Open your hearts with Madeleine Sophie: A woman of heart

  • École du Sacré-Cœur, Marseille, 2021
    École du Sacré-Cœur, Marseille, 2021

The BFN Province has created a monthly series that presents the life and work of Madeleine Sophie and invites us to follow her bold example. Read the installment for the month of June: A woman of heart.

Important dates

  • Feast of the Sacred Heart      
  • June 19, 2009 - Return of Madeleine-Sophie's body to Paris (Église Saint-François-Xavier des Missions Étrangères)

Madeleine Sophie’s life

In her childhood and adolescence, Madeleine-Sophie experienced family love. She became attached to those around her, spontaneously showing affection. Later, she formed strong friendships with many nuns, lay people and priests. She signed her letters: "Your affectionate Mother Barat, Superior General".

Although her childhood was marked by the Jansenist atmosphere that characterized the Church of Joigny, she nevertheless discovered the inexhaustible love of the heart of Christ for every person. Her interior life was nourished by Bible study, contemplation of the person of Christ, prayer and adoration. The love she received was shared in apostolic action through education.

The charism of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is to "manifest the love of the heart of Christ" in all circumstances. In this way, the very heart of God is revealed!

For prayer

“This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain”. (John 15, 12-16a)

"Love one another as I love you": Remind me of the golden rule of almost all religions and morals: "don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to you". Reflect on these two commandments. What do they have in common? What are the differences? What do they inspire in me?

"Lay down one’s life for one’s friends”: What does this mean to me: listening, speaking words of encouragement, welcoming the emotions of others, praying for them... giving your time, your energy, giving of yourself...

"I have called you friends, because all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you": Am I a friend of Jesus today? How can I get to know Christ better, to know the love of His heart better, to love Him better and to follow Him better?

"I chose you to go and bear fruit that will remain": recall the image of the vine, a story of many fruits that remain. What does Christ entrust to me in prayer, what does He give me to give to others? Give thanks.

From the writings

"Jesus gave life to the Society on the cross, when from His open heart, with His blood, flowed the ultimate proof of His love for us. How fortunate we are! And what a priceless advantage it is to have emerged from His heart!"

(Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat)

"Let your heart be more attentive than your head, for the Holy Spirit is love, and to grasp it, it's better to love than to understand. We do everything by steam (at full speed) and I don't know if the Holy Spirit can act at that pace."

(Letter from Madeleine Sophie Barat)

Texts for today

"The contemplative gaze commits us to living in the way of Jesus. Only from His heart can we learn to look at the world, to listen with humility to what He tells us about Himself in reality, to approach it with a human and cordial attitude."

(C. Camacho, Letter to the Society, November 21, 1974)

An invitation

Remember the first pages: Madeleine Sophie, a woman rooted in prayer and love for the heart of Jesus. She knew how to bring her talents to fruition, and this produced much fruit.

  • What does this invite me to do today?
  • What fruits are already there and ready to multiply even more?

Listen to songs and music