Madeleine Sophie Barat


 St. Madeleine Sophie Barat is the subject of the window in the cry room, and she is the key to the other windows.

Born at Joigny, Burgundy, France, on December 12, the daughter of Jacques Barat, who worked in the vineyards. Naturally bright, 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, in 1801, and in 1802, Madeleine, though the youngest member of the group, at the young age of 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 25, 1865, she had opened more than 100 houses and schools in twelve countries. She was canonized May 26, 1925 by Pope Pius XI. Her feast day is May 25th.

            Our window shows her surrounded by young girls being taught. This shows her vocation and the work she did, training young women to teach young girls.

All our windows at Sacred Heart Church are women Saints, as we received our stained- glass windows from the Chapel of The Academy of The Sacred Heart, in San Francisco. This is one of the houses founded by Saint Madeleine. These Saints were to be role models and inspirations for those at the Academy and can be ours too. Their works, prayers and intercessions are very powerful.


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