Enrico Quattrini, Statue de Madeleine-Sophie Barat (1934)
dans la nef de Saint-Pierre de Rome
Sainte Madeleine-Sophie Barat
Fondatrice de l'Institut des religieuses du Sacré-Coeur (+ 1865)
Son père était un petit vigneron de la Bourgogne à Joigny. Elle reçut sa formation de son frère prêtre qui avait onze ans de plus qu'elle et qui était un homme étrange. Il lui apprit à fond le grec et le latin, ne lui passait rien, la giflant à l'occasion, lui interdisant toute effusion du cœur et toute récréation. A vingt ans, elle arrive à Paris. Heureusement, elle y rencontre un père jésuite, le père Varin qui la sauve en devenant son père spirituel. Il rêvait d'un institut voué à l'éducation chrétienne des jeunes filles du "monde", de la noblesse et des bourgeois enrichis. Avec elle, dès l'année suivante, les Dames du Sacré-Cœur comme il les appela, eurent un pensionnat à Amiens en Picardie. En 1815, l'institut reçut ses constitutions, calquées sur celles des jésuites. En 1850, l'institut possédait soixante-cinq maisons en France et à l'étranger. C'était une éducatrice à qui il suffisait de faire le contraire de ce qu'elle avait subi de son frère: "épanouir et libérer les âmes au lieu de les tyranniser et corseter".
Elle a été canonisée par Pie XI en 1925.
Illustration - Site des Religieuses du Sacré-Cœur de Jésus
Voir aussi: Qui était sainte Madeleine Sophie Barat? 1779-1865 - diocèse de Sens-Auxerre
Une Bourguignonne - Une femme courageuse, à la foi vive, à la culture peu commune, ouverte aux besoins de son temps - fondatrice de la Société du Sacré-Cœur...
et "...Madeleine-Sophie passe son temps sur les routes pour fonder et visiter..." Sainte Madeleine-Sophie Barat - diocèse de Paris
À Paris, en 1865, sainte Madeleine-Sophie Barat, vierge, qui fonda la Société du Sacré-Cœur de Jésus et travailla beaucoup pour la formation chrétienne des jeunes filles.
SOURCE : https://nominis.cef.fr/contenus/saint/1216/Sainte-Madeleine-Sophie-Barat.html
Quand tout nous abandonne, abandonnons tout à Dieu.
Sainte Madeleine-Sophie Barat
Madeleine-Sophie Barat, fille de pauvres paysans, naquit à Joigny le 13 décembre 1779. De santé fragile, elle montra dès l'enfance une grande volonté et un fort désir de s'instruire. Après sa première Communion (1789), sous la conduite de son frère Louis, futur jésuite, elle commença d'étudier le latin, le grec et quelques langues vivantes. Louis, diacre du diocèse de Sens, régent au collège de Joigny, prête le serment à la Constitution Civile du Clergé qu'il rétractera en 1792, ce qui lui valut de faire partie des réfractaires et d'être emprisonné. Libéré à la chute de Robespierre, il est ordonné prêtre en 1795 et décide d'aller exercer le saint ministère à Paris où il emmène sa sœur afin qu'elle reçoive une éducation supérieure et théologique sous sa conduite rigoureuse. Il confie la direction spirituelle de sa sœur à l'abbé Philibert de Bruillard, son compatriote, qui deviendra (1826) évêque de Grenoble. Madeleine-Sophie songe à se faire carmélite, mais la France n'a plus de Carmel et, le temps de la réflexion, elle retourne chez ses parents.
Louis, veut rallier quelques prêtres qui, pendant l'émigration, se sont regroupés sous la règle de Saint Ignace, les Prêtres de la Foi . Or le supérieur des trois qui arrivent alors à Paris (1800), le P. Joseph Varin, songe à former des éducatrices pour les jeunes filles et comme Louis Barat est devenu l'auxiliaire du P. Varin, Madeleine-Sophie est pressentie pour cette tâche. Le 21 novembre 1800, la Société des Dames du Sacré-Cœur est fondée et le P. Varin reçoit les promesses des trois premières dames.
En octobre 1801 la première maison est fondée à Amiens sous la direction de Madeleine-Sophie Barat et les Dames reçoivent le nom de Dames de la Foi puis, de la police impériale celui de Dames de l'Intruction Chrétienne.
La maladie entre dans le corps de Madeleine-Sophie Barat et ne la quittera plus désormais, ce qui ne l'empèche pas de fonder à Grenoble, de recevoir la bénédiction de Pie VII à Lyon, d'être nommée Supérieure Générale et de fonder à Cugnières, Niort, Poitiers, encouragée par l'autorité impériale. Le retour des Bourbons donna encore plus de vigueur à l'institut qui reçu l'approbation de ses Constitutions en 1816 de la main de Pie VII. Mme. Duchesne s'embarque pour l'Amérique étendre les fondations tandis qu'en France naissent les maisons de Chambéry, Lyon, Bordeaux, Le Mans, Autun, Besaçon, et, aussi, en Italie, Rome et Turin. La Monarchie de Juillet amène les temps difficiles et l'opposition épiscopale, mais avec le ferme soutien de Rome ; à partir de 1843 les fondations se multiplient en France, en Irlande, en Angleterre, en Belgique, en Autriche, en Suisse, en Espagne, aux Amériques En 1864, la Congrégation comprenait 3500 religieuses et 86 maisons. Madeleine-Sophie Barat mourut à Paris, le jour de l'Ascension, 25 mai 1865. La dernière pensée de Mère Barat, consignée dans son testament, résume bien toute sa vie : L'amour du Cœur de Jésus, pour le salut des âmes, selon le but de notre vocation.
Sa cause de canonisation introduite en 1879, elle fut béatifiée par Pie X en 1908 et canonisée par Pie XI le 24 mai 1925.
SOURCE : http://reflexionchretienne.e-monsite.com/pages/vie-des-saints/mai/sainte-madeleine-sophie-barat-fondatrice-de-l-institut-des-s-urs-du-sacre-c-ur-1865-fete-le-25-mai.html
Sainte Madeleine-Sophie Barat
Vierge et fondatrice de l’Institut : « Sœurs du Sacré-Cœur »
adeleine-Sophie naît le 13 décembre 1779, dans une famille d'artisans tonneliers, elle était la dernière de trois enfants. Louis, l'aîné, né en 1768, se destinait à l'Église. Ses projets furent différés par la Révolution. Après bien des difficultés (incarcéré à Paris, il échappa par miracle à la guillotine, grâce à la chute de Robespierre), il fut ordonné prêtre clandestinement en septembre 1795 et entra dans la Compagnie de Jésus, lorsque celle-ci fut rétablie sous la Restauration. La seconde, Marie-Louise, se maria en 1793 : elle eut dix enfants.
Grâce à sa mère, qui s'intéressait aux modes culturelles du temps, mais surtout à son frère Louis qui, en attendant d'être ordonné prêtre, était professeur au collège de Joigny, Sophie reçut une éducation exceptionnelle pour une jeune fille de son temps. Elle fut initiée aux matières profanes et religieuses et apprit les langues anciennes et modernes. Commencée à Joigny, sa formation se poursuivit, sous la direction de Louis, à Paris, où elle arriva à l'automne de 1795.
Madeleine-Sophie Barat fut profondément marquée par la Révolution, en qui elle vit toujours un régime qui, en désorganisant puis en interdisant le culte, en entravant l'enseignement de la foi et en pourchassant les prêtres, avait voulu attenter aux droits de Dieu.
Sous le Directoire, Sophie Barat commença, dans la prière, à envisager une congrégation féminine nouvelle qui, pour honorer le Cœur du Christ et pour diffuser l'amour de Dieu, se consacrerait à l'éducation des jeunes filles. Ce projet prit forme grâce au Père Varin que son frère Louis lui fit rencontrer vers 1800. Joseph Varin lui parla, d'une congrégation récemment fondée, les Dilette di Jesu, qui avait des objectifs proche des siens.
Le 21 novembre 1800, Sophie Barat prononça à Paris ses premiers vœux. L'année suivante, l'activité apostolique du nouvel institut démarra grâce à l'établissement, à Amiens, d'un premier pensionnat de jeunes filles.
Dès 1804, Madeleine-Sophie Barat avait été désignée comme supérieure des Dames de l'Instruction Chrétienne, nom qui fut celui de la congrégation jusqu'en 1815, puisqu'il était impossible de faire référence au Sacré-Cœur, compris, depuis les guerres de Vendée, comme un symbole contre-révolutionnaire.
La nouvelle congrégation commençant à essaimer, Sophie Barat fut, en 1806, nommée Supérieure Générale, charge qu'elle devait conserver jusqu'à sa mort. Désormais, l'histoire de Madeleine Sophie se confond avec celle de sa congrégation.
La fondatrice voyage à travers la France, puis l'Europe. Elle fonde de nouvelles communautés dès 1818. Elle définit les activités par lesquelles sa congrégation va se manifester dans le monde pour donner corps au désir de découvrir et manifester l'amour du Cœur du Christ. Des pensionnats, des écoles gratuites sont ouverts. Puis des établissements divers adaptés aux besoins du temps ou des sociétés locales sont créés par les Religieuses du Sacré-Cœur. La Mère Barat organise aussi l'œuvre des ‘retraites’, offrant un accompagnement spirituel à des femmes mariées ou non. Pendant toute sa vie, elle mobilise les énergies, soutient les efforts des religieuses par une correspondance géante.
Madeleine-Sophie Barat qui, dans son adolescence, avait rêvé de la vie du Carmel, sut concilier, au cours de sa longue vie, action et contemplation. Elle a créé une vie apostolique nouvelle fondée sur l'intériorité et l'union au Cœur de Jésus.
Elle meurt à Paris, dans la maison mère du Boulevard des Invalides, le 25 mai 1865, en la fête de l'Ascension : quatre-vingt dix-huit maisons étaient alors nées en France et à l’étranger.
Madeleine-Sophie Barat a été béatifiée, le 24 mai 1908, par saint Pie X (Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto, 1903-1914), puis canonisée, le 24 mai 1925, par Pie XI (Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti, 1922-1939).
Pour un approfondissement :
>>> Les Religieuses du Sacré-Coeur de Jésus
SOURCE : https://levangileauquotidien.org/FR/display-saint/96d0ff1f-d04b-48e2-bbb0-6753f1017ad5
Madeleine-Sophie Barat. Broderie brodée à Paris par Madeleine-Sophie et envoyée à sa mère
Sainte Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Qui était sainte Madeleine Sophie Barat ?
Née le 13 décembre 1779 à Joigny, dans l’Yonne, au sein d’une famille d’artisans tonneliers, elle était la dernière de trois enfants. Louis, l’aîné, né en 1768, se destinait à la prêtrise. Ses projets furent différés par la Révolution. Ordonné clandestinement en septembre 1795, il entra dans la Compagnie de Jésus lorsque celle-ci fut rétablie sous la Restauration. La seconde, Marie-Louise, mariée en 1793, eut dix enfants. Cette branche s’est éteinte.
Une femme à la foi vive.
La famille Barat était, comme beaucoup d’autres à Joigny, janséniste. Sous l’influence de Louis, à l’extrême fin du règne de Louis XVI, elle fut gagnée au culte du Sacré Cœur. Sophie fut profondément marquée par la Révolution en qui elle vit toujours un régime qui avait voulu attenter aux droits de Dieu. Elle souffrit, comme tous les siens, du sort réservé à son frère. Car, après avoir rétracté son serment de fidélité à la Constitution Civile du Clergé en 1792, Louis fut incarcéré à Paris et échappa à la guillotine grâce à la chute de Robespierre.
Une femme à la culture peu commune.
Grâce à sa mère qui s’intéressait aux modes culturelles du temps et à son frère Louis qui était professeur au collège de Joigny, Sophie reçut une éducation exceptionnelle. Elle apprit les langues anciennes et modernes et fut initiée aux matières religieuses et profanes, y compris aux sciences. Commencée dans sa ville natale, sa formation se poursuivit, sous la férule de Louis, à Paris, où elle arriva à l’automne de 1795.
La fondatrice de la Société du Sacré-Cœur.
Sous le Directoire, Sophie Barat commença à envisager, dans la prière, une congrégation féminine nouvelle qui, pour honorer le Cœur du Christ et faire connaître l’amour de Dieu, se consacrerait à l’éducation des jeunes filles. Ce projet prit forme en 1800 grâce à la rencontre qu’elle fit du Père Joseph Varin, qui avait des objectifs proches des siens. Père du Sacré-Cœur, il entra par la suite dans la Compagnie de Jésus. Le 21 novembre 1800, Sophie fit à Paris, dans le quartier du Marais, son premier engagement religieux. L’année suivante, l’activité apostolique du nouvel institut démarra à Amiens, grâce à l’établissement d’un pensionnat de jeunes filles et d’une école pour les pauvres. En 1804, Sophie Barat fut nommée supérieure des Dames de l’Instruction Chrétienne, nom qui fut celui de la congrégation jusqu’en 1815, la référence au Sacré Cœur, compris comme un symbole contre-révolutionnaire, étant impossible depuis les guerres de Vendée. L’institut commençant à essaimer, Sophie Barat en fut nommée en 1806 supérieure générale, charge qu’elle devait conserver jusqu’à sa mort. Désormais son histoire se confond avec celle de sa congrégation. Dès 1818, la Société du Sacré-Cœur fonde hors de France. Philippine Duchesne, canonisée en juillet 1988, part alors pour les Etats-Unis. La même année, la congrégation est appelée dans le royaume de Piémont, puis peu après à Rome, par le Pape.
Une femme courageuse.
La Mère Barat s’est montrée capable d’affronter l’adversité. Des révolutions ou l’apparition de régimes libéraux en Italie et en Suisse ont provoqué l’expulsion des Religieuses du Sacré-Cœur. Au sein de sa congrégation, la fondatrice a été aux prises avec une contestation qui s’est surtout manifestée au cours du premier Empire puis entre 1839 et 1845. Dans les deux cas, les dissensions ont porté sur la spiritualité du Sacré Cœur et la forme de vie religieuse que la Mère Barat avait voulu instaurer. Avec simplicité et humilité, Madeleine Sophie Barat a fait face, tenant dans les épreuves grâce à la prière, sachant à la fois pardonner et maintenir son œuvre dans l’esprit des origines.
Une femme ouverte aux besoins de son temps.
Attentive à y répondre, la fondatrice du Sacré Cœur a souhaité donner aux femmes un rôle de premier plan dans la reconstitution du tissu social. Elle a aussi révélé de remarquables qualités relationnelles, manifestant de l’aisance aussi bien avec les grands de ce monde qu’avec les élèves et leurs parents. Les plus pauvres savaient trouver auprès d’elle accueil et soutien. Souhaitant mettre en œuvre une éducation d’excellence, elle a créé des établissements divers adaptés aux besoins des sociétés locales. Elle organisa aussi l’œuvre des retraites, offrant aux femmes un accompagnement spirituel. Elle mobilisa les énergies et soutint les efforts des religieuses par ses voyages et une correspondance géante. Cette femme qui, dans son adolescence, avait rêvé d’entrer au Carmel, sut concilier action et contemplation. Elle créa une vie apostolique nouvelle fondée sur l’intériorité et l’union au Cœur de Jésus.
Madeleine Sophie Barat mourut à Paris, dans la maison-mère du 33 Boulevard des Invalides, le 25 mai 1865, en la fête de l’Ascension. Elle fut enterrée à Conflans (commune de Charenton). En 1904, à cause des menaces de fermeture que faisait peser sur les maisons françaises du Sacré-Cœur la politique anticléricale d’Emile Combes, son corps fut transféré en Belgique. Madeleine Sophie Barat fut béatifiée en 1908 et canonisée en 1925. La châsse qui contient ses restes sera installée le 19 juin 2009 dans l’église de Saint-François Xavier, sur le territoire de la paroisse dont dépendait la maison-mère de la Société du Sacré-Cœur jusqu’en 1907.
Le devenir d’une œuvre.
Après la mort de sa fondatrice, la Société du Sacré-Cœur s’est considérablement développée puisqu’elle est actuellement présente dans plus de quarante pays sur les cinq continents. Le nombre des Religieuses du Sacré-Cœur était de 3.539 en 1865 ; il avait doublé un siècle plus tard. L’expansion de la congrégation à travers le monde s’est développée à partir du début du XXe siècle, lorsque les religieuses quittèrent la France au moment des « expulsions ». Actuellement les Religieuses du Sacré-Cœur sont environ 3.000. Tirant profit des opportunités qu’offraient les législations nationales, après la première guerre mondiale, les Religieuses du Sacré-Cœur diversifièrent leurs œuvres éducatives, ouvrant des collèges universitaires aux Etats-Unis, en Australie, en Nouvelle-Zélande et en Chine. Après le concile de Vatican II, la Société du Sacré-Cœur, tout en conservant son charisme, a étendu son champ apostolique. L’éducation est désormais pratiquée grâce à des activités professionnelles diverses. Les Religieuses du Sacré-Cœur sont actuellement présentes dans des écoles et des universités, dans des centres de soins, dans des aumôneries d’étudiants ou d’hôpitaux, dans des mouvements d’Eglise et des associations éducatives, dans des ONG et des paroisses. Elles vivent dans les villes, dans des villages, dans des quartiers populaires et des bidonvilles, en relation avec des adultes et des jeunes de milieux sociaux variés, d’âges, de religions et de cultures différents. Ces activités sont toujours destinées à découvrir et à manifester l’amour du Cœur du Christ et à partager la tendresse et la miséricorde de Dieu.
Monique Luirard, rscj Professeur émérite
* Aujourd’hui, la Société du Sacré Coeur compte des religieuses présentes dans 45 pays.
SOURCE : http://www.catholique-sens-auxerre.cef.fr/spip1.9/Sainte-Madeleine-Sophie-Barat.html
Sainte Madeleine-Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
Fête le 25 mai (sa fête liturgique a été fixée au 25 mai, anniversaire de son décès)
Née à Joigny, dans l’Yonne, elle arrive à Paris à l’automne 1795, sous le Directoire, quand l’Église de France est en phase de reconstruction.
Sous l’inspiration d’un de ses directeurs de conscience, le père Joseph Varin, qui travaille au rétablissement de la Compagnie de Jésus et veut créer son homologue féminin, Madeleine-Sophie prononce avec trois compagnes, le 21 novembre 1800, sa consécration au Sacré-Cœur. Douée de remarquables qualités éducatives, elle est pendant 63 ans la mère supérieure de la Société du Sacré-Cœur de Jésus destinée à l’éducation des jeunes filles du grand monde.
La Société du Sacré-Cœur est la première de ces nombreuses fondations apostoliques, nées à l’aube du XIXe siècle, reconnues en France en vertu de leur utilité reconnue.
Madeleine-Sophie passe son temps sur les routes pour fonder et visiter.
Jusqu’à sa mort, quatre-vingt dix-huit maisons sont nées en France et à l’étranger. Le corps de Madeleine-Sophie, rapatrié de Belgique en juin 2009, est conservé dans une châsse en l’église Saint-François-Xavier, 39 boulevard des Invalides, Paris 7e.
Elle a été canonisée par Pie XI en 1925.
Musée Rodin et lycée Victor-Duruy
77, rue de Varenne, 7e arr. - M° Varenne
39, boulevard des Invalides, 7e arr. - M° Varenne
L’établissement parisien fondé en 1816 s’installe à l’hôtel Biron, 77, rue de Varenne en 1820. Puis en 1859, est inauguré le bâtiment du boulevard des Invalides pour servir de maison mère. Après l’expulsion de 1907, l’hôtel devient le musée Rodin et les bâtiments du XIXe siècle sont affectés au lycée Victor-Duruy.
141, rue Mouffetard, 5e arr. - M° Censier Daubenton
Au bas de la rue Mouffetard, près de Saint-Médard, se trouve le passage des Postes où Madeleine-Sophie Barat installe une maison et un pensionnat en 1816, auprès de la maison des Jésuites. C’est également de ce lieu qu’elle envoie en 1818 sa première missionnaire en Amérique du Nord : sainte Philippine Duchesne.
1, rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, 5e arr. - M° Saint-Michel
C’est tout près de cette église qu’en 1795 Madeleine-Sophie Barat, arrivant en bateau de sa ville natale de Bourgogne, s’installe à Paris.
Deux ouvrages :
Monique LUIRARD, Madeleine-Sophie Barat (1779-1865). Une éducatrice au cœur du monde, au cœur du Christ, éditions Nouvelle Cité, coll. Historiques, Montrouge, 1999, 16 € 77.
Bernard RICHARD, Madeleine-Sophie Barat, sainte de Joigny (Yonne) et sa communauté dans le monde, éditions La Gazette 89, Égriselles-le-Bocage, 2009, 6 € (en vente chez Volume 88, 88 boulevard de Grenelle, Paris, XVe).
SOURCE : http://www.paris.catholique.fr/741-Sainte-Madeleine-Sophie-Barat.html
Conférence de 1858
Pour la raison même de son Immaculée Conception, Marie eut dès le commencement de son existence, une parfaite connaissance de Dieu. Cette connaissance enflammant de plus en plus l'ardeur de l'amour qui la consumait, lui fit accepter d'avance tous les sacrifices que Dieu lui demanda, surtout au moment où, alors qu'elle lui offrait son Divin Fils au Temple, le vieillard Siméon lui fit une douloureuse prédiction. Marie comprit alors à quoi elle était appelée et l'amour dont elle aimait son Dieu lui fit aussi aimer les hommes qui lui coûtaient si cher. Dès lors et particulièrement au moment où son Divin Fils lui présenta dans la personne de saint Jean, tous les hommes, Marie, debout sous la Croix, se montra véritablement notre co-rédemptrice, notre Mère.
Sainte Madeleine-Sophie Barat
SOURCE : http://missel.free.fr/Sanctoral/05/24.php
Photo du portrait de Madeleine-Sophie Barat, par Savinien Petit, 1865
Maddalena Sofia Barat
Daughter of Jacques Barat, a cooper who worked with the vineyards for whom he supplied barrels. Naturally bright, she was educated by her older brother Louis, a monk. As Madeline grew older, her brother feared she would be exposed to too much of the world, and so brought her to Paris, France with him. The girl wanted to be a Carmelite lay sister, but with Father Joseph Varin and three other postulants, she founded the Society of the Sacred Heart on 21 November 1800; the Society is devoted to the Sacred Heart, and dedicated to teaching girls. Nun. Teacher. Superior General of the Society at age 23, she held the position for 63 years. Receiving papal approval of the Society in 1826, she founded 105 houses in many countries; Saint Rose Phillippine Duschene and four companions brought the Society to the United States.
12 December 1779 at Joigny, France
25 May 1865 at Paris, France of natural causes
12 February 1905 by Pope Saint Pius X (decree of heroic virtues)
24 May 1908 by Pope Saint Pius X
Book of Saints, by Father Lawrence George Lovasik, S.V.D.
Illustrated Catholic Family Annual
Life and Work of Madame Barat, from Catholic World
Saints of the Day, by Katherine Rabenstein
The Holiness of the Church in the 19th Century
Martirologio Romano, 2001 edición
Abbé Christian-Philippe Chanut
Let us attach ourselves to God alone, and turn our eyes and our hopes to Him. – Saint Madeline
To suffer myself, and not to make others suffer. – Saint Madeline
Our Lord who saved the world through the Cross will only work for the good of souls through the Cross. – Saint Madeline
God does not ask of us the perfection of tomorrow, nor even of tonight, but only of the present moment. – Saint Madeline Sophie Barat
“Saint Madeline Sophie Barat“. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 February 2022. Web. 25 May 2022. <https://catholicsaints.info/saint-madeline-sophie-barat/>
SOURCE : https://catholicsaints.info/saint-madeline-sophie-barat/
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
Born at Joigny, Burgundy, France, on December 12, the daughter of a cooper, she was educated by her older brother Louis, who later became a priest and who imposed the strictest discipline and penances on her. On his recommendation, Father Varin, who planned to form an institute of women to teach girls, a female counterpart of the Jesuits, received her and three companions into the religious life in 1800, thus founding the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. They founded their first convent and school at Amiens the following year, and in 1802, Madeleine, though the youngest member of the group, now grown to twenty-three, was appointed Superior; she was to rule for sixty-three years. The Society spread throughout France, absorbed a community of Visitation nuns at Grenoblein in 1804 (among whom was Blessed Phillipine Duchesne, who was to bring the Society to the United States in 1818), and received formal approval from Pope Leo XII in 1826. In 1830 the Society's novitiate at Poitiers was closed by the Revolution, and Madeleine founded a new novitiate in Switzerland. By the time of her death in Paris on May 21, she had opened more than 100 houses and schools in twelve countries. She was canonized in 1925. Her feast day is May 25th.
SOURCE : http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=198
Le pape Grégoire XVI approuve les constitutions en 1843
Ven. Madeleine-Sophie Barat
Foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, born at Joigny, Burgundy, 12 December, 1779; died in Paris, 24 May, 1865. She was the youngest child of Jacques Barat, a vine-dresser and cooper, and his wife, Madeleine Foufé, and received baptism the morning after her birth, her brother Louis, aged eleven, being chosen godfather. It was to this brother that she owed the exceptional education which fitted her for her life-work. Whilst her mother found her an apt pupil in practical matters, Louis saw her singular endowments of mind and heart; and when, at the age of twenty-two, he returned as professor to the seminary at Joigny, he taught his sister Latin, Greek, history, natural science, Spanish, and Italian. Soon she took delight in reading the classics in the original, and surpassed her brother's pupils at the seminary.
After the Reign of Terror, Louis called Sophie to Paris, to train her for the religious life, for which she longed. When he had joined the Fathers of the Faith, a band of fervent priests, united in the hope of becoming members of the Society of Jesus on its restoration, he one day spoke of his sister to Father Varin, to whom had been bequeathed by the saintly Léonor de Tournély the plan of founding a society of women wholly devoted to the worship of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to prayer and sacrifice, and destined to do for girls what the restored Society of Jesus would do for boys. Father Varin had vainly sought a fitting instrument to begin this work; he now found one in this modest, retiring girl of twenty. He unfolded the project, which seemed to satisfy all her aspirations, and she bowed before his authoritative declaration that this was for her the will ofGod. With three companions she made her first consecration, 21 November, 1800, the date which marks the foundation of the Society of the Sacred Heart. In September, 1801, the first convent was opened at Amiens, and thither Sophie went to help in the work of teaching. It was impossible yet to assume the name "Society of the Sacred Heart", lest a political significance be attached to it; its members were known as Dames de la Foior de l'Instruction Chrétienne. Father Varin allowed Sophie to make her vows, 7 June, 1802, with GenevieveDeshayes.
The community and school were increasing, and a poor school had just been added, when it became evident to Father Varin that Mademoiselle Loquet, who had hitherto acted as superior, lacked the qualities requisite for the office, and Sophie, although the youngest, was named superior (1802). Her first act was to kneel and kissthe feet of each of her sisters. Such was ever the spirit of her government, November, 1804, found her at Sainte-Marie-d'en-Haut, near Grenoble, receiving a community of Visitation nuns into her institute, One of them, Philippine Duchesne, was later to introduce the society into America. Grenoble was the first of some eighty foundations which Mother Barat was to make, not only in France but in North America (1818), Italy (1828), Switzerland (1830), Belgium (1834), Algiers (1841). England (1842), Ireland (1842), Spain (1846), Holland (1848), Germany (1851), South America (1853) Austria (1853), Poland (1857).
Mother Barat was elected superior-general in January, 1806, but a majority of one vote only, for the influence of an ambitious priest, chaplain at Amiens, wellnigh wrecked the nascent institute. Prolonged prayer, silentsuffering, tact, respect, charity, were only means she used to oppose his designs. With Father Varin, now aJesuit, she elaborated constitutions and rules grafted on the stock of the Institute of St. Ignatius. These rules were received with joy in all the houses, Amiens alone excepted; but Mother Barat's wisdom and humility soon won submission even here. In 1818 she sent Mother Duchesne, with four companions, to the New World; her strong and holy hand was ever ready to support and guide this first missioner of the Society. She called all the superiors together in council at Paris in 1820, to provide a uniform course of studies for their schools. These studies were to be solid and serious, to fit the pupils to become intelligent wives and devoted mothers; to give that cultivation of mind, that formation of character, which go to make up a true women; all was to stamped and sealed with strong religious principles and devotion to the Sacred Heart.
Foundations multiplied, and Mother Barat, seeing the necessity of a stronger guarantee of unity, sought it in union with Rome. The solemn approbation was obtained much sooner than usual, owing to a memoir drawn up by the foundress and presented to Leo XII in May, 1826. The decree of approbation was promulgated in December. The society being now fully organized and sealed by Rome's approval, for forty years Mother Barat journeyed from convent to convent, wrote many thousand letters, and assembled general congregations, so as to preserve its original spirit. The Paris school gained European repute; Rome counted three establishments, asked for and blessed by three successive pontiffs. At Lyons Mother Barat founded the Congregation of theChildren of Mary for former pupils and other ladies. In the same year (1832), she began at Turin the work ofretreats for ladies of the world, an apostleship since widely and profitably imitated. Numerous foundations brought Mother Bart onto personal contact with all classes. We find her crossing and recrossing France,Switzerland, Italy, often on the eve of revolutions; now the centre of a society of émigrés whose intellectualgifts, high social position, and moral worth are seldom found united; now sought out by cardinals and Romanprincesses during her vicits to her Roman houses; at another time, speaking on matters educational with Madame de Genlis; or again, exercising that supernatural ascendency which aroused the admiration of such men as Bishop Fraysinous, Doctor Récamier, and Duc de Rohan.
These exterior labours were far from absorbing all Mother Barat's time or energies; they coexisted with a life of ever-increasing holiness and continual prayer; for the real secret of her influence lay in her habitualseclusion from the outside world, in the strong religious formation of her daughters which this seclusion made possible, and in the enlightened, profound, and supernatural views on education which she communicated to the religious engaged in her schools. She worked by and through them all, and thus reached out to the ends of the earth. In spite of herself she attracted and charmed all who approached her. New foundations she always entrusted to other hands; for, like all great rulers, she had the twofold gift of intuition in the choice of personsfitted for office, and trust of those in responsible posts. Allowing them much freedom of action in details, guiding them only by her counsels and usually form afar. Prelates who now and them ventured to attribute to her the successes of the society, saw that instead of pleasing, they distressed her exceedingly.
Beloved by her daughters, venerated by princes and pontiffs, yet ever lowly of heart, Mother Barat died at the mother-house in Paris, on Ascension Day, 1865, as she had foretold, after four days' illness. She was buried atConflans, the house of novitiate, where her body was found intact in 1893. In 1879 she was declared Venerable, and the process of beatification introduced. [Note: Mother Barat was canonized in 1925.]
Power, Alice. "Ven. Madeleine-Sophie Barat." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 2. New York: Robert Appleton Company,1907. 29 May 2015 <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02283a.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Claudia C. Neira. AMDG.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John M. Farley, Archbishop of New York.
Copyright © 2021 by Kevin Knight. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
SOURCE : http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02283a.htm
Église Saint-Thibault de Joigny: détail du vitrail de sainte Madeleine-Sophie Barat (1779-1865).
Stained glass window in Saint-Thibault's Church in Joigny where St. Madeleine-Sophie Barat was baptized in 1779.
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat (1779-1865)
The legacy of Madeleine Sophie Barat can be found in the more than 100 schools operated by her Society of the Sacred Heart, institutions known for the quality of the education made available to the young.
Sophie herself received an extensive education, thanks to her brother, Louis, 11 years older and her godfather at Baptism. Himself a seminarian, he decided that his younger sister would likewise learn Latin, Greek, history, physics and mathematics—always without interruption and with a minimum of companionship. By age 15, she had received a thorough exposure to the Bible, the teachings of the Fathers of the Church and theology. Despite the oppressive regime Louis imposed, young Sophie thrived and developed a genuine love of learning.
Meanwhile, this was the time of the French Revolution and of the suppression of Christian schools. The education of the young, particularly young girls, was in a troubled state. At the same time, Sophie, who had concluded that she was called to the religious life, was persuaded to begin her life as a nun and as a teacher. She founded the Society of the Sacred Heart, which would focus on schools for the poor as well as boarding schools for young women of means; today, co-ed Sacred Heart schools can be found as well as schools exclusively for boys.
In 1826, her Society of the Sacred Heart received formal papal approval. By then she had served as superior at a number of convents. In 1865, she was stricken with paralysis; she died that year on the feast of the Ascension.
Madeleine Sophie Barat was canonized in 1925.
Madeleine Sophie Barat lived in turbulent times. She was only 10 when the Reign of Terror began. In the wake of the French Revolution, rich and poor both suffered before some semblance of normality returned to France. Born to some degree of privilege, she received a good education. It grieved her that the same opportunity was being denied to other young girls, and she devoted herself to educating them, whether poor or well-to-do. We who live in an affluent country can follow her example by helping to ensure to others the blessings we have enjoyed.
SOURCE : http://www.americancatholic.org/Features/Saints/saint.aspx?id=1398
Madeleine Sophie Barat, 1865
Madeleine (Mary Magdalen)
Sophie Barat V (RM)
Born in Joigny, Burgundy, France, December 12, 1779; died in Paris, France, May 21, 1865; canonized 1925.
"Hard work, dangerous for an imperfect soul, brings a great harvest for those who love the Lord." --
Saint Madeleine Barat.
Madeleine's father, Jacques Barat, owned a small vineyard and also worked as a cooper. Louis, her elder brother by 11 years who later became a priest, was Madeleine's godfather and determined to give her an education at least as good as that of any boy of the time. He also imposed on her strict discipline and penance. Madeleine loved her lessons and her Latin and Greek, her mathematics and science and history gave her enormous pleasure. For a while the brother was imprisoned during the Revolution, but he escaped and took his sister to Paris, where she studied religion.
Madeleine grew into charming womanhood and yet retained a desire to serve God in the modest capacity of a Carmelite lay sister. But God's call came from elsewhere. A group of French priests of the Sacred Heart decided to establish a society of women devoted to teaching girls--the feminine counterpart of the Jesuits. The leader, Joseph Varin (afterwards a Jesuit), heard of Madeleine through her brother, and, in 1800, received her and three companions as nuns, commissioning them to found a society to educate girls. They started the first school of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus at Amiens in 1801.
Madeleine was scarcely 23--younger than any of her companions--but unanimously they elected her their superior. She ran the order for the next 63 years. The society spread throughout France, absorbed a community of Visitation nuns at Grenoble in 1804 (among whom was Blessed Philippine Duchesne, who took the society to the United States in 1818).
Times were not always easy. The order was nearly wrecked in its early stages by the ambition of the chaplain in Amiens; but the patience and tact of Mother Barat and Father Varin prevailed, and together they drew up the rules of the society which were finally adopted in 1815. The society was formally approved by Pope Leo XII in 1826. The July Revolution of 1830 banished the sisters' novitiate for a time to Switzerland. But Madeleine was glad to travel, opening schools outside as well as inside France. Mother Barat led a life of extraordinary laboriousness as she organized the life and work of an ever-growing congregation, which became one of the best-known and most efficient educational institutes under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Church.
The secret of her endurance and determination was the religious spirit that inspired all her undertakings; she was endowed with wisdom and insight to a remarkable degree, joined with endearing modesty and attractiveness. By 1865, her society had founded 105 houses and schools in 12 countries (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Williams).
SOURCE : http://www.saintpatrickdc.org/ss/0525.shtml
The Sainte-Madeleine-Sophie-Barat church/Saint-Maron cathedral in Montréal, Québec.
L'église Sainte-Madeleine-Sophie-Barat/cathédrale Saint-Maron à Montréal, au Québec.
The Life and Work of Madame Barat
Madeleine-Louise-Sophie Barat was born on the 12th of December, 1779, in the little village of Joigny, in Burgundy. Her father was a cooper and the owner of a small vineyard, a very worthy and sensible man and an excellent Christian. Her mother was remarkably intelligent and quite well educated, far superior in personal character to her humble station, very religious, and endowed with an exquisite sensibility of temperament, controlled by a solid virtue which made her worthy to be the mother of two such children as her son Louis and her daughter Sophie. The birth of Sophie, who was the youngest of her three children, was hastened, and her own life endangered, by the fright which she suffered from a fire very near her house during the night of the 12th of December. The little Sophie was so frail and feeble at her birth that her baptism was hurried as much as possible, and the tenure of her life was very fragile during infancy. As a child she was diminutive and delicate, but precocious, quick-witted, and very playful. The parish priest used to put her upon a stool at catechism, that the little fairy might be better seen and heard; and at her first communion she was rejected by the vicar as too small to know what she was about to do, but triumphantly vindicated in a thorough examination by M. le Curé, and allowed to receive the most Holy Sacrament. She was then ten years old, and it was the dreadful year 1789. Until this time she had been her mother’s constant companion in the vineyard, occupied with light work and play, and learning by intuition, without much effort of study. At this time her brother Louis, an ecclesiastical student eleven years older than herself, was obliged to remain at home for a time, and, being very much struck with the noble and charming qualities which he discerned in his little sister, he devoted himself with singular veneration, assiduity, and tenderness to the work of her education. This episode in the history of two great servants of God, one of whom was an apostle, the other the Saint Teresa of her century, is unique in its beauty.
The vocation of the sister dated from her infancy, and was announced in prophetic dreams, which she related with childish naïveté like the little Joseph, foretelling that she was destined to be a great queen. When Sophie was eight years old, Suzanne Geoffroy – who was then twenty-six, and who entered the Society of the Sacred Heart twenty-one years afterwards, in which she held the offices of superior at Niort and Lyons, and of assistant general – was seeking her vocation. Her director told her to wait for the institution of a new order whose future foundress was still occupied in taking care of her dolls.
Louis Barat divined obscurely the extraordinary designs of Almighty God in regard to his little sister, and, faithful to the divine impulse, he made the education and formation of her mind and character the principal work of the next ten years of his life – a work certainly the best and most advantageous to the church of all the good works of a career full of apostolic labors. He was a poet, a mathematician, well versed in several languages and in natural science, very kind and loving to his little sister, but inflexibly strict in his discipline, and in some things too severe, especially in his spiritual direction. In a small attic chamber of his father’s cottage he established the novitiate and school composed of little Sophie Barat as novice and scholar, with brother Louis as the master. The preparatory studies were soon absolved by his apt pupil, and succeeded by a course of higher instruction, embracing Latin, Greek, Italian, and Spanish. Sophie was particularly enchanted with Virgil, and even able to translate and appreciate Homer. The mother grumbled at this seemingly useless education, but the uneducated father was delighted, and the will of Louis made the law for the household. During seventeen months he was in the prisons of Paris, saved from the guillotine only by the connivance of his former schoolmaster, who was a clerk in the prison department, and released by the fall of Robespierre. Sophie went on bravely by herself during this time, and continued her life of study and prayer in the attic, consoling her father and mother, who idolized her, during those dreadful days, and persevered in the same course after her brother’s release and ordination, under his direction, until she was sixteen. At this period her brother, who had taken up his abode in Paris, determined to take his sister to live with himself and complete her education. Father, mother, and daughter alike resisted this determination, until the stronger will of the young priest overcame, with some delay and difficulty, their opposition, and the weeping little Sophie was carried off in the coach to Paris, to live in the humble house of Father Louis, and, in conjunction with her domestic labors, to study the sciences, the Holy Scriptures in the Latin Vulgate, and the fathers and doctors of the church. She had several companions, and the little group was thus formed and trained, not only in knowledge but in the most austere religious virtues and practices, under the hand of their kind but stern master, for more than four years. During the vintage Sophie was allowed to take a short vacation at home, of which she availed herself gladly; for she was still a gay and playful girl, submitting with cheerful courage to her brother’s severe discipline, yet not without a conflict or without some secret tears. She was a timid little creature, and the injudicious severity of her brother’s direction made her scrupulous. Often she was afraid to receive communion; but she was obedient, and when her brother would call her from the altar of their little chapel, saying, “Come here, Sophie, and receive communion,” she would go up trembling and do as she was bidden. Her great desire was to become a lay sister among the Carmelites, and her companions were also waiting the opportunity to enter some religious order. Father Barat did not doubt her religious vocation, but he wanted to find out more precisely how it could be fulfilled. Her divine Spouse was himself preparing her for the exalted destination of a foundress and spiritual mother in his church; and when she had attained her twentieth year, this vocation was made known to her and accepted with a docility like that of the Blessed Virgin Mary to the angel’s message.
The history of the origin of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus requires us to go back some years and relate some events which prepared the way for it. Four young priests, Léonor and Xavier de Tournély, Pierre Charles Leblanc, and Charles de Broglie, had formed a society under the name of the Sacred Heart, intended as a nucleus for the re-establishment of the Society of Jesus. The superior was Father Léonor de Tournély, a young man of angelic sanctity, and a favorite pupil of the saintly Sulpician, M. l’Abbé Emery. This young priest received an inspiration to form a congregation of women specially devoted to the propagation of the devotion of the Sacred Heart and the higher education of girls. The first woman selected by him as the foundress of the new society was the Princess de Condé, under whom a small community was formed at Vienna, but soon dispersed by the departure of the princess to join the Trappistines. Soon after Father de Tournély died, having scarcely attained his thirtieth year, leaving in his last moments the care of carrying out his project to Father Varin. Joseph Varin d’Ainville was a young man of good family, who, after passing some time in a seminary, had left it to join the army of the Prince de Condé, with whom he made several campaigns. He had been won back to his first vocation through the prayers of his mother, offered for this purpose on the eve of ascending the scaffold at Paris, and the influence of his former companions, the four young fathers of the Sacred Heart above named. On the very day of the prayer offered by his heroic mother he was determined to return back to the ecclesiastical life on receiving communion at Vanloo, in Belgium, when he had met his four saintly friends, whose society he immediately joined. Having been elected superior of the society after the death of Father de Tournély in 1797, Father Varin was persuaded to merge it in another society formed by a certain Father Passanari under the title of the Fathers of the Holy Faith, which was also intended as a nucleus for the revival of the Order of Jesuits. The Archduchess Maria Anna, sister of the Emperor of Germany, was selected to form in Rome, under the direction of Father Passanari, a society of religious women according to the plan of De Tournély, and she went there for that purpose, accompanied by two of her maids of honor, Leopoldina and Louisa Naudet. Early in the year 1800 Father Varin returned to Paris with some companions, and Father Barat was received into his society. In this way he became acquainted with Sophie, and her direction was confided to him, to her great spiritual solace and advantage; for he guided her with suavity and prudence in a way which gave her heart liberty to expand, and infused into it that generosity and confidence which became the characteristic traits of her piety, and were transmitted as a precious legacy by her to her daughters in religion. As soon as Father Varin had learned the secrets of the interior life of his precious disciple, and had determined her vocation to the same work which had been already begun in Rome by the three ladies above mentioned, three others were admitted to share with her in the formation of the little Society of the Sacred Heart. One of these was Mlle. Octavie Bailly, another was Mlle. Loquet, the third was a pious servant-girl named Marguérite, who became the first lay sister of the society. On the 21st of November, the Feast of Our Lady’s Presentation, the little chapel was decorated in a modest and simple way. Father Varin said Mass. After the Elevation the four aspirants pronounced the act of consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and afterwards they received communion.
This was the true inauguration of the Society of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, for the attempt made at Rome by the archduchess proved a failure; the intriguing, ambitious character of Father Passanari was detected, and Father Varin renounced all connection with him and his projects. These events occurred, however, at a later period, and for some time yet to come the little community in France remained affiliated to the mother-house in Rome.
The first house of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, the one which has always been called the cradle of the society, was founded at Amiens one year after the consecration of the postulants in the little chapel of the Rue Touraine. A college was established in that city by the Fathers of the Holy Faith, and a visit which Father Varin made there early in the year 1801, for the purpose of giving a mission and preparing for the opening of the college, led to an arrangement with some zealous priests and pious ladies of Amiens for transferring a small school of young ladies to the care of Sophie Barat and her companions. Two of these ladies of Amiens, Mlle. Geneviève Deshayes and Mlle. Henriette Grosier, joined the community, of which Mlle. Loquet was appointed the superior. This lady proved to be entirely unfit for her position, and after some months returned to her former useful and pious life in Paris. Mlle. Bailly, after waiting for a considerable time to test her vocation, at length followed her first attraction and left her dear friend Sophie for the Carmelites. Sophie Barat, with the consent of her companions, was appointed by Father Varin to the office of superior, much to her own surprise and terror, for she was the youngest and the most humble of her sisters; and from this moment until her death, in the year 1865, she continued to be the Reverend Mother of the Society of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, through all its periods of successive development and extension. It was on the 21st of December, 1802, soon after her twenty-third birthday, that she was definitively placed in this her true position, for which divine Providence had so wonderfully prepared her. She had been admitted to make the simple vows of religion on the 7th of June preceding, in company with Madame Deshayes. The community and school increased and prospered, and on the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel, 29 September 1804, they were installed in their permanent residence, one of the former houses of the Oratory of Cardinal de Berulle. The community at this date comprised twelve members, including postulants. Their names were Madeleine-Sophie Barat, Geneviève Deshayes, Henriette Grosier, Rosalie-Marguérite Debrosse, Marie du Terrail, Catharine-Emilie de Charbonnel, Adèle Bardot, Felicité Desmarquest, Henriette Ducis, Thérèse Duchâtel, Madame Baudemont, and Madame Coppina. The two last-mentioned ladies afterwards brought the society into a crisis of the gravest peril, and finally withdrew from it, as we shall see later. Of the others, Mesdames Deshayes, Grosier, de Charbonnel, Desmarquest, and Ducis were among the most eminent and efficient of the first set of co-workers with the holy foundress herself in the formation and government of the society and its great schools and novitiates. The final rupture with Father Passanari had already been effected, and Madame Barat was therefore the sole head of the society, under the direction of Father Varin. Twelve years elapsed before the constitutions of the society were drawn up and adopted, and during this period the first foundations were made, a most dangerous and well-nigh fatal crisis was safely passed, the spirit and methods of the new institute were definitely formed; thus laying the basis for the subsequent increase and perfection of the vast edifice of religion and instruction whose corner-stone was laid by the humble and gracious little maiden of Joigny in the depths of her own pure and capacious heart. Saint John of the Cross says that “God bestows on the founder such gifts and graces as shall be proportionate to the succession of the order, as the first fruits of the Spirit.” The whole subsequent history of the Society of the Sacred Heart shows that this was fulfilled in the person of Sophie Barat. After the second foundation had been made in an old convent of the Visitation at Grenoble, Madame Baudemont was made superior at Amiens, and the first council was held for the election of a superior-general. Madame Barat was elected by a bare majority of one; for a party had already been formed under sinister influences which was working against her and in opposition to Father Varin, and seeking to change altogether the spirit of the new institute. From this time until the year 1816 Madame Barat was merely a superior in name and by courtesy at Amiens, and she was chiefly employed in founding new houses, forming the young communities, and acquiring sanctity by the exercise of patience and humility. The new foundations were at Poitiers, Cuignières, Niort, and Dooresele near Ghent; and of course the society received a great number of new subjects, some of whom became its most distinguished members – as, for instance, Madame Duchesne, the pioneer of the mission to America, Madame de Gramont d’Aster and her two daughters, Madame Thérèse Maillucheau, Madame Bigeu, Madame Prévost, Madame Giraud, and the angelic counterpart of Saint Aloysius, Madame Aloysia Jouve. We must not pass over in silence the benediction given on two occasions by the august pontiff Pius VII. to Madame Barat and her daughters. At Lyons she had a long conversation with him, in which she explained to his great satisfaction the nature and objects of her holy work, and she also received from his hands Holy Communion. At Grenoble all the community and pupils received his benediction, and of these pupils eleven, upon whose heads his trembling hands were observed to rest with a certain special insistance, received the grace of a religious vocation. Another incident which deserves mention is the last visit of Madame Barat to her father. The strict rules of a later period not having been as yet enacted, she never failed, when passing near Joigny on her visitations, to stay for a short time with her parents, often taking with her some of the ladies of her society who were of noble or wealthy families, that she might testify before them how much she honored and loved the father and mother to whom she owed so great a debt of gratitude. On her annual fête she used to send them the bouquets which were presented to her. During her father’s last illness she came expressly to see and assist him in preparing for death, and, though obliged to bid him adieu before he had departed this life, she left him consoled and fortified by her last acts of filial affection, and he peacefully expired soon after her departure from Joigny, on the 25th of June 1809.
At the first council the spirit of disunion already alluded to prevented Father Varin and Madame Barat from undertaking the work of preparing constitutions for the society. A brief and simple programme of a rule was drawn up and approved by the bishops under whose jurisdiction the houses were placed, and Madame Barat became herself the living rule and model, on which her subjects and novices were formed. Father Varin had resigned his office of superior when Madame Barat was formally elected by the council of professed members their superior-general. Another ecclesiastic of very different spirit, who was the confessor of the community and the school at Amiens, M. l’Abbé de Saint Estéve, was ambitious of the honor and influence which justly belonged to Father Varin. He obtained a complete dominion at Amiens by means of Madame de Baudemont, a former Clarissine, who was gained over by his adroit flattery and artful encouragement of the love of sway and pre-eminence which her commanding talents, her former conventual experience, and her mature age, together with the advantage of her position as local superior, entrusted to her against Father Varin’s advice, gave a too favorable opportunity of development. M. de Saint Estéve arrogated to himself the title of founder of the society, and planned an entire reconstitution of the same under the bizarre title of Apostolines, and with a set of rules which would have made an essential alteration of the institute established by Father Varin. All the other houses besides Amiens were in dismay and alarm. Madame Penaranda, a lady of Spanish extraction, descended from the family of Saint Francis Borgia, who was superior at Ghent, separated her house from the society by the authority of the bishop of the diocese. She returned, however, some years later, with seventeen of her companions, to the Society of the Sacred Heart.
In the meantime the Society of Jesus had been re-established and the Society of the Fathers of the Holy Faith was dissolved, most of its members entering the Jesuit Order as novices. Father de Clorivière was provincial in France, and Madame Barat, encouraged by the advice and sympathy of wise and holy men, waited patiently and meekly for the time of her liberation from the schemes of a plausible and designing enemy who had crept under a false guise into her fold. This was accomplished through a most singular act of criminal and audacious folly on the part of M. de Saint Estéve. Having gone to Rome as secretary to the French Legation, in order to further his intrigue by false representations at the Papal Court, he was led by his insane ambition, in default of any other means of success, to forge a letter from the provincial of the Jesuits of Italy to Madame Barat, instructing her to submit herself to the new arrangements of M. de Saint Estéve, which he declared had been approved by the Holy See. In this crisis Madame Barat submitted with perfect obedience to what she supposed was an order from the supreme authority in the church, and counselled her daughters to imitate her example. Very soon the imposture was discovered. Mesdames de Baudemont, de Sambucy, and Coppina left the society and went to join another in Rome, and the rest of the disaffected members of the community at Amiens, although not immediately pacified, made no serious opposition to Madame Barat, and not long after were so completely reconciled to her that all trace of disunion vanished. There being now no obstacle in the way of forming the constitutions, a council was summoned to meet in Paris, at a suitable place provided by Madame de Gramont d’Aster, and its issue was most successful. It assembled on the Feast of All Saints, 1815, and in the chapel which was used for the occasion was placed the statue of Our Lady before which Saint Francis de Sales, when a young student, had been delivered from the terrible temptation to despair which is related in his biography. It was composed of the Reverend Mothers Barat, Desmarquest, Deshayes, Bigeu, Duchesne, Geoffroy, Giraud, Girard, and Eugénie de Gramont. Father de Clorivière presided over it, and Fathers Varin and Druilhet, previously appointed by him to draw up the constitutions, were present to read, explain, and propose them to the discussion and vote of the council. The whole work was completed in six weeks. The Reverend Mothers Bigeu, de Charbonnel, Grosier, Desmarquest, Geoffroy, and Eugénie de Gramont were elected as the six members of the permanent council of the superior-general, arrangements were made for establishing a general novitiate in Paris, the society was placed under the government of the Archbishop of Rheims as ecclesiastical superior, who delegated his functions to the Abbé Pereau, a solemn ceremony closed the sessions on the 16th of December, and early in January the reverend mothers returned to their respective residences. The constitutions were received with unanimous contentment in all the houses, including Amiens, approved by the bishops in whose dioceses these houses existed, and, finally, a letter of congratulation, expressed in the most kind and paternal terms, was received from his Holiness Pope Pius VII. From this period the authority of Madame Barat was fully established and recognized, harmony and peace reigned within the society, and a new era of extension began which has continued to the present time. The society with its constitutions was solemnly approved by Leo XII. in a brief dated December 22, 1826, which was received at Paris in February, 1827, during a session of the council. By the authority of the Holy See an additional vow of stability was prescribed for the professed, and the dispensation from this vow reserved to the pope. The rules were made more strict in several respects, and a cardinal protector was substituted for the ecclesiastical superior. The royal approbation for France was at this time also solicited, and granted by Charles X., then reigning. In 1839 another effort was made to give a still greater perfection to the statutes and to provide for the more efficacious government of the institute, now become too great for the immediate government of the superior-general, by a division into provinces under provincial superiors.
At this time the society passed through another dangerous crisis, and for four years was in a disturbed state which gave great anxiety to the Rev. Mother Barat, diminished seriously her influence over her subjects, and even occasioned a menace of suppression in France to be intimated by the government. The cause of this trouble was an effort made by a number of persons both within and without the society to transfer the residence of the superior-general to Rome, and to modify the rules in a way to make the society as far as possible a complete counterpart of the Society of Jesus. In 1843 this difficulty was finally settled by the authority of the Sovereign Pontiff, who annulled all the acts and decrees which had been passed in the councils of the society looking towards innovation, and determined that the residence of the superior-general should not be removed from France. Happily, not a house, or even a single member, was separated from the society by this disturbance, and when it passed by the venerable and holy foundress was more revered and loved than ever before, and her gentle but strong sway over the vast family which she governed was confirmed for ever, never again to suffer diminution. Some of the proposed changes were, however, absolutely necessary for the order and well-being of the society, and were provided for in the year 1850 by Pius IX., who decreed the establishment of provinces under the name of vicariates, each one to be governed by the superior of its mother-house with the rank and title of superior-vicar, subject to the supreme authority of the superior-general. At the close of Madame Barat’s administration, which ended only with her life, on Ascension Thursday, 1865, there were fifteen vicariates. Since then the number has been increased. There are three in the United States, one in British America, one in Spanish America; and in these five vicariates there are about eleven hundred religious of the first and second profession, including lay sisters. The number of houses in various parts of the world is about one hundred, and the total number of members four thousand. Madame Barat herself founded one hundred and fifteen houses, and many others have been established since her death. But of these some have been suppressed in Italy and Germany, and others were given up or transferred by the superiors of the order. Madame Goëtz, who was vicar-general to Madame Barat during the last year of her life, succeeded her as superior-general, and was succeeded after her own death, in 1874, by Madame Lehon, the present superior-general.
Our limits will not permit even a succinct narrative of the events which filled up the half-century during which Madame Barat governed the Society of the Sacred Heart, from the memorable council of 1815 until 1865. We cannot omit, however, some brief notice of the foundation of the American mission and the ladies who were sent over to establish it. The first American colony was composed of three ladies and two lay sisters: Madame Duchesne, Madame Audé, Madame Berthold, Sister Catharine Lamarre, and Sister Marguérite Manteau. Madame Philippine Duchesne was a native of Grenoble, where she received an accomplished education, first at the Visitation convent of Sainte-Marie-d’en-Haut, and afterwards under private tutors in the same class with her cousins, Augustin and Casimir Périer. At the age of eighteen she entered the Visitation convent as a novice, but was prevented by the suppression of the religious orders in France from making her vows. During the dark days of the Revolution her conduct was that of a heroine. After the end of the Reign of Terror she rented the ancient convent above mentioned, and for several years maintained there an asylum for religious women with a small boarding-school for girls, waiting for an opportunity to establish a regular religious house. Her desire was accomplished when Madame Barat accepted the offer which was made to her to receive Madame Duchesne and her companions into the Society of the Sacred Heart, and to found the second house of her society in the old monastery of Ste.-Marie-d’en-Haut. Madame Duchesne had felt an impulse for the arduous vocation of a missionary since the time when she was eight years old, and this desire had continually increased, notwithstanding the apparent improbability of its ever finding scope within the limits of her vocation. She was about forty-eight years of age when she was entrusted with the American mission, and lived for thirty-four years in this country, leaving after her the reputation of exalted and really apostolic sanctity. Madame Eugénie Audé had been much fascinated by the gay world in her early youth, and her conversion was remarkable. Returning one evening from a soirée, as she went before a mirror in her boudoir, she saw there, instead of her own graceful and richly-attired figure, the face of Jesus Christ as represented in the Ecce Homo. From that moment she renounced her worldly life, and soon entered the novitiate at Grenoble as a postulant. Even there, her historian relates, “on souriait de ses manières mondaines, de ses belles salutations, de ses trois toilettes par jour! Même sous le voile de novice qu’elle portait maintenant, elle laissait voir encore, pas sans complaisance, l’élégance de sa taille et les avantages de sa personne. On ne tardera pas à voir ce que cette âme de jeune fille changée en âme d’apôtre était capable d’entreprendre pour Dieu et le prochain.” This great change was wrought in her soul during a retreat given by Père Roger on the opening of the general novitiate at Paris during November, 1816. When called to join Madame Duchesne two years later, she was twenty-four years of age, and, after a long period of service in the United States, was finally elected an assistant general and recalled to France. Madame Octavie Berthold was the daughter of an infidel philosopher who had been Voltaire’s secretary. She was herself educated as a Protestant, was converted to the faith when about twenty years of age, and soon after entered the novitiate at Grenoble. She volunteered for the American mission, animated by a desire to prove her gratitude to our Lord for the grace of conversion, and was at this time about thirty years of age. “Caractère sympathique, cœur profondément devouée, intelligence ornée, spécialement versée dans la connaissance des langues étrangères, Mme Octavie était fort aimée au pensionnat de Paris.”
Monsignor Dubourg, Bishop of New Orleans, was the prelate who introduced the Ladies of the Sacred Heart into the United States. It was during the year 1817 that the arrangements were completed at Paris. On the 21st of March, 1818, the five religious above mentioned embarked at Bordeaux on the Rebecca, and on the 29th of May, which was that year the Feast of the Sacred Heart, they landed at New Orleans, where they were received as the guests of the Ursulines in their magnificent convent. Their own first residence at Saint Charles, in the present diocese of Saint Louis, was as different as possible from this noble religious house, and from those which have since that time been founded by the successors of these first colonists. Madame Duchesne, in her visions of missionary and apostolic life, never dreamed of those religious houses, novitiates, and pensionates, rivalling the splendid establishments of Europe, which we now see at Saint Louis, Manhattanville, Kenwood, and Eden Hall. Her aspirations were entirely for labor among the Indians and negroes, and, to a considerable extent, they were satisfied. She began with the most arduous and self-sacrificing labors upon the roughest and most untilled soil of Bishop Dubourg’s diocese, and one of her last acts was to go on a mission among the Pottawattomies, from which she was only taken by the force of Archbishop Kenrick’s authority a little before her death. The present flourishing condition of the two vicariates of New Orleans and Saint Louis is well known to all our readers. The foundation at New York was due to the enlightened zeal of the late illustrious Archbishop Hughes, although the first idea originated in the mind of Madame Barat many years before. In the year 1840 the celebrated Russian convert, Madame Elizabeth Gallitzin, a cousin of Prince Gallitzin the priest of Loretto, and assistant general for America to Madame Barat, was sent over to establish this foundation and to make a general visitation, in the course of which she died suddenly of yellow fever at Saint Michel, on the 14th of November, 1842.
The first residence in New York was the present convent of the Sisters of Mercy in Houston Street, from which it was removed, first to Astoria, and afterwards to the Lorillard estate in Manhattanville, where is now the centre of an extensive vicariate comprising eight houses in the States of New York, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Michigan, about five hundred religious, a novitiate containing at this moment forty-eight novices exclusive of postulants, and flourishing schools both for the education of young ladies and the instruction of the children of those parishes which are adjacent to the several convents. It is not necessary to describe for the benefit of our American readers with more detail the history and present condition of the Society of the Sacred Heart in this country. Our European readers would no doubt be interested by such a history; but, besides the imperative reason of a want of space in the present article, there is another which imposes on us the obligation of reserve in respect to works accomplished by the living, to whom has been transmitted the humility as well as the other virtues of their holy foundress. There is one venerable lady especially, now withdrawn from the sphere of her long and active administration to a higher position in the society, who is remembered with too much gratitude by her children, and honor by all classes of Catholics in her native land, to require from our pen more than the expression of a wish and prayer, on the part of thousands whose hearts will echo our words as they read them, that she may resemble the holy mother who loved her and all her American children so tenderly, as “sa plus chère famille,” in length of days, and in the peace which closed her last evening.
We have already alluded briefly to the blessed departure of Madame Barat from the scene of labor to the glory which awaits the saints, in the eighty-sixth year of her age and the sixty-sixth of her religious life, on the Feast of the Ascension, 1865. The narrative of a few salient events in her life, and of the principal facts in the history of the foundation of the Sacred Heart, which we have thought best to present, meagre as it is, in lieu of more general observations on her character and that of her great works, for the benefit of those who cannot, at least for the present, peruse the history of M. Baunard, leaves us but little room for any such remarks. The character of this saintly woman must be studied in the details of her private and public life, and in the expression she has given to her interior spirit in the extracts from her vast correspondence published by her biographer. No one could ever take her portrait; and we are assured by one who knew her long and intimately that the one placed in front of the second volume of her life is not at all satisfactory. How can we describe, then, such a delicate, hidden, retiring, subtile essence as the soul of Sophie Barat in a few words, or give name to that which fascinated every one, from the little nephew Louis Dusaussoy to Frayssinous, Montalembert, and Gregory XVI..? Extreme gentleness and modesty, which, with the continual increase of grace, become the most perfect and admirable humility, were the basis of her natural character and of her acquired sanctity. In the beginning her modesty was attended by an excessive timidity, so that Father Varin gave her the name of “trembleuse perpetuelle.” This was supplanted by that generous, affectionate confidence in God which shone out so luminously in the great trials of her career. In all things, and always, Madame Barat was exquisitely feminine. She conquered and ruled by love, and this sway extended over all, from the smallest children to the most energetic, commanding, impetuous, and able of the highly-born, accomplished, and in every sense remarkable women who were under her government in the society, to women of the world, to old men and young men, to servants, the poor, fierce soldiers and revolutionists, and even to irrational creatures. With this feminine delicacy and gentleness there was a virile force and administrative ability, a firmness and intrepidity, which made her capable of everything and afraid of nothing. Her writings display a fire of eloquence which may be truly called apostolic, and would be admired in the mouth of an apostolic preacher. Besides the great labors that she accomplished in the foundation and visitation of her numerous houses, and in the government of her vast society, Madame Barat went through several most severe and dangerous illnesses, beginning with one which threatened her life in the first years at Amiens; and was frequently brought, to all appearance, to the very gates of death. Besides these sufferings, and the great privations which were often endured during the first period of new foundations, she practised austerities and penances of great severity, to the utmost limit permitted by obedience to her directors. With her wonderful activity she united the spirit of a contemplative; and there are not wanting many evidences of supernatural gifts of an extraordinary kind, or proofs of her power with God after her death. Mgr. Parisis has publicly declared that her life was one of the great events of this century, and comparable to those of Saint Dominic, Saint Francis of Assisi, Saint Catharine of Siena, and Saint Teresa. There is but one, universal sentiment in respect of her sanctity, and one, unanimous desire that the seal of canonization may be placed upon it by the successor of Saint Peter. A prayer under her invocation has been already sanctioned by Pius IX., and the cause of her beatification has been introduced, the issue of which we await, in the hope that we may one day be permitted and commanded to honor the modest little Sophie Barat of Joigny – who went away weeping in the coach to Paris at sixteen to found one of the greatest orders of the world – under the most beautiful and appropriate title of Sancta Sophia.
When we consider the work of Madame Barat as distinct from her personal history, we observe some peculiar and remarkable features marking its rise and growth. It came forth from the fiery, bloody baptism of the French Revolution as a work of regeneration and restoration. Many of its first members had been through an experience of danger, suffering, and heroic adventure which had given them an intrepidity of character proof against every kind of trial. The stamp thus given to the society at the outset was that of generous loyalty to the Holy See, and uncompromising hostility to the spirit and maxims of the Revolution.
Another fact worthy of notice is that so many small communities, private institutes for education, and persons living a very devout and zealous life in the world, were scattered about the territory over which the destructive tornado of revolution had passed, ready to be incorporated into the Society of the Sacred Heart, and furnishing the means of a rapid growth and extension.
New orders are not absolutely new creations. They spring from those previously existing, and are affiliated with each other more or less closely, notwithstanding their differences. Many of the first members of the Society of the Sacred Heart had been previously inclined to the orders of Mt. Carmel and the Visitation. The spirit of the Carmelite Order was largely inherited by the new society, and from the Order of the Visitation the special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus was received by the same transmission of mystic life. The organization was produced by the engrafting of the principles of the constitutions of Saint Ignatius on the new and vigorous stock. From this blending and composition sprang forth the new essence with its own special notes, its original force, and its distinct sphere of operation. Cardinal Racanati thus expresses his judgment of its excellence: “My duty has obliged me to read the constitutions of almost all ancient and modern orders. All are beautiful, admirable, marked with the signet of God. But this one appears to me to excel among all the others, because it contains the essence of religious perfection, and is at the same time a masterpiece of unity. The Sacred Heart of Jesus is at once the pivot around which everything moves, and the end in which everything results.” Pope Gregory XVI.. said that the Rule of the Sacred Heart was in every part the work of God. Although not an exact counterpart of the Society of Jesus, the Society of the Sacred Heart is nevertheless, in its government and method of discipline, modelled after a similar type, with equally efficacious means for producing in its subjects, in a manner proportionate to their feminine character, all the highest religious virtues of the mixed state of action and contemplation. The only important differences between the Society of the Sacred Heart and the older orders of women are the absence of the interior cloister and of the solemn vows. The first, which is obviously an advantage considering the nature of the occupations in which the Ladies of the Sacred Heart are engaged, is compensated for by the extreme strictness of the rules governing their conduct in regard to intercourse with the world, and the obligation of going at a moment’s warning to any house, in any part of the world, where they may be ordered by the superiors. In respect to the second, as the final vows can only be dispensed by the pope, the completeness and sacredness of the oblation for life are not diminished, but only a prudent provision for extraordinary cases secured by the wisdom of the Holy See, which is beneficial both to the order and its individual members. In respect to poverty, self-denial, regularity, and all that belongs to the beautiful order of conventual life, the written rule of the Sacred Heart, which is actually observed in practice, is not behind those of the more ancient orders. In respect to the extent and strictness of the law of obedience, it is pre-eminent among all, and its admirable organization may justly be compared to that acknowledged masterpiece of religious polity, the Institute of Saint Ignatius. The more humble occupations to which so many admirable religious women in various orders and congregations devote themselves form an integral part of the active duties of the society. A large portion of its members are lay sisters, and a great number of the religious of the choir are engaged in the instruction of poor children or domestic duties which have no exterior éclat. The specific work of the society is of course the education of young ladies, with the ulterior end of diffusing and sustaining Catholic principles and Catholic piety, through the instrumentality of the élèves of the Sacred Heart, among the higher classes of society. There cannot be a nobler work than this, or a more truly apostolic vocation, within the sphere to which woman is limited by the law of God, human nature, and the constitution of Christian society. What an immense power has been exerted by the daughters of Madame Barat in this way as the auxiliaries of the hierarchy and the sacerdotal order in the church, is best proved by the persecutions they have sustained from the anti-Catholic party in Europe, and the fear they have inspired in the bosoms of tyrannical statesmen like Prince Bismarck, who tremble with apprehension before the banner of the Sacred Heart, though followed only by a troop of modest virgins. It is after all not strange. The women of the revolution are more terrible than furies led on by Alecto and Tisiphone. Why should not the virgins of the Catholic army resemble their Queen, who is “terrible as an army set in array”?
It is with great regret that we abstain from setting forth the enlightened, sound, and thoroughly Christian ideas of Madame Barat, and the various councils over which she presided, in respect to the education of Catholic girls in our age. We are obliged also to omit noticing the charming sketches given in the book before us of the first pupils of the Sacred Heart, and the noble part which so many of them played afterwards in the world. We must close with a few words on the merit of the Abbé Baunard’s work, and an expression of gratitude to the distinguished ecclesiastic who has furnished us so much pleasure and edification at a cost of such very great labor to himself. He has been fortunate in his subject and the wealth of authentic materials furnished him for fulfilling his honorable and arduous task. His illustrious subject has been fortunate in her biographer. The History of Madame Barat deserves to be ranked with Mother Chauguy’s Life of Saint Frances de Chantal and M. Hamon’s Life of Saint Francis de Sales. We trust that an abridged life by a competent hand may furnish those who cannot afford so costly a book, or read one so large, with the means of knowing the character and history of the Teresa of our century. There are also materials for other histories and biographies of great interest and utility in the rich, varied contents of this most admirable and charming work, which we hope may not be neglected.
– text from , 1876
SOURCE : https://catholicsaints.info/the-life-and-work-of-madame-barat/
Illustrated Catholic Family Annual – Madame Barat
Madeleine Louise Sophie Barat, the foundress of the Society of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart, was born in the village of Joigny, in Burgundy, on 12 December 1779. The child of parents in a very humble rank of life, she was destined by Divine Providence to become the spiritual mother of perhaps the most flourishing of modern religious societies, and one whose specific work was to be that of educating young ladies belonging to the higher classes of society. The training which fitted her for this end was peculiar. Her only brother, Louis Barat, eleven years her senior, and an ecclesiastical student, was obliged to leave the seminary during the persecutions which the Church underwent in 1789 and the succeeding years, and on returning home was so much struck by the fine qualities and precocious intelligence which he noted in his little sister, that ho resolved to devote himself to the work of her education. Under his kind but often severe training Sophie passed nearly ten years, learning Latin, Greek, Spanish, Italian, studying the sciences, and becoming familiar with Holy Scripture and the writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. When she was sixteen her brother was ordained, and she went to live with him in Paris. In her twentieth year she made the acquaintance of Father Varin, at that lime a member of a society called by the name of the Sacred Heart, but who later entered the Society of Jesus at the time of its rc-cstablishment. Her vocation to the religious life had been marked, even from her earliest childhood, but up to this time her inclinations had seemed to turn in the direction of the Carmelite cloister. Father Varin, to whom the idea of a religious order of women devoted to the propaga tion of devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the higher education of girls had been bequeathed by the saintly Father de Tournely, asked her to consider seriously whether it were the will of God that so exceptional a training and so many gifts as had been bestowed upon her should not be used for the benefit of others. His own views as to her vocation were clear. Ho had discerned in her the qualities necessary for a foundress, and recognized in the providential development they had received clear indications of the Divine will. Sophie Barat acquiesced simply in a decision which seemed to run counter to her own attraction for the hidden life, and patiently continued the work of teaching, which, with two or three companions, she had already begun. On 21 November 1800, the Feast of Our Lady’s Presentation, the foundation of the Society of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart was laid at Paris, when Sophie, with three companions, pronounced the act of consecration to that Divine Heart in a little chapel in the house where they lived, and afterwards received communion. The first house of the society was. however, founded at Amiens in 1801, when a small school for young ladies, already established in that town, was transferred to its care. In 1802, shortly after her twenty-third birthday, Madame Barat was elected superior of the community in which she was the youngest and the humblest member. She retained this office from that period until her death, in her eighty-sixth year, in 1865. Sixty-six years of this long and fruitful life had been passed in religion. Before it closed Madame Barat had seen her institute solemnly approved at Rome by three successive Pontiffs, had herself founded one hundred and fifteen houses in various parts of Europe, and had sent her daughters to establish others in the New World. At her death the society was divided into fifteen vicariates, each ruled by a superior-vicar, subject to the authority of the superior-general, who always has her residence in Paris. Since then this number has been increased. In 1876 there were three in the United States, one in British America, and one in Spanish America, containing over eleven hundred religious. The number of houses in all parts of the world at present is over one hundred, and the total number of members upwards of four thousand. Madame Barat was succeeded in the office of superior-general by Madame Goetz, who died in 1874 and was replaced by the present head, Madame Lehon.
The first American mission of this society was founded at Saint Charles, in the diocese of Saint Louis, at the instance of Bishop Dubourg, of New Orleans – the prelate who gave the suggestion which resulted at Lyons, France, in the foundation of that greatest of good works, the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. Its first superior was Madame Philippine Duchesne, a heroic and saintly soul, who stands in the annals of the Society of the Sacred Heart second only to its founder. At Saint Charles the society at first devoted itself to the care of the Indians and negroes. The two vicariates of New Orleans and Saint Louis are now in a most flourishing condition. That of New York, which has its novitiate at Kenwood, near Albany, comprises eight houses in the States of New York, Rhode Island, Ohio, and Michigan, upwards of five hundred religious, many novices and postulants, and flourishing schools, both for the education of young ladies and the training of poor children.
The cause of Madame Barat’s beatification has already been introduced at Koine, and a prayer under her invocation, which was sanctioned by the late revered Pontiff, Pius IX, is widely used. Concerning her sanctity there is but one sentiment, and it is hoped and believed that it will yet receive the seal of canonization.
“Madame Barat”. , 1879. CatholicSaints.Info. 12 January 2017. Web. 25 May 2022. <https://catholicsaints.info/illustrated-catholic-family-annual-madame-barat/>
SOURCE : https://catholicsaints.info/illustrated-catholic-family-annual-madame-barat/
The Holiness of the Church in the Nineteenth Century – Blessed Madeleine Sophie Barat
If one desires to see the spirit of a Saint Teresa alive in the nineteenth century, let him read the admirable life of the Blessed Madeleine Sophie Barat. He will be placed face to face, as it were, with proof that eminent sanctity is now found in the Church just as in ages past. She was born of simple but truly Christian parents on 12 December 1779, at Joigny in Burgundy. The Reign of Terror brought bitter grief to the Barat family. Their son Louis, then a deacon, was imprisoned in the Conciergerie in 1793 and only the fall of Robespierre saved him from the guillotine. When Louis was ordained to the priesthood he brought his sister Sophie, eleven years younger than himself, to Paris. He took upon himself her spiritual guidance and wisely and skilfully made her familiar with the principles of Christian asceticism. It was at Paris, the center of the Revolution, that the Blessed Sophie was to found a religious Society for the restoration and defense of the Kingdom of God. The devout Father Varin, superior of the Fathers of the Faith, directed her attention to the needs of the Church and to the misery of so many immortal souls that do not love Him whose love is alone able to give them happiness. He enkindled in her a zeal for souls which was to burn ever more strongly into the days of her old age, and which neither sorrow nor a great flood of bitter trials would succeed in extinguishing. On 21 November 1800, Sophie Barat, with several companions, solemnly consecrated herself to the Sacred Heart. Two years later she was allowed to take the vows of her Society and was obliged to assume the office of superior, which she filled for sixty-two years.
But it was a heavy and sharp-edged cross that was laid upon her shoulders. In the beginning God permitted that the Society of the Sacred Heart should be very severely tried, and this no one felt more keenly than the superior-general. But, as the cold, dull iron sparkles more brightly with light and glow the more it is penetrated by the fire of the forge, so in this fiery trial of suffering the splendid features of the founder’s character and her unshakable confidence in God triumphed; and it was her consolation to see her Society spread over the whole world, with nearly 4000 Religious calling themselves her daughters.
Her life was a living and active faith. The truths of faith were her consolation in all reverses of fortune. They alone decided her resolutions. This spirit of faith was so strong in her that it was endowed by God with the gift of miracles. She was also endowed with remarkable enlightenment, prudence, and a farsighted and intimate understanding of the times. There was nothing extravagant in her conduct. Her chief interest was centered in what the Divine Heart so much desires – the honor of the Heavenly Father, or what is practically the same, the salvation of immortal souls. Seeing that especially among the ranks of the wealthy many are alienated from God at an early age, Mother Barat made it a chief aim of her Society to impart to young ladies a good Christian education. As an excellent means toward the realization of this end she encouraged retreats and endeavored to procure that as many as possible might profit by this means of regeneration for mind and heart. Extraordinary favors from heaven were numerous during her life-time. She had marvelous success in converting obstinate sinners. Very remarkable are the miracles which took place after her death. Twenty-eight years later her body was found to be incorrupt although the coffin was decayed. Nearly one hundred miracles are recorded in detail in the acts of her beatification. She was declared Blessed in 1908, although her death had occurred on 25 May 1865. But God intends for her even higher exaltation. Since her beatification she has further manifested her power to work miracles and the process of her canonization has already been begun.
– this text is taken from , by Father Constantine Kempf, SJ; translated from the German by Father Francis Breymann, SJ; Impimatur by + Cardinal John Farley, Archbishop of New York, 25 September 1916
SOURCE : https://catholicsaints.info/the-holiness-of-the-church-in-the-nineteenth-century-blessed-madeleine-sophie-barat/
Book of Saints – Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat
Madeleine was born in France in 1779. In Paris, she met Father Joseph Varin, who wanted to found a congregation of women devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and dedicated to the education of girls.
On 21 November 1800, she and three other postulants began their religious life. The following year she was sent to Amiens to teach in a school. Although she was only twenty-three, Madeleine Sophie was appointed superior and held that office for sixty-three years as Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
Madeleine Sophie built one hundred and five houses in the principal countries of the world, including the United States. She admonished her Sisters to seek the glory of the Heart of Jesus in laboring for the saving of souls. Her motto was: “To suffer myself and not to make others suffer.”
She died at Paris on 25 May 1865. She was canonized 24 May 1925.
Father Lawrence George Lovasik, S.V.D.. “Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat”. . CatholicSaints.Info. 8 January 2019. Web. 25 May 2022. <https://catholicsaints.info/book-of-saints-saint-madeleine-sophie-barat/>
SOURCE : https://catholicsaints.info/book-of-saints-saint-madeleine-sophie-barat/
Santa Maddalena Sofia Barat Vergine
Joigny, Borgogna, 13 dicembre 1779 - Parigi, Francia, 25 maggio 1865
Figlia di un bottaio, Maddalena Sofia Barat nacque il 13 dicembre 1779 a Joigny, presso Auxerre, nella Borgogna; morì a 86 anni nel 1865. Fondò a Parigi nel 1800 la Società del Sacro Cuore con lo scopo dell'educazione e dell'istruzione delle ragazze, specialmente dei ceti superiori; a queste scuole ella sempre annetterà alcune classi per i bambini poveri. La sua spiritualità è essenzialmente ignaziana, così come i principi della sua regola. La stessa santa spiega che "lo spirito della società è fondato essenzialmente sull'orazione e la vita interiore" e che il suo fine è di "glorificare il Sacro Cuore".
Nel corso del Giubileo del 1925 indetto da Papa Pio XI furono celebrate da marzo a giugno numerose canonizzazioni: Pietro Canisio, dottore della Chiesa; Teresa di Lisieux (o di Gesù Bambino), religiosa professa dell'Ordine del Carmelo; Maria Maddalena Postel e Maddalena Sofia Barat, due sante educatrici della gioventù.
Etimologia: Maddalena = di Magdala, villaggio della Galilea - Sofia = sapienza, saggezza, da
Martirologio Romano: A Parigi in Francia, santa Maddalena Sofia Barat, vergine, che fondò la Società del Sacro Cuore di Gesù e si adoperò molto per la formazione cristiana delle giovani.
Maddalena Sofia Barat è una straordinaria testimone della vitalità della Chiesa all’indomani della Rivoluzione Francese. Ultima di tre figli, nacque nella famiglia, molto religiosa e modestamente agiata, di un bottaio della Borgogna, a Joigny (Auxerre), nella notte del 13 dicembre 1779. Venne alla luce mentre in una casa vicina divampava un incendio, era talmente gracile che fu battezzata il mattino seguente. Il fratello Luigi, futuro gesuita, più grande di undici anni e suo padrino di battesimo, ritenne suo dovere trasmetterle l’amore per il sapere e istruirla secondo la fede che avevano in comune. Con un metodo molto esigente, le insegnò latino, greco, storia, fisica e matematica. Nel 1793, durante il periodo del Terrore, fu però imprigionato e rischiò seriamente la ghigliottina. Libero grazie alla caduta di Robespierre, il giovane fu ordinato sacerdote nel 1795. Trasferitosi a Parigi con la sorella, continuò ad insegnarle la teologia, lo studio della Bibbia e dei Padri della Chiesa. Maddalena, apprendendo pure l’italiano e lo spagnolo, raggiunse un livello d’istruzione eccezionale per una donna di quei tempi. Nel tempo libero ricamava e insegnava clandestinamente il catechismo ai bambini del quartiere Marais. Fin da giovanissima si era imposta un’esigente disciplina spirituale con la quale maturò la decisione di vestire l’abito delle carmelitane. I disegni divini erano però differenti. Il fratello le presentò Padre Giuseppe Varin che stava ricostituendo, in Francia, la Compagnia dei Gesuiti e pensava alla riapertura delle scuole cristiane, chiuse durante la Rivoluzione. Il sacerdote vide il soggetto ideale per dar vita al suo progetto proprio in Maddalena che così, ventunenne, il 21 novembre 1800 si consacrò al Signore con tre compagne. Nasceva la Società del Sacro Cuore per l’educazione e l’istruzione femminile. La denominazione però, per motivi politici, fu ufficiale solo dal 1815.
Nel 1801 il concordato tra la Santa Sede e la Francia finalmente pose fine alle persecuzioni e Maddalena poté andare ad insegnare ad Amiens, in quella che fu poi la prima casa dell’Istituto. Nel 1804 si acquisì un ex monastero visitandino di Grenoble e, per mirabile disegno divino, suor Maddalena conobbe Filippina Duchesne (canonizzata nel 1988). La giovane, figlia di un avvocato che a causa della soppressione del convento si dedicava all’insegnamento, entrò nella Società.
Nel 1805 suor Maddalena fu eletta, a soli venticinque anni, superiora generale: ricoprirà la carica fino alla morte, spendendo tutte le energie per lo sviluppo dell’Istituto. A Poitiers, in un’antica abbazia cistercense, aprì il noviziato. Grazie alla serietà dell’insegnamento le scuole erano continuamente richieste e si moltiplicarono in pochi anni. Non mancarono le prove, a causa di problemi interni con le suore o quando dovette chiudere alcune case per le leggi anti-clericali. Con un carisma eccezionale e con la forza della preghiera, seppe valutare ogni situazione con saggezza. Convocò nella Casa Madre di Parigi tutte le superiori locali affinché venisse stabilito il programma dell’Istituto e, con lungimiranza, si approvarono regole anche per le necessità mutevoli dei tempi. Nel 1831 Madre Maddalena scrisse a S. Filippina: ”i tempi cambiano ed anche noi dobbiamo cambiare il nostro modo di essere”. I collegi erano prevalentemente per i ceti agiati ma affiancati da classi di bambini poveri e da laboratori di cucito. Con i proventi delle prime si finanziavano le seconde.
Madre Barat viaggiò instancabilmente su e giù per la Francia e in molti paesi europei. Trattò con personalità, negoziò, comprò, costruì e cedette case, a volte in contesti ostili. Ne fondò in Svizzera, Inghilterra, Austria, Italia, Irlanda, Belgio, Spagna, Olanda, Germania, Polonia e pure in Algeria. Si recò tre volte a Roma e a Torino (1823) collaborò con Tancredi e Giulia di Barolo, anch’essi impegnati nella istruzione della gioventù. Per merito di S. Filippina, nel 1818, l’Istituto andò oltre oceano, in America del Nord, e in condizioni durissime raggiunse persino le tribù Potawatomi.
L’epistolario della Fondatrice conta migliaia di lettere, spesso scritte durante i viaggi: con esse guidava le suore sparse per il mondo. Affermava: “ il troppo lavoro è un pericolo per un’anima incompleta, per chi ama Nostro Signore esso è un abbondante raccolto”. Madre Barat diede vita complessivamente a centocinque case. Nel dicembre del 1826 la Società ebbe, con una celerità inusuale, l’approvazione pontificia di Leone XII.
La spiritualità di S. Maddalena Sofia era ispirata a S. Ignazio di Loyola e alla devozione al Sacro Cuore. Diceva: “Questa piccola Società è tutta consacrata alla gloria del Sacro Cuore di Gesù e alla propagazione del suo culto; tale è il fine che devono prefiggersi tutte quelle che ne diverranno membri”, “lo spirito della Società è fondato essenzialmente sull’orazione e la vita interiore”. Compito principale è l’educazione della gioventù per “rifare nelle anime i fondamenti solidi della fede nell’Eucaristia ed allevare una folla di adoratrici”. Venerava la Vergine Maria, “Mater Admirabilis”, guardando al suo “Cuore Immacolato” che svela i tesori della vita interiore e come “Madre Addolorata”, per restare “fedeli e calme ai piedi della Croce”. Dal carattere garbato e imparziale, fu perseverante nelle grandi fatiche che dovette affrontare. Ebbe il merito di istruire le donne, in un contesto sociale rinnovato, quando la cultura era prerogativa maschile.
Nel 1864, ormai ottantacinquenne, voleva dimettersi ma le suore non rinunciarono alla sua guida. Le fu affiancata una vicaria. L’anno successivo fu colpita da una paralisi nella Casa Madre di Parigi. Spirò il 25 maggio 1865, festa dell’Ascensione del Signore. Per umiltà non aveva mai acconsentito ad un ritratto che fu dunque fatto sul letto di morte. La congregazione contava tremilacinquecento suore, in sedici paesi.
Papa Pio XI la canonizzò durante il Giubileo del 1925. Il suo corpo,
trovato incorrotto nel 1893, fu traslato nel 1904 in Belgio (a Jette), a
seguito dell’espulsione delle religiose dalla Francia. Dal 1998 è a Bruxelles,
mentre le sue figlie sono oggi presenti in tutti i continenti per educare i
giovani, nei grandi centri come nei piccoli villaggi.
O Santa Maddalena Sofia,
che foste scelta da Dio in modo ammirabile per far conoscere
ed amare il Divin Cuore di Gesù
e compiste così fedelmente questa missione,
gradite oggi l’omaggio della nostra fiducia e delle nostre preghiere.
Guidateci nella via della dolcezza e dell’umiltà,
infiammate i nostri cuori dello zelo da cui il vostro fu consumato,
proteggeteci sempre affinché meritiamo di vedere un giorno
i nostri nomi scritti in quel Cuore Sacratissimo
e di fare in Lui solo la nostra dimora, nel tempo
Autore: Daniele Bolognini
SOURCE : http://www.santiebeati.it/dettaglio/33050
Autel et châsse de sainte Madeleine-Sophie Barat en la chapelle du Sacré-Cœur de Jette, vers 1970
Den hellige Magdalena Sofia Barat (1779-1865)
Minnedag: 25. mai
Den hellige Magdalena Sofia Barat (fr: Madeleine-Sophie) ble født den 12. desember 1779 i landsbyen Joigny nord for Auxerre i departementet Yonne i Burgund i Frankrike. Hun var yngste datter av tønnemakeren Jacques Barat, som hadde en liten vingård, og hans hustru Madeleine Foufé. Hun ble døpt dagen etter og hennes elleve år eldre bror Louis var hennes gudfar. I tillegg hadde hun søsteren Marie-Louise, som også var mye eldre enn henne. Hun ble bare kalt Sofia, trolig for å unngå sammenligning med moren. På grunn av sin modenhet og alvor fikk hun tillatelse til å få sin første kommunion lenge før sine jevnaldrende.
Da broren Louis som 22-åring var ferdig med seminaret i Sens, var han for ung til å prestevies, og han kom som diakon til Joigny for å undervise på kollegiet der. Da mente han at det var hans plikt å undervise henne som guttene på kollegiet i latin, gresk, historie, fysikk og matematikk, spansk og italiensk, uten avbrudd og uten kameratskap. Louis ville også undertrykke søsterens følelser, og han bebreidet og straffet henne i stedet for å rose henne. Hans strenghet mot sin søster virker både merkelig og unormal. Men til tross for, eller på grunn av, denne behandlingen utviklet hun en kjærlighet til lærdom og til en sunn oppdragelse. Raskt ble hun en av brorens beste elever, og de greske og latinske klassikerne leste hun snart bedre enn elevene på seminaret.
Under Den franske revolusjon ble Louis arrestert av Jakobinerne under Terrorregimet i 1793 og brakt til Paris. Han hadde avlagt eden på Sivilkonstitusjonen for presteskapet etter råd fra Biskopen av Sens – han kunne ikke vite at biskopen skulle bli jakobiner og ateist. Men straks eden var blitt fordømt av paven, trakk mange den tilbake, inkludert Louis. Hele tiden i fengselet hadde han trusselen om døden hengende over seg. Etter Robespierres fall to år senere fikk han sin frihet tilbake, ble presteviet og vendte tilbake til Joigny.
Der var Sofia vokst opp til en sjarmerende og livlig jente, sine foreldres øyensten og sentrum for en beundrende krets av venner. For Louis virket det som om det var en reell fare for at hun skulle miste det kallet til et religiøst liv som hun tidligere hadde følt. Han bestemte seg for å ta med seg Sofia til Paris for å fortsette hennes utdannelse der. Fra hun var 15 år var Bibelen, kirkefedrene og teologi hennes hovedfag i tillegg til bot og selvransakelse. Vi blir fortalt at hun aksepterte alt dette med «munter resignasjon».
I Paris lærte den 16-årige jenta i 1795 å kjenne abbé (pater) Joseph Varin de Solmon. Han var superior for «Foreningen for Jesu Hjerte» (Sacré-Coeur), som Louis tilhørte og som var oppstått blant en gruppe unge seminarister på Saint-Sulpice i Paris med p. Varin og Leonor de Tournely i spissen. De arbeidet for at jesuittene igjen skulle tillates etter at de var blitt forbudt 30 år tidligere av pave Klemens XIV (1769-74), og både Louis og p. Varin ble senere jesuitter da ordenen igjen ble tillatt. De Tournely hadde planer om å danne en parallell gruppe for kvinner som kunne ta seg av utdannelsen av jenter, men han døde i en koppeepidemi bare tretti år gammel.
P. Varin ble tiltalt av Sofias dyder og hennes tillit til Gud, og han observerte hvordan hun i de følgende årene for å lindre den herskende prestenøden virket som hjelpekateket og underviste forsømte unge. Etter stengingen av mange kristne skoler under revolusjonen spurte mange seg hvordan de unge skulle få sin utdannelse.
Sofia ønsket å en dag bli legsøster hos karmelittene, men p. Varin forsto at hun ikke var egnet til dette livet. Han hadde alltid hatt lyst til å grunnlegge en orden for oppdragelse av jenter i faresonen, med konstitusjoner bygd på jesuittordenens, og i Sofia Barat så han den egnede personligheten som kunne sette denne drømmen ut i livet. Sofia lot seg overtale, og den 21. november 1800 viet hun seg sammen med tre ledsagere til Jesu hellige Hjerte. Dette regnes som grunnleggelsesdatoen for hennes kongregasjon.
I september 1801 ble Sofia sendt for å undervise ved en skole i Amiens, og dette ble det første huset i det nye instituttet. Det var politisk umulig å ta navnet Selskapet av Jesu hellige Hjerte, så medlemmene var kjent som Dames de la Foi eller de l'Instruction Chrétienne. Med fornyet hjelp av Varin grunnla Sofia i 1802 kongregasjonen Dames du Sacré Coeur eller «Selskapet av Jesu hellige Hjerte» (Societas Religiosarum Sanctissimi Cordis Iesu – RSCJ). Hun tok selv navnet Moder Magdalena (Mère Madeleine) da hun ble ikledd ordensdrakten den 7. juni 1802 sammen med Geneviève Deshayes. Ved den høytidelige ikledningen mottar søstrene i kongregasjonen en ring samt et sølvkors med ordene Cor unum et anima una in Corde Iesu, «Ett hjerte og en sjel i Jesu Hjerte», et sitat som stammer fra grunnleggersken.
Snart åpnet kongregasjonen en andre skole, denne gang en friskole for de fattige. Postulanter kom og gikk, og den første superioren, Mademoiselle Loquet, dro også til et annet sted, etter at det viste seg at hun ikke hadde evne til å styre og manglet et ekte kall. Den 23-årige Magdalena var mye yngre enn de andre søstrene, som nå var 23 i alt, men i 1802 ble hun først enstemmig, men motvillig valgt til superior og i 1806 til kongregasjonens generalsuperior. Ingen kunne da vite at hun skulle lede kongregasjonen i 63 år. Det første hun gjorde, var å knele og kysse føttene til hver enkelt søster.
Moder Magdalena var en kvinne av stor sjarm og foretaksomhet, og i begynnelsen møtte kongregasjonen mye suksess. Mange søstre trådte inn, og i november 1804 tok hun over det forlatte klosteret Sainte-Marie-d'en-Haut i Grenoble, og sammen med det noen medlemmer av en kommunitet Visitasjonssøstre grunnlagt av den hellige Frans av Sales (død 1622). En av disse var den hellige Rosa Philippine Duchesne, som skulle bringe kongregasjonen til USA i 1818. Grenoble var den første av rundt åtti grunnleggelser som Moder Barat kom til å foreta. Etter Grenoble kom Poitiers, hvor hun fikk tilbud om å få det gamle cistercienserklosteret Les Feuillantes. Der etablerte hun novisiatet, og det ble hennes hovedkvarter i to år – kanskje de lykkeligste i hennes liv. Derfra reiste hun rundt i Frankrike og Flandern og grunnla hus i Belley, Niort, Gent og Cugnières.
Men etter innledende suksess måtte Magdalena deretter i åtte år leve med store vanskeligheter innen instituttet, noe mange grunnleggere har måttet tåle. Moder Barat ble valgt til generalsuperior i 1806, men bare med en stemmes overvekt. For under et av hennes fravær hadde en lokal superior, hjulpet av den ambisiøse kapellanen i Amiens, gjort et målbevisst forsøk på å endre konstitusjonene uten konsultasjoner og i siste instans å bli kvitt grunnleggersken. Dette varte i flere år, men motstanden kollapset i 1815. Da ble kongregasjonens regler, som var skrevet av Moder Magdalena og Abbé Varin og basert på jesuittenes regel, endelig vedtatt.
Vanskelighetene ble fulgt av en periode med konsolidering og videre ekspansjon, og de lokale superiorene ble i 1820 kalt til moderhuset i Paris for å sette opp en studieplan for skolene. Det ble oppnådd enighet om de generelle prinsippene, men med åpenhet for tilpassing og videre utvikling hvert sjette år for å møte tidenes endrede behov. Kongregasjonens internatskoler i Paris ble skattet så høyt at det reiste seg sterke krav om at de måtte etterlignes andre steder. Side om side med etableringen av uavhengige kostskoler med skolepenger gikk utviklingen av skoler for de fattige, og utvilsomt gikk noe av fortjenesten fra de førstnevnte til å hjelpe de andre. Moder Magdalenas kongregasjon møtte tidens behov for et vitalt og godt utdannet korps av hengivne lærere som ble sett på som nye og uten forbindelse med noen orden under Ancien régime. Fremfor alt høyadelen sendte sine døtre til Magdalenas skoler, men også barnehjem og fattigskoler ble betrodd kongregasjonen.
De mange grunnleggelsene gjorde at Moder Barat så nødvendigheten av en sterkere garanti for enhet, og hun søkte den i union med Roma. Den høytidelige approbasjonen kom mye raskere enn normalt på grunn av et notat grunnleggersken skrev og presenterte i mai 1826 for pave Leo XII (1823-29). Kongregasjonen fikk formell pavelig godkjennelse i desember 1826. Tretten år senere var det igjen vanskeligheter rundt konstitusjonene, men disse ble igjen løst ved grunnleggerskens taktfulle rettferdighetssans og tålmodige bestemthet. Hun visste når hun skulle vente og når hun skulle presse på.
Julirevolusjonen i 1830 stengte novisiatet i Poitiers, og det ble for en tid forvist til Sveits. Men Magdalena likte å reise, og hennes eget liv var nå en sammenhengende reise: Frankrike på kryss og tvers, tre ganger til Roma og minst en gang til Sveits, England (1844) og Østerrike. Hun sa selv at hun alltid var underveis, samtidig som hun skrev brev og hele tiden travel med administrasjon eller møter med besøkende. Hun skrev til en av sine nonner at «for mye arbeid er en fare for en ufullkommen sjel, men for en som elsker Vår Herre, betyr det en rikelig høst». Instituttet spredte seg til Nord-Amerika (1818), Italia (1828), Sveits (1830), Belgia (1834), Algerie (1841), England (1842), Irland (1842), Spania (1846), Nederland (1848), Tyskland (1851), Sør-Amerika (1853), Østerrike (1853) og Polen (1857).
Hennes nonner har alltid utmerket seg ved en konstant hengivelse til barna i deres varetekt, og ikke få av dem har fulgt sin grunnleggerske i å oppnå et imponerende nivå av intellektuell styrke, om ikke ved hjelp av de samme metodene som ble utøvd av hennes bror. Imidlertid må vi huske at denne erfaringen bar uvanlig frukt i hans søsters liv og verk. Magdalena ble bevisst kvinnenes apostoliske oppgave som troens vokter og misjonær innen familien, noe som lenge var anerkjent innen den jødiske religion. Derfor grunnla hun forbundet for «Mariabarn», hvor tidligere elever kunne styrkes i sitt Gudsforhold også etter at de var ferdige på instituttet.
Magdalena levde lenge nok til å se kongregasjonen grunnlegge 105 hus med skoler i 12 land, 9 i Europa samt i Afrika og Nord- og Sør-Amerika. Kongregasjonen grunnla pensjonater, internatskoler og eksternatskoler for barn fra alle samfunnslag, gjennomførte åndelige øvelser for kvinner og utdannet lærerinner. I 1864 tryglet Moder Barat kongregasjonens generalkapittel om å få tre tilbake, men alt hun oppnådde var å at det ble valgt en vikar for å hjelpe henne.
Den 21. mai 1865 ble hun rammet av et slag og ble lammet, og på Kristi Himmelfartsdag den 25. mai 1865 døde hun i Paris, 85 år gammel. Hun ble gravlagt i novisiathuset i Conflans. Ved en rituell identifisering av hennes levninger i 1893 ble hennes legeme funnet nesten friskt og uråtnet. I 1904 ble religiøse ordener oppløst og utvist fra Frankrike, og hun ble da flyttet fra Paris den 30. april 1904 og fikk sitt siste hvilested i Jette-Saint-Pierre i nærheten av Brussel i Belgia.
I 1879 ble hennes «heroiske dyder» anerkjent og hun fikk tittelen Venerabilis («Ærverdig»). Hun ble saligkåret den 24. mai 1908 (dokumentet (Breve) var datert den 22. januar 1908) av den hellige pave Pius X (1903-14) og helligkåret den 24. mai 1925 av pave Pius XI (1922-39). Hennes minnedag er 25. mai (i noen bispedømmer 24. mai). Hennes navn står i Martyrologium Romanum. Hun fremstilles i svart ordensdrakt med hvit oval rysjelue og svart slør.
Magdalena kan betraktes som et slående eksempel på vitaliteten i Kirken i Frankrike etter den revolusjonære perioden. Hennes lange liv og mange grunnleggelser var bemerkelsesverdige uansett tidsepoke, men undervisningen, innpodet henne av broren, var basert på metoder som anses undertrykkende og foreldede i dag. Ordenen var en av de første som tillot sine medlemmer å bære sivile klær i stedet for ordensdrakt. I Sverige er hennes orden ansvarlige for driften av Johannesgården i Göteborg.
Kilder: Attwater/John, Attwater/Cumming, Farmer, Jones, Bentley, Butler, Butler (V), Benedictines, Delaney, Bunson, Day, Ball (2), Cruz (1), Jones (2), Engelhart, Schauber/Schindler, Melchers, Index99, KIR, CE, CSO, Patron Saints SQPN, Infocatho, Bautz, Heiligenlexikon, hh.schule.de - Kompilasjon og oversettelse: p. Per Einar Odden - Opprettet: 1999-08-03 19:43 - Sist oppdatert: 2005-08-24 22:51
SOURCE : http://www.katolsk.no/biografier/historisk/mbarat
Voir aussi : http://www.rscj.com/CONNAITRE/Histoire/index.php