Saint Madeline Sophie Barat
Born: December 12th, 1779 Died: May 25th, 1865
Feast Day: May 25th
What she said
"God does not ask of us the perfection of tomorrow, nor even of tonight, but only of the present moment."
What the world was like
During Saint Madeline Sophie Barat's lifetime the storming of the Bastille and the French Revolution took place. This was a time of great unrest and violence in France. The guillotine was used to execute political prisoners. Napolean became the ruler of France.
The United States of America declared independence and George Washington was president. During her lifetime, Abraham Lincoln also served as president of the United States and the American Civil War was fought. Alaska was purchased from Russia. The first railroad linking the eastern United States to California was completed. In other parts of the world, Ireland suffered the potato famine and the Suez Canal was opened.
Department stores, public buses and subways were invented. The telephone, the light bulb, and the phonograph were also invented during Saint Madeline Sophie Barat's lifetime. The first postage stamp was introduced. Anesthesia was used for the first time in an operation. The periodic table was discovered and the first construction of a steel framed skyscraper was completed.
Mark Twain wrote the Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Jules Verne wrote Around the World in Eighty Days and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
Who she was
Madeline Sophie Barat was born in France. She was the youngest of three children. Madeline Sophie was very enthusiastic about life and had common sense and good judgment. As a young child, she was devoted to her faith and prayer life. Her older brother, Louis, was a priest, and he was responsible for her education. Louis was very serious about his sister's education and made her learn Greek, Latin, physics, history, and mathematics. Even though there was little time in her life for play and friends, Madeline Sophie loved learning.
At the age of twenty-one, Madeline Sophie and three other young women started a religious order for women called the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Even though she was the youngest, Madeline Sophie became the superior, or leader, of this group and she remained so for sixty-three years.
Since she loved learning and was able to get an education, she wanted to make education possible for other young women. Through her leadership, the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus opened schools for young women throughout France and eventually the world. She encouraged these schools to teach Christian ideals and to promote excellence in education.
What this saint means to us today
The religious order, the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, founded by Madeline Sophie Barat is still in existence today. This order still operates schools throughout the world for young women. These schools are known for providing an excellent education in a Christian environment.
Madeline Sophie Barat shared her love of God and love of education with others. By opening schools, she made it possible for other young women to get the high quality education that she received. We can follow her example by sharing our blessings with others.