Our Wisdom Women

Learn about key women in the story of the Society of the Sacred Heart.

Our Wisdom Women
St Madeleine Sophie Barat

St Madeleine Sophie Barat founded the Society of the Sacred Heart in France in 1800.  Following her family’s custom, we call her Sophie. Sophie dreamed of restoring religious values to post revolutionary France. She wanted young people to know the love of the Heart of Jesus and to make reparation for the sacrileges committed during the Revolution.  She saw Christian education as a way of renewing the social order. Years later, she recounted her original vision in this way: “My original idea of our little Society of the Sacred Heart was to gather young girls together and establish a little community which night and day would adore the Heart of

St Rose Philippine Duchesne

St Rose Philippine Duchesne established the first house of the Society of the Sacred Heart outside of France, and she is the second saint of the Society.  Philippine, as she was known, had joined the Visitation order before the Revolution of 1791.  In 1801, she tried to re-establish the convent at St Marie d’en Haut which had been dispersed by the Revolution.  When she came into contact with the Society of the Sacred Heart through Fr Joseph Varin, she readily joined the fledgling foundation.  From their first meeting, Philippine and St Madeleine Sophie Barat were firm friends. Philippine had a strong desire to go as a missionary to share the love of

Janet Erskine Stuart

Janet Erskine Stuart was the Superior General of the Society of the Sacred Heart from 1911 to 1914.  She was the first Superior General to travel extensively, visiting the Society in many parts of the world.  She is remembered as an outstanding educator and spiritual guide. Janet Erskine Stuart was born in 1857 at the Cottesmore Anglican Rectory in Rutland, England. Her father was an Anglican minister, and her conversion to Catholicism at the age of 21 was difficult for him.  In 1881 she entered the Society and spent almost her whole life as an RSCJ as a member of the Roehampton community. Janet is credited with raising the standard of

Sophie's Story - discover how our founder St Madeleine Sophie Barat remains a woman for today... Access the E-book