Florence (far right) with fellow Religious of the Sacred Heart and UISG sisters
Florence (far right) with fellow Religious of the Sacred Heart and UISG sisters

On April 3, 2024, Florence de la Villéon, RSCJ, was awarded the prestigious National Order of Merit by the French government. This insignia recognizes notable military or civil achievements demonstrating courage, generosity, and dedication to serving others or France. Florence was knighted with the medal for her religious work and her humanitarian activities with people on the move.

As she received the award, Sister de la Villéon thanked all those who inspired and encouraged her, and commended the work of UISG (International Union of Superiors General) sisters worldwide. She spoke of how her path had been guided by her faith, and of the inspiration and strength this has always given her.

Though she mentioned the possibility of retiring, she then added, “After being touched by so many shattered lives, and transformed by the discovery of so much injustice, can I stop? No. I still have the desire to continue, with my sisters, with young people, with migrants, with all of you, to find ways of learning to live together despite our differences.”

Her family and some of her fellow sisters from the Society of the Sacred Heart, as well as her colleagues at UISG, were there beside her to celebrate this great honor.

The Society of the Sacred Heart is so very proud of Florence and her achievements, and of the compassion, love and commitment to others that she and her fellow sisters have shown in their work.


Click here to read Florence's speech and view a short slideshow from the program on RSCJinternational.org.

Text and photos courtesy of RSCJ International