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Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat: Foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart

Author: 
Marian Gabriel y Galán, RSCJ

Illustrated by Pilar Campos Fernández-Figares and translated by Kim King, RSCJ

Meet Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat, a courageous woman who founded the Society of the Sacred Heart. 

From a young child born in Joigny, France, to becoming a nun in Paris, she devoted her life to God, educating young girls and helping the poor. This inspirational children’s story is beautifully illustrated. 

Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat was born in Joigny, France. She came from a simple family that taught her to work hard and be a good person. Her brother, Louis, helped shape who she became and helped her realize that God had a great mission for her. Together with other religious, Sophie founded a congregation consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That congregation, the Society of the Sacred Heart, had as its objective the formation of young girls so that they might one day be good mothers to their families and be good Christians in order to better Society. This path was not an easy one but with tenacity and love, her labors paid off and her objectives were met.

A woman of openness and joy with a great facility for friendship, Sophie was also courageous. She traveled a lot, had many visits with communities, and communicated with her religious through letters. Many schools were founded in different countries. Now, religious, those who are teachers and those who are not, families, and students from all the world, share and convey her way of educating.

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Marian Gabriel y Galán, RSCJ, has worked in many kinds of education in Spain and Congo and is now at a center for spirituality and retreats in Galicia, Spain.

Pilar Campos Fernández-Figares is a Sacred Heart alumna artist in Spain who has done more than 80 illustrations, especially for children’s books and botanical themes.

Kimberly M. King, RSCJ, is currently the director of Barat Spirituality Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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