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The Society of the Sacred Heart in 19th century France, 1800-1865

Edited by Phil Kilroy

Publication Year: 2012

In the wake of the Counter Reformation and more intensely after the French Revolution, religious communities of women sprang up with astonishing rapidity in France. Today their form of life is coming to an end, at least in Europe, and it is the culmination of more than three hundred years of religious life, which provided companionship for women and enabled them contribute effective social activity in society. Such a phenomenon invites analysis, both of the origins and the motivations for such an upsurge of women’s communities.The aim of this book is to bring together aspects of the private and public life of members of the Society of the Sacred Heart in 19th century France by using the extensive community and personal archives of the Society, as well as the collection of 14,000 letters of Madeleine Sophie Barat. By combining rigorous research and writing within the perspective of women’s history, the lives and achievements, the successes and failures, of these French women are shifted out of hagiography into history. This book is unique. It breaks with the tradition of religious hagiography so prevalent when writing the history of religious women in the Catholic Church. It addresses the complexity of their personal/ community lives along with their public contribution to society.

Published by: Cork University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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Acknowledgements

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pp. vii-viii

When writing these essays I drew on the expertise of librarians, archivists and historians in Paris and Rome. I would like to thank in particular the librarians and archivists of the Archives Nationales and Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; the Archives de...

Abbreviations

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pp. ix-

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Preface

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pp. xi-

Do you realise that you know more than you think you know? Do you realise that if you use all you know, and all the possibilities within you, that there is almost nothing you can’t do? More serious than that is this fact: if you use more...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-8

In the wake of the Counter Reformation and more intensely after the French Revolution, religious communities of women sprang up with astonishing rapidity in France. These communities shared a spiritual path, provided companionship...

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CHAPTER 1: ‘One Musical Ensemble’ The Society of the Sacred Heart, 1800–1865: The evolution of a community

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pp. 9-84

When recalling the early days of the Society of the Sacred Heart Madeleine Sophie Barat described how it grew in a spontaneous, even haphazard, way. She told how she went to Paris in 1795, at the age of sixteen, and over time met small groups of men...

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CHAPTER 2: The Society of the Sacred Heart: An educational model

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pp. 85-132

The first members of the Society of the Sacred Heart shared a desire to rebuild French society and especially the church after the impact of the Revolution. They gathered from 1800, initially in small groups, and set up small boarding schools...

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CHAPTER 3: The Society of the Sacred Heart and the Jesuits in the Lifetime of Madeleine Sophie Barrat

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pp. 133-166

There was a certain truth in the accusation. There were close links between the Society of the Sacred Heart and the Jesuits which evolved and changed in the course of the nineteenth...

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CHAPTER 4: Medical Biography in the Society of the Sacred Heart

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pp. 167-200

Good health was essential in the Society of the Sacred Heart if the members were to fulfil their tasks in the schools, farms, kitchens, infirmaries and in the daily round of domestic and community services. The 1815 Constitutions discuss...

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CHAPTER 5: The Spiritual Leadership of Madeleine Sophie Barat

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pp. 201-234

But in fact Sophie Barat left ‘essential information’ in the form of a vast archive of 14,000 letters, two journals and a testament. Since Sophie Barat’s process for canonisation began soon after her death all who possessed letters from her, within...

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Conclusion

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pp. 235-237

The five essays in this book present some of the collective and individual biographies of members of the Society of the Sacred Heart in nineteenth- century France. Central to their experience was the form of life they created, which responded to their spiritual ideals and was socially possible for them to live....

Notes and References

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pp. 239-295

Bibliography

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pp. 297-303

Index

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pp. 305-314


E-ISBN-13: 9781909005068
Print-ISBN-13: 9781859184998
Print-ISBN-10: 1859184995

Publication Year: 2012