Saint Madeline Baptized
Saint Madeline was baptized the day after her birth. Her eleven year old brother, Louis was her godfather. Saint Madeline was educated by Louis who saw his sister as gifted in both mind and heart. Louis became a professor at a seminary in Joigny at twenty-two years of age.
Saint Madeline Educated
Louis taught Saint Madeline in the following subject areas:
- Natural science
Saint Madeline surpassed her brother’s seminarians in all subjects and read the classics in their original languages.
Saint Madeline Entered Religious Life
Louis asked Saint Madeline to go to Paris and begin training for a religious life. She was more than willing to do so. Louis was a member of the Fathers of the Faith whose purpose was to honor Jesus.
When Louis mentioned his sister to Father Varin of the Society of Jesus, he became enthusiastic about starting a society of sister who would be devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Saint Madeline Established the Society of the Sacred Heart
Father Varin chose Saint Madeline who was twenty years old as founder of the Society of the Sacred Heart. Along with three other women, Saint Madeline founded the society on November 21, 1800. The first convent was opened in September of 1801 in Amiens. Saint Madeline Sophie made her vows on June 7, 1802.
Saint Madeline Sophie Barat Superior General
In January of 1806, Saint Madeline was named Superior General of the order. She spent her days praying, suffering silently, being tactful, respectful, and charitable. She began sending sisters to other parts of the world to establish other Societies of the Sacred Heart. In 1818, she sent Mother Duchesne and four other women to America to establish a convent.
Saint Madeline Sought Union with Rome
In her wisdom, Saint Madeline realized that strong unity in the Society needed the approbation of Rome. The decree of approbation was given by Pope Leo XII in May of 1826. The Society of the Sacred Heart was sealed by the approval of Rome. Saint Madeline continued her life with holiness and prayer.