New Catholic Dictionary – Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat

detail of a statue of Saint Sophie Barat; 1934 by Enrico Quatrini; Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, Rome, Italy; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsArticle

Foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, born Joigny, Burgundy, 1779; died Paris, France, 1865. Educated by her brother Louis, she became associated with his friend Father Varin, and at his suggestion she made her first consecration to the religious life, 1800, thus founding the Society of the Sacred Heart. In September 1801, the first convent was opened at Amiens, and the society was known as the “Dames de la Foi.” Madeleine made her final vows, 1802, was chosen superior of the community, and was elected superior-general of this society, 1806. With the aid of Father Varin she formulated the constitution and rules, and in 1820 convoked a council of superiors at Paris to draw up a uniform curriculum for their schools. The society received papal approbation, 1827. During her life Mother Barat established over 80 foundations in France, North America, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Algiers, England, Ireland, Spain, Holland, Germany, South America, Austria, and Poland. Despite these labors, her life was one of increasing holiness and continued prayer. Canonized, 1925. Relics at Jette-Saint-Pierre, near Brussels. Feast, 25 May.

MLA Citation

  • “Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat”. New Catholic Dictionary. CatholicSaints.Info. 8 October 2017. Web. 5 March 2021. <>