Two women of vision and courage stand at the origin of our Congregation, women who lived in response to the Spirit, attentive to the needs of the time, open to the challenges of the future.
In 1779, Madeleine Sophie Barat was born in Joigny, France as fire raged in houses nearby. Truly a child of fire, Sophie’s heart was captivated by God from an early age, and she was drawn to a life of contemplative prayer. At the same time she recognized that post-revolutionary France had a pressing need for transformation through rigorous education and a spirituality of the Heart of Christ. Sophie and four companions made their first vows in 1800, giving themselves to a form of religious life which combined the contemplative and the apostolic….
Rose Philippine Duchesne was born in Grenoble, France in 1769. After preparing for her first communion at the Visitation convent nearby, her desire to give her life to God led her to join the Visitation community, a cloistered, contemplative order, despite her longing to serve God in missionary lands. In the aftermath of the French revolution, her convent was closed by the government. For ten years Philippine served the destitute of Grenoble as she searched for God’s desires for her.