholic queen

SIR – Following Bonnie Lander Johnson’s feature on Henrietta Maria (March 16), may we hope for a similarly inspiring vignette of our other forgotten Stuart Catholic queen – and Henrietta Maria’s daughter-in-law – Mary of Modena?

When she died in 1718, after many years of exile and widowhood, the pope ordered prayers for her soul, while recommending fervently her intercession.

Beyond her spousal duty of maintaining her husband, James II, on the narrow road of virtue, Mary provided him with the Catholic heir he needed. Her personal chaplain as Duchess of York was St Claude de la Colombière SJ, late of the Visitation Convent of Paray-le-Monial, where he received the confidences of St Margaret Mary about the Sacred Heart apparitions with which she was favoured.

In this way the Chapel Royal of St James in London became the first place worldwide where devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus according to St Margaret Mary was preached.

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