With great gratitude to God for St. Madeleine Sophie and her companions, who began the great adventure of the Society of the Sacred Heart on November 21, 1800. The Society, born amid tumult in France, continues to pray for the tumult today in France and in so many parts of our world.
A story from the book “St. Madeleine Sophie: Her Life and Letters” by Margaret Williams, RSCJ:
“Sophie remembered: ‘As I had never seen a religious ceremony, this one, simple as it was, made a profound impression on me. When we left the chapel we placed before the altar a candle that was to burn till evening as a sign of thanksgiving. ... At dinner ... it was like the agape of the first Christians, full of sweet and religious expansiveness. The meal was prolonged beyond our usual time and we were still there when a friend of ours came to call. Not wishing to disturb us she went into the chapel, and what was her fright on seeing that the altar cloth was on fire! She gave the alarm and the danger was checked. ...’
“This was at the rue de Touraine. It was there that the true foundations of the Society of the Sacred Heart were laid, under the standard of Him whose work it was to do. It was there that Jesus Christ gave it its mot-d’ordre ... and the form which is its own: a spirit large, strong and generous, but filled with sweetness. And so intrepidity, strength and gentleness; these are what our dear Sophie and her companions tried to acquire in that place of recollection and solitude.”
May these continue to be the gifts of our Birth Day!