Mosaic of Saint Helen at the church façade

Sacred Heart of Jesus Highlights God’s Generous Love on the Journey to Marriage

Posted : Jun-19-2023

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Megan Séas, a parishioner of the Archdiocese of Toronto, chronicles below her journey to marriage at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in the town of Paray-Le-Monial in France. 

1. How did you come to meet your husband for the first time in Paray-Le-Monial?  Sacred Heart parish wedding

We met online in 2018, but Arlo was living in Belgium at the time, and I was in Toronto. I had wanted to go to Paray-Le-Monial for the past few years knowing it was where Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and revealed His Sacred Heart to her. In 2019, I was given the opportunity to go to Geneva for a conference with a friend and, realizing how close it was to Paray-Le-Monial, I decided to make a small pilgrimage there beforehand and invited Arlo to come meet us there. The rest you can say is history! 

2. What did it mean for you and your husband to be married at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart?

When we first met, we didn’t know that we would end up getting married in Paray-Le-Monial. It's such a beautiful, friendly, peaceful small town -- it’s hard to forget it. As our relationship deepened and as we started planning our wedding, it was an easy decision for us to choose the Basilica of the Sacred Heart to be married in. The Basilica started as a church for the monastery next to it. It is full of history and has been filled with a spiritual life for over 900 years. It meant so much to us that 50 of our closest family and friends decided to make the journey there to witness our marriage vows in the town where Jesus appeared to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and where we first met.  

3. What were some highlights of the experience?

God is so good; our wedding day was the happiest day of our lives! One of the highlights was the gospel choir we hired to sing at the wedding Mass. They were like angels singing, we couldn’t hold in our tears as we walked down the aisle. My two closest friends also sang and played the piano beautifully for the Mass parts including the responsorial psalm and Gospel acclamation. It meant so much to us that they were also able to participate in the Mass and it made it so much more special for us.

Right after the wedding Mass, we took part in a wedding tradition called Baumstamm sägen, arranged by Arlo’s German family. It entails the newlywed couple sawing through a log together -- their first challenge as a married couple. It required communication, team work, encouragement and cheers from all our guests.

The next day, we went to Sunday Mass at the Basilica for the first time as a married couple, and the parish had included us in their Mass intentions. It was a very sweet surprise.

4. What does the Sacred Heart mean to you?

When we reflect on Jesus’ Sacred Heart, what comes to mind is God’s generous and ravishing love for all. Our wedding day exceeded all our expectations and was full of so much joy, happiness and beautiful surprises. So many people with exceptional talents made our wedding dreams come true -- our wedding planner, photographer, gospel choir, Arlo’s family, our priest Fr. Favin (a priest of the Archdiocese of Toronto currently on studies in Rome), our friends, etc. Our wedding included Catholic and non-Catholics, yet everyone’s generosity with their time and talent truly reflected Jesus’s message of love, friendship and mercy to the world. It's always awesome when people can bless each other!