On 21st November 1800, shortly before her 21st birthday, Sophie and a small group of friends made their first vows in Paris, and so the Society of the Sacred Heart was born. In her own heart, she had two deep desires: to lead a life of prayer, and to help the society of her day in the aftermath of war and revolution, especially through the education of the minds and hearts of girls.
Throughout her life, she opened innumerable houses in various countries. Despite frail health, Sophie overcame many difficulties and challenges. Her faith was rooted in Jesus Christ, and she had a deep desire to reveal to others the love of the Heart of Jesus, a love she herself experienced so powerfully.
Sophie's father was a vintner, and she often described this relationship with Jesus with his words in John’s gospel: "l am the Vine, you are the branches".
Madeleine Sophie Barat died on 25th May 1865 at the age of 85, leaving 3539 religious in 99 communities in Europe, N Africa, and N and S America. She was canonised in 1925, and her feast day is the 25th May.
You can read more about Sophie on her own website and on our international website.
‘In this struggle concerning education, the Heart of Jesus asks us not for our blood, but for our minds.’
‘Your example, even more than your words, will be an eloquent lesson to the world.’